Here’s What’s Happening at Toy Fair Dallas

September 30, 2019 | Much of the North American toy industry converges this week for The Toy Association’s annual show, Toy Fair Dallas. Are you at the show? Don’t forget to tap into everything that’s happening:

  1. Meeting Buyers. Registered retail companies rose this year, including some that weren’t on the show floor last year such as Meijer, QVC, and Urban Outfitters. Moreover, there will be even more opportunities for exhibitors to do business on an international scale as more than international buyers are registered to attend. This includes distribution companies visiting Dallas for the first time from different countries such as Australia, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Venezuela.

  2. Getting Educated. Complimentary education sessions throughout the show cover product development, IP protection, retail, and distribution. The following will be held in the new FutureCast Gallery , located on the 13th floor, "STEM/STEAM Formula for Success" explores the 14 unifying characteristics of STEM/STEAM toys and how they can be applied to create innovative product. The 45-minute session will be held Wednesday and Thursday at 11 a.m. The one-hour “Amazon Brand Protection Seminar,” presented by Amazon on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m, also offers insights into how to protect and boost your brand in the marketplace. In a two-part seminar, “Safely and Successfully Selling Your Toys in China,” The Toy Association, Global Toy Experts, and Messe Frankfurt will provide a roadmap to companies looking to successfully and safely sell into the Chinese retail market. It will take place on Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 3 p.m.

  3. Promoting Your Brand with Digital Influencers, Insights Influencers are increasingly instrumental in converting their recommendations into consumer sales, and attendees will have ample opportunities to engage with this base and gather insight. Following KID@HEART founder Steve Starobinsky’s presentation during the Influencer Breakfast on Thursday in the FutureCast Gallery, 19 toy influencers will tour the show and scout their recommendations for the 2019 holiday shopping season and beyond. Brands still interested in purchasing any available time slots on the tour should contact The Toy Association's Laura Mangiaracina.

  4. Networking. The annual opening night party, taking place on Wednesday in the Grand Pavilion of the Dallas Market Center from 5:30 to 7 p.m., is the premier networking event for toy professionals while in Dallas. Exhibitors receive two complimentary tickets for an evening of food, cocktails, entertainment, and networking. Additional tickets are just $25 per person. Proceeds benefit The Toy Foundation. The fun continues over at The Toy Association’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) Mixer + Art Gallery that evening at d.e.c. on Dragon Street from 7 to 11 p.m. Attendees can mingle with other toy professionals and enjoy food and drinks while exploring a toyetic art gallery featuring work from local Dallas artists. YPN is targeted toward industry professionals 35 and under, but all Toy Association members, exhibitors, and show attendees are welcome to attend the event by registering online. The event is co-sponsored by YPN and Sunny Days Entertainment.

  5. Giving Back. The Toy Foundation will hold its annual Toy Bank collection on Friday, at the show’s close at 2 p.m. Magic Wheelchair, an exhibitor and nonprofit organization that creates epic costumes for kids in wheelchairs, will also give back with the reveal a new one-of-a-kind creation donated to one lucky child on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Atrium Lobby.

  6. Pitching Product Ideas to Walmart. Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) hosts its annual WIT Empowerment Day on Tuesday at the Dallas Market Center. Held in collaboration with Walmart, this year’s event is expected to host more than 100 women entrepreneurs and inventors, buyers, and toy experts. Throughout the day-long event, attendees receive one-on-one mentoring and face time with industry leaders, toy buyers, and decision makers. WIT members also pitch their products directly to Walmart and top toy companies, including Hasbro, Spin Master, PlayMonster, Jazwares, Basic Fun!, and other industry experts.

To stay up to date about what’s happening throughout the show, be sure to download the free Toy Fair Mobile app, available in the App Store and Google Play. If you are missing Toy Fair Dallas this year, be sure to save the date for next year’s show, taking place October 6 to 8, 2020 at the Dallas Market Center in Dallas, TX.