Casual Market Chicago Announces Exciting Special Events

Opening Night “Backyard BBQ” and ICFA Awards Gala Among Top Events, September 20-23, 2016

Casual Market ChicagoCasual Market Chicago, held at The Mart September 20-23, features must-attend special events and presentations.

Attendees will see 250+ leading manufacturers in the outdoor/casual furniture and accessories industries in more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space including more than 45 permanent showrooms on floors 14, 15+16 and temporary exhibitors located in the 7th Floor exhibition space. It’s the first place to view the latest products, in a multitude of categories: Furnishings (including wrought iron/aluminum, cast metal/cast combination, rattan/wicker/woven materials, tubular materials, resin/fiberglass and wood), umbrellas, hammocks, grills, outdoor lighting, outdoor carpeting and rugs, garden accessories, tabletop, statues, fountains, outdoor bars, outdoor hearth and heating products, alternative tabletops and pool and spa accessories.

 Schedule of Special Events:


Lounge 1447 Conference Center | Merchandise Mart | Floor 14
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The International Casual Furnishings Assn. (ICFA) will host its fourth annual Industry Roundtables from 12 – 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, the day prior to the opening of Casual Market Chicago. Sponsors include Klaussner Outdoor, Glen Raven/Sunbrella and Treasure Garden.

The event will include discussions of topics including:

  • Marketing to Younger Consumers Through Social Media
  • Understanding Key Performance Indicators
  • Marketing/Selling on the Internet
  • Consumer Financing Opportunities
  • Special Events and Promotions
  • Handling Transportation and Logistics
  • Recruiting Great Sales Associates

Each attendee will participate in three one-hour sessions. The Industry Roundtables will be held at the Merchandise Mart. Lunch will be available at noon, and the program will begin at 1 p.m.

Following the afternoon program, Klaussner Outdoor will host a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. in their showroom, Suite 16-100.

Registration for the event is $25 for ICFA members and $50 for non-members. Registration is available online at Participants will be eligible to win a variety of door prizes, including merchandise and gift certificates.


ICFA Lounge | Floor 7
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

New to the Market? First time attendees will feel right at home at the special welcome reception on the first day of the Market. An essential stop for the first-time attendees, this is your opportunity to get insider tips to navigate Casual Market Chicago, answer questions and learn about resources and events. Debra Egli, Casual Market Chicago Buyer Relations Manager and ICFA staff will be on hand to personally introduce you to Casual Market Chicago and provide handy tips and tricks for navigating your first Casual Market Chicago. Hosted by theMART and ICFA.

theMART South Drive
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

The much anticipated Opening Night Backyard BBQ Party will again be a must attend networking event. It will take place on the South Drive of the Merchandise Mart along the scenic Chicago River. Kick off your Market experience with BBQ-inspired cuisine and cocktails at this key networking event. Enjoy live music and mingle among well-curated furniture displays while enjoying “flame” manufacturers represented at the Market. Hosted by theMART

Presenting Media Partner: Hearth & Home Magazine


Floor 7 | Presentation Room
7:30 am – 8:30 am

The Annual Meeting of the entire International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) membership provides a forum for discussion of industry issues, election of Association officers and directors, and an update on ICFA activities and membership benefits. All ICFA members and interested prospective members are invited.


The Field Museum, Stanley Hall
6:30 pm – 10:00 pm

The grandest event of Casual Market Chicago, the ICFA Awards Gala, celebrates the casual industry’s great achievements. The Apollo Awards celebrate the top retailers in single and multi-store categories. The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees will be recognized and awards will also be presented for the Lillian B. Winchester “Best of Show” recipient, Sales Representative of the Year and the Manufacturer of the Year. Featured during the 2016 ICFA Awards Gala will be fabric fashion show presented by Casual Living. Tickets required. Hosted by ICFA and theMART.

Casual Market Chicago is a four-day trade show that provides retailers with an outlet to find all things related to outdoor and casual living. Featuring the latest products and trends in the industry, the Casual Market features permanent showrooms and temporary exhibitors totaling approximately 350,000 square feet of exhibit in The Mart.