This article was originally published in the 2013 Toy Fair Times, and is republished on PlayHappens with permission from the author.
Building on the comprehensive webinars, conferences and learning opportunities offered throughout the year under the umbrella of its Knowledge Network, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and its partners have put together a robust educational program for Toy Fair 2013. Every one of the show’s diverse audience members – independent and mass retailers, manufacturers / distributors, creative professionals, licensing / entertainment executives, and others – will have immediate access to speakers and learning opportunities designed to help grow businesses and build professional relationships.
“We are proud to bring several of the most respected leaders in the global toy industry together under one roof to share their perspectives, insights, best practices, and a few ‘tricks of the trade’ with Toy Fair attendees,” said Marian Bossard, vice president of meetings and events at TIA. “The expanded educational program for 2013 is the latest step in our ongoing effort to ensue that Toy Fair is not only THE global business event for the toy industry, but also a show that is fun, interactive and richly rewarding!”
A snapshot of the free and fee-based learning opportunities follows … more detail is available on ToyFairNY.com:
TIA’s Content Connection (February 10-11, 2013)
Toy Fair 2013 will include a two-day program of sessions for the show’s ever-growing licensing community. Building on the success of a panel for licensors and brand owners held in 2012, TIA’s Content Connection will tackle topics such as opportunities for traditional and e-enhanced toy manufacturers and designers; preschool market research; demographic trends, media use and retail infrastructure in youth markets around the world; how toy companies can better license their property or brands; and more. The conference is produced in association with EPM Communications (publishers of The Licensing Letter and Youth Markets Alert) and JC Inc; attendance fees apply.
7th Annual Digital Kids Conference (February 12-13, 2013)
Presented by Engage Digital Media, the two-day Digital Kids Conference will bring youth-focused digital media executives, brand owners and licensors together to learn critical information about engaging children online and through digital devices. The conference program will supply participants from focused start-ups to Fortune 1,000 companies with valuable marketplace insight on producing inspiring products, establishing successful online and mobile revenue generation strategies, and leveraging the latest social media best practices. Digital Kids previously co-located with Toy Fair in 2010 and 2011. TIA members will receive reduced rates to attend this fee-based conference.
Creative Factor and Independent Thinking Sessions (February 10-12, 2013)
Freely available for Toy Fair’s creative community (inventors, designers, etc.) and its independent and specialty retailers, these two seminar series will take place throughout the first three days of the show. Quick, focused and designed to minimize time away from the show floor, each hour-long session will tackle a different topic – from customer service and staffing to sourcing manufacturing and marketing on a budget.
Department of Commerce (DOC) Guide to Exporting: North & South of the Border (February 11, 2013)
Led by a representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, this free seminar will provide toy companies with key guidance on how to expand their businesses further into the global marketplace.
Toy Safety Compliance Update (February 12, 2013)
This annual TIA program provides an in-depth look at any recent updates or key issues associated with toy safety standards, laws and compliance requirements in the U.S. and abroad. Free to TIA members; non-members must pay $149 to attend.For more information about Toy Fair’s educational offerings, please visit ToyFairNY.com or consult on-site signage.
Did you know that TIA delivers priceless educational opportunities to toy industry stakeholders not just at Toy Fair, but year-round? From webinars to professional conferences, TIA is committed to supplying the industry with practical educational content and resources.
Held regularly throughout the year, TIA’s webinars are presented by staff and outside experts to provide toy industry stakeholders with a deeper understanding of multiple topics.
China Toy Safety Seminar
TIA staff travels regularly to China to host a free toy safety training session for the managers and staff of local Chinese manufacturers producing toys and children’s products for the U.S. marketplace.
Held in the spring, PlayCon: TIA’s International Conference of Play Professionals, is the toy industry’s premier annual gathering for play professionals looking to network with peers and industry icons and receive cutting edge research, ideas and inspiration.
New to the Knowledge Network, the second annual ToyDesignCon will be held in June 2013 at The Strong in Rochester, NY. The conference is designed to inspire and connect TIA’s designer and inventor community.
Visit the Toy Association Knowledge Network for more detailed information about these events.
For information about becoming a TIA member or attending one of TIA's go-to-market events including Fall Toy Preview and Toy Fair, please visit www.toyassociation.org.