The annual NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, June 14-16, at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, offers a range of special events for networking. Following is a summary of scheduled special events and attractions throughout the three-day trade show:

BELIEVE 2010 - SEE 2020
The DIFFA/Chicago Gala
7 p.m., June 12
The Palmer House Hilton Hotel

DIFFA/Chicago invites attendees to its 22nd Annual Gala – BELIEVE. This year's gala inspires a “Perfect Vision by 2020” by rallying supporters to BELIEVE and SEE a future without AIDS. More than 500 designers, architects and design industry leaders will join to support and celebrate progress towards finding a cure.

COOL, IIDA Black Tie Awards

7 p.m., June 13
Westin Chicago River North

COOL is the IIDA annual interior design awards gala, which celebrates the winners of the 37th Annual Interior Design Competition and the 18th Annual Will Ching Design Competition. A special evening of interior design excellence, with cocktails, awards, dinner and dancing. And this year, a special display showcasing one-of-a kind fashions, created by IIDA Chapters. For details and ticket information go to

FIRSTnight-ASID Toasts Design

7 p.m., June 14
LaSalle Power Company, 500 N. LaSalle Blvd.
Sponsors: Sherwin Williams & Metropolis Magazine

Attendees may unwind after day one and kick off the ASID National Conference with FIRSTnight, the conference’s premiere ASID social event. This chic evening unites luxurious interiors with industry VIPs-all under one roof in one of the most exclusive establishments in Chicago, the LaSalle Power Company. For details and to RSVP, visit

Come Meet Stephen Viscusi: “The Jobs Whisperer”

9 a.m. – 5 p.m., June 14-16

Stephen Viscusi, founder of The Viscusi Group, has recruits for all level of positions - from presidents to sales reps to showroom managers. The Viscusi Group is the only headhunter to guarantee every placement for two years, exclusively for MMP tenants. NeoCon attendees can learn more about the service and by mentioning “NEOCON” on their resume order at they will receive a free cover letter to go with resume, normally a 50 dollar value.

BIFMA International’s Annual Membership Meeting

7:15 a.m. – 9 a.m., June 16
Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plazar, Sauganash Ballroom

Members of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA International) and invited guests are encouraged to attend this year’s breakfast meeting to hear BIFMA’s annual state-of-the-industry and state-of-the-association reports. Pre-registration required. For more information, contact BIFMA at 616-285-3963.

Speakers:Tony Whitfield - Product Designer, Renee Kemp-Rotan - urban designer and co-founder, Black Design News Network; Atim Annette Oton, architectural designer and co-founder, Black Design News Network; R. Steven Lewis, Architect, president, National Organization of Minority Architects; and Lee Bey, writer and architectural critic African American writer/architectural critic.

To register contact Atim Oton, director of the Black Design News Network Registration also accepted at the door.

MINIMAL + Coalesse Cocktail Reception

6 p.m.-10 p.m., June 14
MINIMAL 1032 W. Fulton Market

MINIMAL, together with Coalesse invites attendees to a rooftop cocktail reception celebrating the launch of the new collection designed by Scott Wilson. RSVP as space is limited: info@mnml-rsvp.