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Casual Market to feature the latest in outdoor furnishings and accessories

Events and seminar details provided 

The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market returns to Chicago's Merchandise Mart Sept. 21-24, offering the most complete collection of new furniture, accessories and trends for outdoor living.

The market is 100% dedicated to the outdoor industry and encompasses 350,000 square feet of exhibit space filled with hundreds of permanent and temporary exhibitors. It is also the only market exclusively endorsed by the International Casual Furnishings Association.

The annual trade show is expected to attract thousands of retailers including: specialty casual furniture retailers, home furnishings retailers, department stores, pool and spa retailers, garden center retailers, hearth and fireplace retailers, cataloguers, hardware stores, discount/mass merchandisers, gift, holiday and decorative accessory retailers, interior designers, hospitality specifiers, architects, landscape designers and landscape architects.

Buyers will have the opportunity to see the latest product introductions from the industry's leading manufacturers in a variety of categories: Furnishings (including wrought iron/aluminum, cast metal/cast combination, rattan/wicker/woven, tubular resin/fiberglass and wood), umbrellas, hammocks, outdoor lighting, outdoor carpeting and rugs, garden accessories,
tabletop, statues, fountains, outdoor bars, outdoor hearth and heating products, alternative tabletops, grills, pool and spa and much more.

Along with incredible products, buyers will have access to numerous educational seminars and networking opportunities throughout the four-day market. These seminars offer opportunities to learn insights in trends in the industry, network with peers and for further professional education.

Returning this year, the Garden Accessories Courtyard will be located in a 10,000-sq.-ft. area on the northwest side of the 8th Floor Market Suites. The Garden Accessories Courtyard is home to exhibitors featuring decorative accessories, outdoor lighting, hearth products, tabletop, rugs, pottery, statuary and more.


The following is a summary of exciting special events and award presentations to take place during market:

Tuesday, Sept. 21
Market Welcome Party
6-8 p.m. • 8th Floor, Market Suites
Kick off your market experience right with this fun event on the 8th Floor Market Suites. Complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres served. Hosted by MMPI.

Wednesday, Sept. 22
ICFA Annual Meeting
7:30 a.m. • Merchandise Mart Conference Center, 2nd Floor
ICFA Awards Reception

7:30-8 p.m. • School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ballroom; 112 S. Michigan Avenue
A special new awards event to highlight presentation of the Design Excellence Category Awards and the announcement of the Lillian B. Winchester Best of Show Award. The ICFA Sales Representative of the Year Award will also be presented for the first time at the event, along with the reintroduction of the coveted Manufacturer of the Year Award. ICFA members and invited guests.

Thursday, Sept. 23
Apollo Awards Banquet + Fashion Show
6:30 p.m. • Field Museum, Stanley Field Hall - NEW LOCATION!
The grandest event of Market, the Apollo Awards celebrate the influential contributions made by industry icons. Leading retailers in single- and multi-store categories will be honored and the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees will be recognized for their industry achievements. By invitation only and tickets required. Hosted by MMPI and the ICFA.

During the dinner, take in the latest fabric trends with the Textile Trends: Al-Fresco Fashion Show. Presented by Casual Living magazine and headlined by Sunbrella, this premier runway event previews the latest fabric collections from top outdoor fabric manufacturers including Ardwyn Decorative Fabrics, Outdura, Sunbrella, Sunbury and TriVantage.

The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market is pleased to present complimentary, informative, entertaining and educational seminars intended for market attendees and exhibitors alike.

Tuesday, Sept. 21
Outdoor Elegance
3 p.m. | Suite 1520, 15th Floor
Roger Thomas, executive vice president of design for Wynn Design and Development who created the interiors of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, will headline as the keynote speaker for the 2010 Casual Market. Thomas will showcase his hotel design work and discuss his philosophy and approach to designing outdoor spaces. He also will investigate the trends to move indoor
furnishings outdoors and outdoor furnishings indoors.

Wednesday, Sept. 22
The Big Picture - Are You Ready for the New Consumer?
1 p.m. I Suite 1520, 15th Floor
Global trend specialist Maxine Lauer will speak on how the consumer of today is changing and share insights on how you can better serve them, as well as implications on their expectations when purchasing patio products. Learn
about the key touch points that appeal to the needs and desires of Gen Now, Gen X, Zoomers and Prime Timers: critical insights into how each segment lives and shops that will help you successfully position your company for
future growth. Sponsored by Agio and Casual Living magazine.

Thursday, Sept. 23
Women, Money and Buying Power
1 p.m. I Suite 1520, 15th Floor
Today, if you're not directing your marketing efforts at women, you're missing the mark entirely. Consumer spending drives the U.S. economy and consumer spending is controlled by women. In this seminar, Richard Wright, editor of Hearth & Home magazine, will present survey results detailing the female role in the purchase of patio, barbecue and hearth products.
Lisa LaPorta, Interior Designer and host of several shows on HGTV such as "Designed to Sell," will share ideas on how to target that female consumer. She will offer advice to make your store, your products and the shopping experience more appealing to your female customers. Presented by Hearth & Home magazine and Jordan Manufacturing.

Friday, Sept. 24
Inspired Exteriors presented by Luxe Interiors + Design magazine
Friday's seminars will focus on members of the design trade - interior designers, architects, landscape architects and designers - as well as on design trends in the casual industry and the evolution of outdoor spaces.

Perfect Porches; Designing Welcoming Spaces for Outdoor Living
10:30 a.m. I Suite 1520, 15th Floor
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) president and co-founder, Paula Wallace, will discuss the history of designing outdoor spaces and porches over the years and across the country. Showcasing stunning photographs from 40 homes in her recent book, "Perfect Porches," Wallace will illustrate how varied and iconic these American spaces can be and present a wealth of structural appointments and designs. The presentation also will provide practical ways to bring privacy to urban porches, adding chic accents to old-fashioned verandas, and creating coziness to modern environments.

Inspired Exteriors Panel Discussion and Lunch
11:30 a.m. I Suite 1520, 15th Floor
Why stop your design service at the backdoor or not offer clients the furnishings they need for their outdoor room? Led by Luxe Interiors + Design magazine, interior design and landscape design experts will share important information about how they market to clients and work together to design outdoor space.

Outdoor/Casual Showroom Tours
Following the presentation, design trade professionals, as well as casual furniture dealers and buyers, are welcome to explore the permanent outdoor resources that The Merchandise Mart has to offer year round.

To RSVP for the seminars, visit Casual and click on Register Now. Attendees can register for the Market and seminars in one easy step.

The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market
The Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL
Tuesday, Sept. 21 - Friday, Sept. 24

Permanent Showrooms: Floors 15, 16, 17
Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 21-23, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 24, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Temporary Exhibitors
Tuesday - Thursday, Sept. 21-23, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information, visit

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