Back at the Mart: Prepping for the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market

After my time at Merchandise Mart (read about my experience in a previous post) for the Holiday Internship Program, I was asked to come back for a semester-long internship, this time with the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market. Market caters to the trade higher end casual and outdoor furnishings and accessories. Market is the only trade show in North America exclusively endorsed by the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA). I work with the marketing side and I've already seen how many months in advance it takes to solidify exhibitors and drive in attendees.

Although Market isnt until September 12, we've already started our social media and eBlast campaigns. Earlier this week, I went around to all the permanent showrooms to distribute visual marketing material for them to display. It was a nice one-on-one experience talking with the showroom managers and other employees about their careers, school, and (of course) tour the showrooms! After making my away around four floors, I came to the conclusion that a chair is my favorite piece of furniture because comfort can have so many looks!

A couple weeks before being offered the internship, I attended a lecture as apart of Columbia College Chicago's Black Heritage Month calendar of events with Kori Chambers, an Anchor from FOX Chicago. One of the things that he kept reiterating was the importance of internships and your job as an intern is to do more than is asked of you. I felt that message came at the right time! I'm always grateful for the opportunities that come into my life. I look forward to all the planning and preparation that is to come!

Don't forget the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market is September 12-15. Visit www.casualmarket.com for more information.

— La Keisha Leek, design student blogger for Contract

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