This week at Herman Miller was quite different than the others. Our industry’s showcase event was Monday-Wednesday of this week in Chicago at The Mart. It’s a famous event where commercial design and business trends are showcased by several companies. Large commercial furniture makers go, technological trends, ergonomic seating, and many more vendors have showrooms at NeoCon.
My assignment as an intern was also quite different than my previous. I was asked to go around to see specific launched product lines from our competitors and do an analysis. My analysis was to include how these products made me feel, what materials were used, and any overall trends I saw within the industry. It is expected that competitors will be coming to other showrooms to take pictures, ask questions, and look for trends. However, with my name and association on my nametag, I did not get very detailed responses from competitors for obvious reasons. Though, it was a great learning experience in business relations and etiquette.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the venue was filled with designers, engineers, interesting furniture sets, jungle gyms, etc. On the third floor are the large furniture manufacturers where Herman Miller, Haworth, Steelcase, all their subsidiaries, and others have their showrooms set up. Most of these showrooms are year round for clients to walk through. However, the other floors are full of booths that have rented space for the event.
This week has also been very unique in that I have started requesting interview times with the Executive Leadership Team for my intern project. It’s required that I get their input and opinion for this project to be credible, since it will be published for the public. Speaking and organizing with the CFO, director of sales, director of international affairs, etc. has been so interesting, exciting, and challenging in all ways that are contributing to my career development.
I am excited to see what these next few weeks entail with the interview of the ELT!