What could be better for retailers, manufacturers, and play enthusiasts than attending the New York Toy Fair this month with more than 1,000 exhibitors showcasing 150,000 toy and entertainment products to explore? This is where the best in the industry come together in one amazing location to meet industry experts, discover the latest trends, and take advantage of phenomenal deals. But, with so much to see and do, you'll want to pack your walking shoes and use this helpful Toy Fair planning guide!
Don't miss out on any of the Action!
The first step to making the most of your time at the Toy Fair begins with checking the "Schedule of Events" online found under "At Toy Fair" on their website. Search for the presentations, topics, and demonstrations that you definitely want to attend! Be sure to jot down the location where they are going to be exhibiting in addition to the date and time. This will come handy for the next step.
Plan Your Day Before you Arrive
While you could wait until you arrive to pick up a map and find your way around, the NY Toy Fair website makes it easy to plan where your events and favorite vendors are located each day to save you time and ensure you make it to the next presentation or vendor meeting on time. You can find the map by clicking on "Show Map" under the "At Toy Fair" tab. Here, you can search for a particular vendor or note the location for the different categories of products and services.
For example, if you search for "License 2 Play", you will see our License 2 Play booths are labeled as #2553 and #2565 and are located on the 3rd level in the exhibitor hall. By clicking on the booth number, a map pinpointing our location will appear. You can also learn a little more about our product categories and make an appointment to meet with us using this exhibitor tool. Another way to accomplish these same tasks is by clicking on the "2020 Exhibitors" link under the "Attend" tab.
Make new Friends
While buyers are listing out their top exhibitors to visit and demonstrations to see, it can be an easy mistake to overlook one of the most powerful tools available at the event: networking. Be sure to bring lots of business cards and your A-game to make the most of this incredible opportunity to build relationships that can broaden your industry awareness and help your business grow. Besides, where else will you be able to ask the experts for advice and develop connections with people who share your passion for the toy and gaming industry?
The Latest is not Always the Greatest
Another pitfall we often see for newcomer buyers, in particular, is the belief that the latest toys on the market are going to be the year's top sellers. The biggest hits of last year are often topping the charts for the following year. Plus, there are novelties and the classics to consider. Therefore, we suggest including a healthy mix of new toys and games with the previous year's best sellers, holiday delights, and nostalgic wonders. Viewing each exhibitor's catalog before attending the event can give you an idea of what you might like to buy and/or sell.
Be Prepared to Make Deals
There is little that is more embarrassing in this business than not planning enough money to spend on what you want to stock during this event when prices are at their lowest. Contacting your suppliers in advance will better ensure you are prepared for the volume of money to spend or the number of products you need to bring. If this is your first year in attendance as a buyer, you may want to explore the list of exhibitors by category using the "Show Map" link on the website. Then, the vendors' own websites may give you better insight into what products they can offer your business as well as the general range of prices you can expect to pay.
Ask for a Demonstration
Some toys and games are fairly self-explanatory. For those that are unique or offer animated or interactive features, the NY Toy Fair is the perfect place to see a demonstration of the item before purchasing and placing them on your shelves. Seeing the product in action can also advance it from your "maybe" list to your "yes, please!" list.
In conclusion, if you are planning to go to the NY Toy Fair, you have already made the most important step towards stocking your inventory with top-selling toys and entertainment products for 2020. Now, all you need is a game plan to cover all the levels without having to leave anything out. By including the above tips in your schedule, wearing comfortable shoes, and remembering to drink lots of water to stay hydrated, you will be ready to find the connections, trade insights, products, and deals you need to feel recharged and confident in your retail strategy.