Toy Fair Everywhere was one of the first digital toy fairs launched in the wake of the pandemic. Here, the Toy Association's senior communications specialist Kristin Morency Goldman reflects on the event.
Toy Fair Everywhere – the global toy community’s first-ever series of virtual market weeks – featured more than 180 exhibitors and nearly tens of thousands of toys and games during the first two market weeks in July and August.
Retail buyers from more than 60 countries used the Toy Fair Everywhere platform to browse innovative products to stock shelves for the holidays – and worldwide industry trend-spotters are already looking forward to the final market week of the season, taking place September 14 to 20, 2020.
"Just as Toy Fair New York is the place to be for in-person trend-scouting and business building, Toy Fair Everywhere is the premiere online destination for retailers and members of the toy community who want access to innovative products at a time when face-to-face meetings and travel are not always possible – or safe,: said Marian Bossard, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association.
"We are committed to helping the industry during this period of uncertainty, and Toy Fair Everywhere has been a successful digital meeting ground for companies to make connections and seek out new business opportunities."
Toy companies have been making innovative use of the platform to display products in their unlimited “booth” space.
Many of their showrooms are visually stunning, marketed exceptionally well to prospective buyers, and take full advantage of all the platform’s features.
Virtual meetings and product demos have been held, new connections made, and real-time analytics harnessed by exhibitors to tailor buyer outreach.
As an innovative approach to sustaining and growing business, Toy Fair Everywhere was featured in a wide swath of media including Forbes, and buzz continues to grow.
Market week attendees in September will be met with a robust calendar of digital events and on-demand content.
This includes access to an exclusive trends presentation presented by The Toy Association’s trends team.
Additional programming includes access to recordings from The Toy Association's 'Generations of Play, An Oral History' project, powered by StoryCorps and new educational content, including recent on-demand webinars, the latest market research from Kidz Global, and research on children and influencer platforms from The NPD Group.
The September market week will also unveil the Toy Fair Everywhere Influencer Choice List, powered by Clamour.
The list will showcase the top toys and games from Toy Fair Everywhere exhibitors as voted on by a select panel of top-tier family and toy influencers from platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, while also recognizing the passion and innovation toymakers bring to the industry.
"With Q4 just around the corner, Toy Fair Everywhere is dedicated to helping toymakers and buyers maintain and build their connections as they strive to keep their businesses forging ahead," added Bossard.
"It’s a can’t-miss event for anyone with a stake in the global business of play."