The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market is back September 17 – 20 at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. The four-day trade show will kick off with an opening night “Backyard BBQ” in a lively outdoor setting, followed by industry educational seminars and the first annual International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) Awards Gala and Apollo Awards Banquet.
Dedicated to the outdoor furnishings industry, the annual show encompasses 350,000-square-feet of exhibit space, 45 permanent showrooms, and 200 temporary exhibitors in the Market Suites.
“The ‘Backyard BBQ’ party will enable manufacturers, retailers, buyers, designers, and others in attendance to network in a more relaxed setting, and will provide an additional real-life exhibit opportunity for sponsors,” said Jaclyn Kelly, senior director of marketing for the market. “The event will showcase sponsors’ outdoor furniture, accessories, fire pits and grills in action. Exhibiting sponsors will burn their grills and light their fire pits, demonstrating the products in full use.”
New exhibitors this year include American Fireglass Inc., Artifacts Trading Co., Asia Connection, BauKorb, Big Green Egg, Blaze Grills, Bojer Cushions Inc., Botegga Inc., Cacoon, Deltess Corp., Desert Steel, Dongye Furniture, ElanaMar Designs, Entrada Collection, Fortin Ironworks, Gannon Creek, Woz Fans, Terra Flame Home, Surya and Outdura.
On Tuesday, September 17 at 3:00 p.m., buyers and retailers can learn how to increase store traffic at the panel, “Driving Traffic to your Store.” The seminar is designed to outline strategic ways of creating in-store sales promotions and improving store images and effective methods of customer engagement, all of which can lead to increased sales.
Show attendees will also have the opportunity to learn the art and craft of social media from Chad Harris, founder and owner of The Garden Gates, an online home décor and garden center retail store, during his “The Art of Socialfication” presentation. This seminar will provide retailers and dealers with inspiring branding techniques to implement online social networking for their businesses. The seminar will take place on Wednesday, September 18, at 10:00 a.m.
Finally, the ICFA Awards Gala will highlight the Apollo Award winners, which are the top retailers in single and multi-store categories, and will announce the Lillian B. Winchester Design Excellence “Best of Show” Award.
The 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees will be recognized, and the ICFA Sales Representative of the Year as well as Manufacturer of the Year will be awarded. During the ICFA Awards Gala, there will be a fabric fashion show presented by Casual Living magazine and sponsored by Sunbrella, Outdura, Tri-Vantage, Ardwyn Designs and Sunbury.
The awards reception will take place Thursday, September 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Field Museum, Stanley Field Hall. Tickets are required.
For additional information on the Casual Furniture & Accessories Market and for a full schedule of exhibitors, click here.