Toy Fair NY 2020 Preview: Education & Tech at Center Stage
Toy Fair New York 2020, which takes place at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Center Feb. 22-25, and is organized by The Toy Association, will host toymakers from six continents who will showcase their lines to about 30,000 global play professionals.
Here are some highlights that attendees can look forward to:
• An expansion of the Creative Factor educational program at the show. That program aims to help inventors and designers, entrepreneurs, design students, and other creative professionals forge connections, pitch their latest toy ideas, navigate new trends and tech innovations, and learn everything from applying for a patent, to the toy lifecycle from concept to consumer. With an eye to enhancing its offerings for this community, Creative Factor will be featured front and center on Level 1 outside of Hall D at the Javits. The expanded program of sessions, demos, panels, interactive activities, and tech experiences (including robots doing a runway show) is expected to be a hub of excitement, education, discovery, and networking. Additional seminars throughout the show will cover toy safety and compliance (U.S. and international laws), independent retailing, global market expansion, toy trends, and more.
• Toy Fair will also host its inaugural Student Congress on Feb. 25, welcoming students and faculty from a variety of disciplines who are exploring the opportunities of the toy and play industries. There will be a networking breakfast, panel presentation, innovation workshop hosted by author and creative expert Deej Johnson, and an “Open House” visit to booths on the show floor, among other activities.
• With licensing accounting for approximately 30 percent of U.S. toy sales, top properties like L.O.L. Surprise!, Barbie, Paw Patrol, Pokemon, and digital-first brands (JoJo Siwa, Baby Shark, Ryan’s World, etc.) are having a bigger impact on toys than ever, and attendees will be seeing this impact at the show. Also being offered is educational programming to help attendees better understand how the evolving landscape of kids’ entertainment, social media, and pop culture fandom are impacting the overall health of the industry and the opportunities for growth that come with them.
• A hospitality lounge will again be hosted for members of The Toy Association, ASTRA (the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association), and Licensing International.
Otherwise, all major changes to the show floor will be unveiled in 2022, when the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (currently under construction) will be complete – which will mean a larger exhibit hall; expanded meeting, event, and public display spaces; and even more opportunities to forge cross-industry partnerships, launch parallel events, deliver enriching content, and more.
Toy Fair New York is a natural reflection of the global toy industry and all the changes, innovations, and trends coming to market. The show’s exhibitors display their creativity and passion for play throughout the aisles of the Javits Center, and the show itself tailors its educational programming and networking activities to the business needs of all attendees. Toy Fair New York is a show unlike any other in the world and represents an exciting entry point to both the U.S. and key global toy markets.
Additional information can be downloaded via the free Toy Fair Mobile App (available in the Apple Store and Google Play) for information on exhibiting companies that can be easily browsed by name, category, and location. The app also provides information on registration, special events and in-booth happenings, educational opportunities, hotel bookings, and more.
And don’t forget to attend the Toy Trends Briefing, taking place on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. (Level 1, Hall 1E, Room 1E09). The Toy Association’s trends team will share an exclusive first look at the top toy trends for 2020 using product examples from the show floor.
Visit www.ToyFairNY.com for more particulars leading up to the show.