A Socially Distant Toy Fair: Toy Makers Learn The New Rules Of Virtual Play


Forbes | July 12, 2020


With toy trade shows and in-person sales meetings cancelled for perhaps the rest of this year and possibly longer, Hog Wild and other toy companies have had to rewrite their sales playbooks.


The Toy Association, the 104-year-old trade association representing toy manufacturers and other segments of the toy industry, tomorrow kicks off the first of three virtual trade shows scheduled between now and September. The events, called Toy Fair Everywhere, are designed to create a virtual alternative to the trade shows and replace the face-to-face interactions that drove toy sales and promotions in the past.


The first Toy Fair Everywhere event will run this Monday through Sunday, July 13-19, and 130 toy makers were registered to exhibit at it as of June 30. Approximately 12,000 retailers who attended the New York Toy Fair in February, or who are pre-approved to attend the Dallas Toy Fair in the fall, have been invited to attend the virtual show.


Even though trade shows, toy showrooms, and in-person meetings have been shut down by the pandemic, manufacturers and retailers still need to connect, see new merchandise, and plan for holiday toy sales, said Kim Carcone, vice president, market events, for The Toy Association.


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