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Ceremonies and events scheduled for the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market

The show, Sept. 13-16 in Chicago, promises and exciting line-up of events

The 2006 International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market, Sept. 13-16 at The Merchandise Mart, has an exciting line-up of presentations, ceremonies and events throughout the three-and-a-half-day show to keep buyers abreast of current trends and familiar with the biggest names in the industry. This year's show also debuts the Exterior Design Showcase, professionally created outdoor vignettes on display on the 7th floor, as well as a fabric fashion show at the Annual Market Party sponsored by Casual Living magazine, to present the trends and inspire retailers to explore and expand their store's fabric selections.

INDUSTRY PRESENTATIONS
MMPI brings leaders of the casual furnishings industry to market to deliver informative, entertaining and educational presentations Wednesday through Friday in the 7th Floor Market Suites Presentation Area.

Wednesday, Sept. 13
The New Frontier: Outdoor Design For Living, presented by Joe Ruggiero, designer and HGTV host
Noon - Complimentary lunch served
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Presentation
7th Floor Market Suites Presentation Area
The popular outdoor room has become the ideal opportunity for furnishings, fabrics and decorative accessories. The extension of living "outdoors" from the traditional interior spaces has become a reality no matter the climate. Drawing on his experience from travels throughout the world, design extraordinaire Ruggiero will discuss the trends and design opportunities for decorating the great outdoors. Presented by Sunbrella and MMPI.

Thursday, September 15
Textile Trends: An Al-Fresco Fashion Show
Noon - Complimentary lunch served
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Presentation
7th Floor Market Suites Presentation Area
New for 2006 is a tailor-made Casual fashion show. Headlined by Sunbrella, this premier runway event previews the latest fabric collections in original designs from the industry's top outdoor-textile manufacturers, including Bella-Dura, Crypton, Designed Fabrics by Phifer, DuraCord Textiles, Outdura by Shuford Mills, Maco, Solarium, Twitchell, Valtekz and Waverly. Presented by Casual Living magazine, Sunbrella and MMPI.

What Consumers Want, a consumer panel discussion moderated by Becky Boswell Smith, editor in chief of Casual Living magazine
3 p.m.- Presentation
7th Floor Market Suites Presentation Area
In response to casual furniture retailer requests, Casual Living will present an enlightening consumer panel discussion, featuring mid- to high-end homeowners who have bought or are currently shopping for outdoor home furnishings. Hear what today's consumers have to say, what brings them into various types of retail furniture stores and what makes them commit to a purchase. A question-and-answer period will allow retailers the opportunity to receive honest answers to their individual questions. Presented by Casual Living magazine and MMPI.

Friday, September 16
Exploring Exterior Design, a panel discussion with Garden Design magazine
Noon - Complimentary lunch served
12:30-1:30 p.m. - Presentation
7th Floor Market Suites Presentation Area
Hear from Garden Design magazine and a number of the designers involved in the Exterior Design Showcase, an incredible display of outdoor vignettes designed by leading manufacturers, designers, landscape architects and industry partners. Learn from the experts about what influences and inspires their work, what the trends are in fabrics, furnishings and accessories, how European designs are effecting U.S. design and much, much more.

CEREMONIES & EVENTS

Wednesday, September 13
Exterior Design Showcase Cocktail Event
5-7 p.m. • Market Suites 7th Floor
Kick off Market with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while viewing the Exterior Design Showcase, an incredible display of outdoor vignettes designed by leading manufacturers, designers, landscape architects and industry partners on floor 7 of Market Suites. This special area will inspire retailers to take their store's visual merchandising to the next level with great merchandising tricks of the trade.
 
Thursday, September 14
Industry Excellence Breakfast
7:30-9 a.m. • Merchandise Mart Conference Center, 2nd Floor
New for 2006! Please join us at the Industry Excellence Breakfast for the 2006 presentation of the Design Excellence Awards, saluting the best of new product design, the Merchandising Excellence Awards, recognizing distinction in booth and showroom visual presentation, as well as well as the Manufacturer Leadership Awards, commending casual furnishings manufacturers for leadership and innovation. This event, hosted by MMPI, is open to all Market attendees but seating is limited so arrive early.

2006 Annual Market Party + Textile Trends: An Al-Fresco Fashion Show
6-8 p.m. • East Bank Club Rooftop Deck
Sunbrella headlines this premier runway event, previewing the latest fabric collections from the industry's top outdoor-textile manufacturers, including Bella-Dura, Crypton, Designed Fabrics by Phifer, DuraCord Textiles, Outdura by Shuford Mills, Maco, Solarium, Twitchell, Valtekz and Waverly. Discover 2007 fabric trends while mingling with colleagues at this annual event. All market attendees are welcome but badges are required for entry. Presented by Casual Living magazine, Sunbrella, Thompson & Elm and MMPI.

Friday, September 15
47th Annual Apollo Awards
6:30 p.m. • Navy Pier Grand Ballroom
The grandest event of Market, the Apollo Awards, celebrates the influential contributions made by industry icons, where leading retailers in single- and multi-store categories will be honored for their industry achievements. Also, in recognition of excellence and leadership in the casual industry, the announcement of the Design Excellence "Best of Show" Award winner and the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Awards will take place. Hosted by the Summer & Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association and MMPI, tickets are required for entrance, which is invitation only.

SHOW INFORMATION
The Merchandise Mart
7th and 8th-floor Market Suites and 16th and 17th Floors
Wednesday, Sept. 13 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 14 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 15 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16 8:30 a.m. - Noon

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