Toy Fair 2020 Attendance Reflects Better Screening of Attendees; Global Impact of Coronavirus

toy-fair-ny-2020-exteriorMarch 10, 2020 | In addition to its annual detailed analysis provided to member exhibitors, The Toy Association is promoting Toy Fair New York post-show highlights to offer a transparent look at Toy Fair’s concerted evolution, the impact global issues had on the 2020 event, and how an enhanced vetting process has enabled the Association to deliver a stronger, if sometimes smaller number of attendees in one category or another.

Over the past three years, The Toy Association has been actively screening and upgrading its longstanding industry database to provide membership with an accurate and quality catalog of information. As part of this effort, The Toy Association’s annual Toy Fair New York post market report, to be distributed this week, has been restructured to better aid member companies whose investments in Association marketplace events demand the delivery of a high value audience.

This upgrade endeavor has included the reclassification of industry professionals based on their function and the service they provide and improved vetting and identification of qualified buyers as well as manufacturers reps, international distributors, inventors, analysts, and licensors among several others.

“Responding to the needs of Toy Fair exhibitors to deliver qualified individuals to their spaces during a limited four-day show has received accolades, while at the same time we acknowledge implementing screening has presented challenges for some past show attendees and those who wish to visit for the first time,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “The overarching goal remains balancing the business side of the show with unparalleled networking and connection for all in the toy, play, licensing, and youth entertainment industries that have made Toy Fair a world leader over the past 117 years.”

Key takeaways:

  • Toy Fair New York 2020 welcomed about 24,000 global toy industry attendees and exhibiting professionals.

  • Toy Fair remained a sold-out exhibit space show, despite the impact of the coronavirus.

  • The cancellation of the China Pavilion together with travel restrictions contributed to a decrease in the number of international countries exhibiting on the show floor.

  • Overall buyer attendance was down 7.7 percent, with a decrease in international attendance and a stricter vetting policy for online third-party resellers being among the contributing factors. At the same time, the show saw a 4.5 percent increase in representation among top 25 toy retailers and of retailers in attendance that own brick-and-mortar stores (74.9 percent over 70.9 percent last year).

  • Attendance among sales reps and trade guests rose 2 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.

  • Press attendance was down 0.2 percent. While national press attendance was up 1.1 percent, international press attendance (down 15.4 percent) again contributed to the slight decline.

Pasierb added, “Any exhibitor needing to get access for key business partners, international distributors, and other essential functions need only share that information with our audience relations team to help us be certain you have the people and the connections necessary for a successful show.”

The full Toy Fair post market report will be distributed exclusively to exhibitors later this week.