The US Toy Association has unveiled plans for Toy Fair Everywhere, a new series of virtual market weeks to help toy businesses connect with their customers and suppliers during the pandemic, when in-person meetings are not possible.
Just as if walking a show floor, virtual market week attendees will be able to explore a calendar of daily events, browse exhibitors by category, and book appointments for virtual demos and chats.
Further replicating the in-person Toy Fair experiences online, Toy Fair Everywhere will also feature relevant and timely educational sessions and other engaging special events, both live and pre-recorded.
Between 13 and 19 July, The Toy Association will roll out the first of three virtual seven-day market weeks for 2020, connecting toy manufacturers to the global audience of toy buyers, media, and other key stakeholders ahead of the critical fourth quarter selling season.
Two additional Toy Fair Everywhere market weeks are planned for August 17 to 23 and September 14 to 20.
“If there is one thing we have all learned in these unprecedented times when we are forced to social distance from friends, family, and colleagues, it’s the power and importance of connection,” says Marian Bossard, EVP of Global Market Events at The Toy Association.
“These three virtual market weeks can help answer member and toy community needs. They were not created to replace our existing face-to-face marketplaces (Toy Fair New York and Toy Fair Dallas) but to supplement them and help bridge the gap in industry engagement. The Toy Association has the reach, the resources, and the responsibility to play this role for the toy and play community.
“Our aim is that Toy Fair Everywhere provides the industry with the much-needed opportunity to connect and engage from afar while continuing to make essential headway for their businesses to forge ahead in the current climate. We all know Christmas, birthdays, and gift-giving holidays are still coming, and the toy industry's steadfast optimism and resilience must be met with the ability to prepare.”