Why Go to Toy Fair?
Last week, many of us attended the American International Toy Fair in NYC. Whether you were displaying in a booth or walking the floor, there are many reasons to attend this show beyond just buying (or presenting) product to be sold at retail…
As I was preparing for Toy Fair this year, I found myself explaining to one of my Clients that chances were slim that we were going to make any actual deals on the Javits floor.
It was possible, but unlikely due to the short duration of the meetings that most attendees book.
That said, there are many other, equally valuable goals that can be fulfilled in attending the show as outlined below:
- Raising awareness – When I first launched Jenerosity Marketing, we attended Toy Fair to get in front of people and make them aware of our new endeavor. We scheduled meetings with companies that we thought might need our help and presented our company mission. As a result, we came away with a number of requests for proposals and two agreements to keep talking (both of which turned into Clients!).
- Relationship building – Trade shows like Toy Fair are a great venue for building and strengthening existing relationships. Have you spoken on the phone with a partner more times than you can count? Chances are you can meet them at Toy Fair and build an even stronger bond. It is also a great place to reconnect with old contacts, catch up and possibly even find ways to work together.
- Opportunity identification – As hinted above, Toy Fair is a great venue to uncover new opportunities with existing contacts. You can see someone with whom you have wanted to work for a long time and as you outline the various projects you are developing, there is a good chance that you will find some potential ways to work together.
- Networking – Toy Fair also offers an unparalleled opportunity to meet new people and expand your contact database. On the shuttle home, I met a potential partner for one Client, a trademark lawyer who might need my expertise in licensing and a foreign attendee with whom I got to practice my French! And let’s not forget the food court where I chatted in the lunch line with a buyer from a key retail chain…
- Product presentation – And last but not least, the name of the game here is product as manufacturers and distributors showcase their new lines for the major and not-so-major retailers. Viewing the upcoming trends and new product lines is a critical part of staying current in the toy, licensing and promotions business so hopefully you had time to walk the aisles!
Next year, when you are debating whether or not you want to attend NYTF, do yourself a favor and keep all these factors in mind.
It may be the difference between making your annual sales goal and not making them, regardless of whether you do so on-site or not!
Let us know what you achieved at this year’s Toy Fair in the Comments below…