New York Toy Fair figures remain strong amid Covid-19

Attendance from international visitors took an expected tumble, though quality won out over quantity in sold-out 2020 show

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 13.03.2020 | Business

New York Toy Fair figures remain strong amid Covid-19 thumbnail

The Toy Associations has shed some light on how outbreak concerns and new measures to screen sign-ups impacted attendance at this year’s Toy Fair New York.

Around 24,000 toy industry folk from around the world visited mid-town Manhattan for the show this year, whether exhibiting, sourcing new products, covering the latest trends or providing a host of essential industry services.
 
Despite worries about the outbreak, Toy Fair New York remained sold-out, though US government-imposed restrictions placed on those travelling from China and the bilateral decision to cancel the China Pavilion this year did impact the event’s international diversity.

Overall buyer attendance dropped 7.7 per cent, diminished in large part due to a decrease in international visitors.

The association’s new screening policy to better assess and vet acccess for online third-party resellers also narrowed raw footfall numbers, resulting in less volume but more value for exhibitors.

Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association, said stricter entry qualifications “presented challenges” for some returning visitors and those who were due to attend for the first time, but stressed the association's priority was “balancing the business side of the show with unparalleled networking”.

The upshot was a near 5 per cent increase in representation from the top 25 toy retailers, and of those who own bricks-and-mortar stores. Attendance among sales reps also rose by two per cent.

Meanwhile, press attendance dipped slightly by 0.2 per cent, with an increase in domestic national press off set by fewer members of the international media delegation.

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