Top Five Reasons to Attend PlayCon ’18

January 16, 2018 | Excitement is building for PlayCon 2018, The Toy Association’s International Conference of Play Professionals, returning this year with a new conference format and location to inspire toy, play, and youth entertainment executives to find their next big idea. Registration is currently open.

Taking place May 8 to 9 at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, the new PlayCon is sure to be a productive and inspiring two days for toy professionals. Steve Pasierb, The Toy Association’s president and CEO, has laid out his top five reasons to make the trip: 

  1. The two-day conference format has been refreshed. PlayCon speakers will present content in short sessions similar to the popular TED Talks.

    “With the theme #PlayForward, the conference will feature content within four key pillars: Opportunities & Growth, Creativity, Innovation, and Inspiration,” says Pasierb. “PlayCon is now a biennial event, allowing us to thoughtfully create a program that is inspiring, forward-thinking, and actionable so that attendees return to their companies brimming with new ideas.”
  1. A diverse speaker lineup. Nearly a dozen thought-leaders, industry analysts, toy influencers, consumer product executives, and other motivational speakers in the play space will lead sessions as diverse as their professional backgrounds.

    “We have already lined up two fabulous keynote speakers: Jane McGonigal – a world-renowned game designer of alternate reality games that improve lives and solve real problems, and famed musical composer Michael Giacchino,” notes Pasierb.
  1. More chances to network. PlayCon also allows attendees to make connections and gain knowledge outside the conference rooms.

    “The new PlayCon starts with a networking lunch where attendees will have the opportunity to break bread with peers and colleagues,” says Pasierb. “It sets the tone for the collaboration, camaraderie, and shared education experience they will enjoy over the next two days.”

    Following the first day of sessions, participants are invited to an evening networking party at SPiN – San Francisco’s iconic ping-pong club. “There are also plenty of refreshment break times included in the program which allow for casual discussions and insight sharing,” he adds. “On day two there is a networking breakfast and a second lunch – all providing ample time for attendees to dine and discuss.”
  1. Location, location, location. PlayCon’s San Francisco location was picked after much consideration and specifically for its “walkable experiences.”

    "San Francisco is a magnet for innovation, creativity, and future thinking,” notes Pasierb. “It’s vibrant and alive with diversity in all areas of the human experience.  It is a city that is also very walkable and easy to navigate, adding to the PlayCon experience.”
  1. Accommodations for every budget and taste. There is no host hotel for PlayCon 2018.

    “In keeping with the open feel of the conference, attendees are encouraged to choose accommodations that best fit their budgets and preferences,” Pasierb says. The Toy Association has recommendations for local hotels at

Registration is open for PlayCon 2018. For a list of speakers, registration, hotel information, and other news about PlayCon, visit