January 23, 2018 | The Toy Association, organizers of the 115th North American International Toy Fair, has announced an exciting line-up of educational programming that will enhance the show experience for tens of thousands of global attendees. Presented under the show’s “Knowledge Network,” this year’s seminars will cover everything from licensing and toy trends, to retail strategies, to tips for inventors and entrepreneurs.
“On top of being a business show and the place to spot the latest trends in toys and play, Toy Fair will also feature educational seminars to ensure that toymakers, retailers, licensors, inventors, and other professionals have an enriching experience,” says Marian Bossard, The Toy Association’s executive vice president of global market events. “This year, most of the educational programming is included in Toy Fair registration – a new benefit we are excited to offer to attendees.”
The following are just a few highlights of the many learning and networking opportunities at Toy Fair ’18. Visit www.ToyFairNY.com to learn more.
Licensing Content Connection
sessions on Saturday and Sunday (February 17 and 18)
Toy Fair’s popular educational series provides attendees with insight into the growing world of toy licensing, which accounted for 28 percent of U.S. toy sales in 2017. The four-session program takes place over two days, and will include seminars such as “Licensing 101,” “How to Negotiate a Licensing Deal,” “Think Global, Act Local,” and “Are You Ready for Licensing?”
Speakers will include Kelli Couchee, account director of licensing at UBM Americas; Marty Brochstein, senior vice president of industry relations and information for the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), and other LIMA professionals; Ira Mayer, former publisher and executive editor of The Licensing Letter and Youth Market Alerts; and Karen Raugust, founder of Raugust Communications. The licensing program is presented in partnership with LIMA and UBM (publisher of License! Global and producer of worldwide Licensing Expo shows.)
sessions on Saturday through Tuesday (February 17 to 20)
Neighborhood toy store and specialty shop owners will find practical information to help their stores stand out from the competition in these expert-led sessions.
For the first time, The Toy Association is hosting “ShopToys365.com for Retailers” sessions on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday of the show. Retailers will be introduced to ShopToys365.com, The Toy Association’s digital marketplace where toy companies showcase their products in virtual showrooms all year long. Buyers will learn how to use the platform's product discovery features to quickly find unique products and suppliers for their stores.
On Monday, Patricia Norins, CEO of Marketing Lemonade will present “60 Innovative Marketing Ideas in 60 Minutes,” to reveal to specialty retailers 60 proven digital and traditional marketing ideas that they can immediately implement for proven results. The session is in partnership with The Toy Association and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA).
Business Development & Special Sessions
sessions taking place Friday through Monday (February 16 to 19)
Before Toy Fair even opens its doors, attendees can hit the ground running with special sessions on Friday, February 16. Blue Plate Media will present one-hour sessions throughout the day to help attendees crack the code to smart and strategic media, including Fast Track: Media 101 to Media MBA (In Less Than an Hour), CARU: How Do You Talk to Kids Today?, and Look and Learn at Media Spending in the Toys and Games Category.First-time Toy Fair exhibitors are invited to attend Rookies & Cookies, where they will meet helpful contacts to assist them throughout the show, learn tips for making the most of their Toy Fair investment from experienced trade show specialists, and ask any last-minute questions.
The Toy Association’s Toy Trends Briefing
During The Toy Association’s annual trends session, taking place on Sunday, February 18 from 4 to 5 p.m., the Association’s team of trend specialists will give buyers, media, and other interested Toy Fair attendees an exclusive first look at the year’s most exciting trends in toys and games. The presentation will include product demos and examples from the show floor.
The Future of Consumer Packaging Starts Today
Amazon packaging experts will offer attendees a session on the future of consumer packaging. Taking place on Saturday, February 17 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Brent Nelson, Amazon’s senior manager for worldwide packaging, will share Amazon Fulfillment and packaging innovations that will reduce cost and complexity, and improve the customer experience.
Global Trade and Market Expansion
with sessions on Sunday and Monday (February 19 and 20)
The Toy Association will present the findings of commissioned global market research to help attendees thoughtfully consider whether their businesses are the right fit for international expansion. The first session (held on Sunday at 11 a.m.) will focus on Germany, a desirable market for companies wishing to expand to Europe, and the second session (held on Monday at 2 p.m.) will focus on France, one of the fastest growing populations in Europe. The sessions will explore each country’s business landscape, consumer demographics, and kids' behavior, among other topics. Presenters are Philippe Guinaudeau of the research consultancy Kidz Global and Anne McConnell, The Toy Association’s senior director of market research & data strategy. This session is free for Toy Association members and $99 for non-members who wish to attend.
The Toy Association’s Toy Safety & Compliance Update
Monday, February 19
The Toy Association’s “Toy Safety & Compliance Update” will share important information that industry stakeholders need to know to bring safe and compliant toys to market. Held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., this important annual session will include: information on the revised ASTM F963-17 Toy Safety Standard; updates on state legislative and regulatory activity; information on privacy concerns and connected products; IP protection issues and developments; and international trade issues impacting toys. The session will be presented by Toy Association staff and sponsored by AsiaInspection, Bureau Veritas Consumer Product Services, Intertek, and SGS.
sessions to be announced
The creative community gathers yearly at Toy Fair to explore the show floor and hear from experts in various fields who share their knowledge about topics such as funding a project, negotiating agreements, innovative technologies, protecting inventions, and much more. Stay tuned for more information on Creative Factor educational sessions.
Don’t miss out on all the fun activities at Toy Fair 2018. With more events and happenings being added to the schedule each day, visit www.ToyFairNY.com for up-to-the minute details on exhibitor listings, educational sessions, and more, or download the free Toy Fair Mobile app on iTunes or Google Play.