The International Casual Furnishings Association is committed to heightening interest in and desire for quality outdoor furnishings in the consumer marketplace. Our inclusive trade organization involves manufacturers, retailers, designers, sales representatives and suppliers within the membership, all working together in productive industry partnerships.
ICFA provides its members with the tools a company or individual needs to stay at the leading edge of this competitive market, including:
- Networking opportunities with industry peers;
- Educational programs and a library of archived webinars;
- Retailer and manufacturing operations benchmarking;
- Discounts on key products and services;
- Information and insight on governmental regulatory affairs;
- Access to ideas and programs designed to maximize business opportunities.
Among its program offerings is a sales training certificate program to help improve the skills and professionalism of member company employees – which, in turn, elevates the industry as a whole. The program consists of three training DVDs: a basic, advanced and master level program. Each
culminates with a test. Upon successful completion of the tests, the student is awarded a certificate and pin.
ICFA also serves as co-sponsor of the only market dedicated exclusively to the exhibition of indoor and outdoor casual furnishings and accessories. The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago features more than 300,000 square feet of exhibits each September. ICFA members are eligible to receive discounts on the cost of temporary exhibit space and eligible to enter the prestigious Design Excellence Awards presented each year at the market. The best designs in 11 categories are judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts, and the top design from the 11 category winners is awarded the coveted Lillian B. Winchester Best of Show Award.
ICFA members also have exclusive access to other industry award programs, including Manufacturer of the Year and Sales Representative of the Year, and they are eligible to nominate and vote on the Apollo Awards, which recognize retail excellence in the sales and marketing of outdoor furnishings among single-store and multi-store businesses.
History of the Association