“Toy Fair Everywhere”, What happens behind the scenes at a “Virtual Toy Fair”Heather Welch, International Brand Manager, Edx Education
Edx Education, in collaboration with our long term partner in the United States, Learning Advantage, participated in the first virtual toy fair, “Toy Fair Everywhere”. The fair was organised by The American Toy Association. There are 3 shows organised, and we have participated in the first two, 13-21 July & 17-23 August. More than 50,000 products were showcased. Many leading toy companies participated like LEGO, Melissa & Doug and TOMY, with hundreds of smaller companies. Thousands of US and International retail buyers logged in to see what’s new in the toy world.
Hats off to the American Toy Association for producing a world-class event, pivoting their business to reboot the toy industry and connect suppliers and distributors. “Toy Fair Everywhere” was a resounding success, in face of the unexpected COVID-19 adversity as 2020 has been the oddest of years.
In many countries, no-one would have expected to be working from home for much of this year, with homeschooling now a commonplace. There has been minimal or no overseas travel for work or visits to fairs, manufacturers, nor customers. In that context, we had no idea what to expect from a virtual toy fair, as Toy Fairs have been running in the USA and globally with a well-known, well-respected face-to-face formula.
Steve Pasierb President, The Toy Association, wrote in his Presidents letter, which summed up the “Toy Fair Everywhere”
‘We leveraged years of development and the deep talents of our technology partners to make Toy Fair Everywhere not simply a stopgap response to the limitations of the pandemic, but to pave the way toward a year-round business-generating solution for the toy community, even when normal travel, meetings, and trade shows resume’.
Toy Fair Everywhere had so many great initiatives from the webinars, pre-recorded training online to understanding the concepts, ease of setting up the showroom, look books to show ranges for buyers to have a glance, and the exhibitor’s profile was able to add links and videos. There was sales match software, connecting buyers and exhibitors for potential leads. There were some teething issues, however, the organizers worked hard to make it a great
experience for all.
Murray Jackson CEO & Founder, Edx Education “was pleasantly surprised by how many international buyers there were from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, United Kingdom, Middle East and Asia who joined the fair and, with the extra 2 days added, proved even busier”.
Edx Education loved the social share, ‘What’s new in the community’. It created a buzz in the community between exhibitors, buyers and trade guests with fabulous updates. Mid-year trends announced in August with a new home page and new features, Edx Education’s Rainbow Pebbles were recognized as a hot new educational toy with a lot of amazing toy companies.
Steve Pasierb President, The Toy Association, mentioned “Parents and kids are counting on toys, whether they are looking for educational products to help with at-home learning, outdoor toys to boost physical activity, or to get an early start on the holidays. Consumer behavior is proving that play is a crucial outlet for all ages – now more than ever! ‘’
There were so many different ways an exhibitor could participate in the event from Toy Fair Everywhere Influencer Choice List, and broadcasters talking about the latest trends in the industry. Edx Education would like to express their appreciation for being part of this innovative event. Congratulations to the American Toy Association in creating an online event in a short period of time, which was is a great achievement and success.
SOURCE: Australian Toy Association (ATA Member News)