2012 International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market kicks off today
Clint Engel -- Casual Living, September 20, 2012
The annual International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market opened its doors today, welcoming members of the casual industry from across the globe to Chicago's Merchandise Mart.
The four-day event will showcase new products from industry leaders, highlight outdoor trends and offer a bevy of showroom events, awards presentations and educational seminars. The market includes more than 45 permanent showrooms and hundreds of temporary exhibitors covering 350,000 square feet of exhibit space.
"I've been in this industry longer than most and my feeling is that this is a ' you make it or you break it market, sink or swim,' and I think those that have adapted and evolved are embracing the new ways of doing business and will succeed," said Maggie Bederian, CEO of Beka Casting.
Manufacturers with outdoor accessories and specialty products are exhibiting the latest in tabletop items, statuary, fountains, fabric, outdoor bars, hearth and heating products, outdoor rugs and flooring, cushions and pillows, pottery and planters, fire pits / features, umbrellas / awnings, grills, outdoor kitchens, decorative / garden accessories and other items.
Attendees include trade professionals working in many fields including specialty casual furniture stores, full-line home furnishing stores, department stores, pool and spa stores, garden centers, hearth and fireplace stores, catalogs, hardware centers, discount / mass merchandisers, interior design, hospitality specification, landscape design and landscape architecture.
Today at 6 p.m., attendees are invited to a market welcome party hosted by MMPI on the eighth floor of Market Suites, where they can meet and shop eighth floor exhibitors while enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.
Other market events this week include the International Casual Furnishings Association annual meeting, the ICFA awards reception, the Apollo Awards banquet, a presentation from HGTV host and acclaimed designer John Gidding, a panel with editors and publishers of top consumer magazines and a social media panel hosted by Casual Living Executive Editor Nicole Crews.
Permanent showrooms on floors 15, 16, 17 and 18 are open from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. today-Saturday and 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Temporary exhibitors on floor 8 are open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. today-Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
For a complete list of exhibitors and events, visit casualmarket.com and pick up a copy of Casual Living's special at-market issue.