Monday, September 22, 2008

International Casual Furnishings Association is Launched!

I just got back from a week in Chicago where I attended the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Mart in the Merchandise Mart. This is the world's largest trade show where manufacturers and retailers see what's new in the outdoor furniture industry.

I've been working with the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA), which is the trade association whose goal is to create a community of professionals dedicated to supporting and enhancing members’ ability to succeed in today’s global market. The ICFA is a new organization, formed in January 2008, which encompasses both manufacturers and retailers in the outdoor industry. Its predecessor, the Summer and Casual Furnishings Manufacturers Association (SCFMA) only represented manufacturers.

So for the first time, the ICFA established a strong presence at this market and initiated a new membership drive, encouraging those in the industry to join this new inclusive group. Despite the difficult economic situation, the market was successful, and the ICFA is well on its way toward growing and promoting the use of outdoor furnishings worldwide.

Check out the trade show booth we designed in the Image Gallery.