Hundreds of thousands of innovative, creative and skill-building toys and games will be unveiled in New York City this weekend at the 112th North American International Toy Fair – the largest toy and youth entertainment product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere.
Owned and operated by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair will open its doors at the Jacob Javits Convention Center this Saturday, February 14, with a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Immediately following, the show floor will open up to an estimated 30,000 global play professionals – including international buyers from more than 7,000 retail outlets – who will explore a record-breaking 422,000 net square feet of exhibit space bursting with brand-new toys and games.
“Toy Fair is gearing up to be an exciting and playful event, with nearly 1,100 passionate exhibitors providing visitors with a sneak peek at the products that will be on kids’ wish lists this holiday season,” said Marian Bossard, TIA SVP of global market events. “On top of trend spotting and product sourcing, industry professionals from nearly 100 countries will participate in Toy Fair’s myriad educational and networking opportunities that make our New York City marketplace unlike any other toy show in the world!”
Toy Fair is also a celebration of play’s ability to bring joy and learning to children of all ages. From open-ended and “DIY” toys, to creative playthings and hands-on educational toys, a range of products that help children build important lifelong skills will be presented at TIA’s annual Toy Trends Briefing, to be held on Sunday, February 15. This seminar is free and open to media, buyers, and other industry stakeholders.
Additional educational sessions at Toy Fair will cover toy safety, retail strategies, global market expansion, licensing, entrepreneurship, digital media, and more. Special after-hours networking events will also take place throughout Toy Fair week. A full schedule of educational and networking events can be found below or at www.ToyFairNY.com.
Registration is mandatory for access to Toy Fair 2015; verification of media and buyer credentials is required. Sign up on-site during show hours. Those who can’t make it to the show can follow Toy Fair on Twitter (#TFNY) and visit the Toy Fair Online Press Room and TIA’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute show information.
TOY FAIR 2015 EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Specific details about all Toy Fair educational and networking opportunities can be found in the schedule below and at ToyFairNY.com.
EDUCATION AT TOY FAIR
TIA’s Global Trade and Market Expansion Sessions will be held on Sunday, February 15. These sessions will provide information to assist companies in assessing opportunities both domestically and in the global marketplace, focusing on economic indicators, demographics, trends and influencers in the U.S. (8:30 a.m. session), Mexico (11 a.m. session) and Australia (2 p.m. session).
TIA’s Toy Trends Briefing will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 15. All Toy Fair attendees can get up-to-the-minute trend information direct from the show floor. TIA’s toy trends team will highlight the top trends and where to find them.
TIA’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday, February 16 beginning at 7:30 a.m. with coffee and bagels and then continuing with the meeting from 8 to 9 a.m. The meeting will be open to both TIA members and non-members.
TIA’s Toy Safety Update will take place on Monday, February 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The seminar will highlight important changes in state, federal and international toy safety requirements and introduce emerging issues under consideration by legislators and regulators in key markets around the globe.
TIA’s Creative Factor will offer drop-in educational opportunities organized in cooperation with Brett Klisch of Peru Meridian Studios. The sessions will be held throughout the day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (February 14-16) and will bring together inventors, designers and other creative professionals to network and share information and resources on a variety of topics, including project funding, negotiating agreements, innovative technologies, protecting your inventions, and more.
TIA’s Independent Thinking will feature drop-in educational opportunities on Saturday and Sunday (February 14-15) that provide practical information for the independent or specialty retailer. This year’s program includes a look at how retailers can improve their average daily sales by up to 20% (Saturday at 2 p.m.) and tips for improving the customer experience in-store (Sunday at 11 a.m.).
TIA’s Licensing Content Connection will feature dedicated educational sessions on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (February 14-16) created specifically for the world of licensing, and will include speakers from Advanstar (organizers of Licensing Expo) and the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), among other licensing experts.
TIA’s Safety, Compliance and Environmental Program will share tools and insights stakeholders need to know to ensure that the CPSC continues to rank toys among the safest of 15 consumer product categories commonly found in the home. Sessions will take place on Sunday and Monday (February 15-16).
Digital Kids Conference & Toys, Learning and Play Summit is the must-attend event for brand owners, entertainment and media executives, marketers, producers, digital media directors and licensing professionals seeking to engage children online and on digital devices. Digital Kids is once again co-located with Toy Fair on February 15-17, providing stellar networking across the entire children’s entertainment industry. The event is produced by Digital Kids Media.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND AFTER-HOURS ACTIVITIES
The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards will occur the night before Toy Fair opens at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 13 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. The dazzling networking gala will honor the best toys and games of the year and celebrate the latest inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
Toy Fair’s Opening Ceremony will officially open the show at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, February 14 with a parade of best-loved, costumed characters accompanied by high-spirited live entertainment. Great photo opportunity.
TIA’s International Visitors Reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 14. Exclusively for registered international exhibitors, buyers, members of the media, and invited trade officials.
The Canadian Toy Association (CTA) Reception will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, February 15. Hosted by CTA, guests will be required to show a Canadian passport for entry.
TIA’s Young Professionals Network Happy Hour and Networking Event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 16 at Bourbon Street Bar and Grill. All young industry professionals of ages 35 and under are encouraged to attend.
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story is a feature-length documentary that will be screened at 8 p.m. on Monday, February 16 at the AMC Theatre on West 42nd Street. The film explores the life and times of Caroll Spinney, creator and essence of Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. Advance ticket purchase is required.
The Toy Industry Foundation will hold its annual Toy Bank Collection at the close of the show (4 p.m.) on Tuesday, February 17. Show exhibitors donate product at this time to benefit children in need across the nation and around the world.