71st Spielwarenmesse takes a big leap into the new business year
Trade visitors from all over the world are preparing for the upcoming top industry event of the year. The Spielwarenmesse is poised to open its doors at Nuremberg's Exhibition Center from 29 January to 2 February, giving visitors unbridled access to on-trend product innovations, creative business ideas and valuable expert knowledge, all in one place. As in previous years, organiser Spielwarenmesse eG is making use of the entire space of 170,000m². With the proportion of international exhibitors amounting to 78%, 2,843 leading players and promising start-ups from 70 countries provide an extensive overview of the market. Against the backdrop of an increasingly challenging retail landscape, both retailers and buyers can benefit from a comprehensive offering of licensing themes and talks as well as the presentation of this year's trends "Toys for Future", "Digital goes Physical" and "Be You!".
Unique diversity of products
The world's leading toy fair is forever adapting to the rapidly changing industry. Trade visitors have many opportunities at the Spielwarenmesse to enhance their own business success and rise above their competitors. Ernst Kick, CEO Spielwarenmesse eG, comments: "All the important exhibitors and brands are powerfully represented at our fair. This comes with the right measure of quality and good service, allowing our visitors to plan their stay in Nuremberg very efficiently." Twelve product groups across 18 Halls create a unique selection of trends and innovations. Featuring no fewer than 1 million products, the Spielwarenmesse is a true reflection of the entire toy market – all in one location.
New exhibitor services
Retailers can bring a breath of fresh air to their ranges by visiting the start-ups at the Innovation Made in Germany pavilion and the first-time exhibitors presenting their new ideas at the New Exhibitor Center and around the exhibition site. To ensure the products are "marketable", the German Toy Industry Association DVSI is offering exhibitors at both pavilions a free additional service in collaboration with the Spielwarenmesse: The association can perform a toy safety check on their products and provide advice on toy safety. Another interesting new service is available to all exhibitors: The Leadtracking service and corresponding app help exhibitors to record customer contacts quickly and efficiently. Explaining the system, Florian Hess, Director Fair Management, states: "It's really simple to use on a smartphone and it enables exhibitors to collect customer information digitally."
Action-packed special areas
The activity and special areas at the Spielwarenmesse are major attractions for visitors. They give retailers and buyers the opportunity to immerse themselves in various theme worlds and to tap into lucrative and individual sources of additional sales. Showtime, the most recent addition in Hall 8, provides exhibitors from the Festive Articles and Carnival product group with an exciting platform for showcasing their products at fashion shows or demonstrations. The popular Tech2Play activity area in Hall 4A, featuring the Flight Cage and Robot Run, has been improved and is appearing in a new look. The established special areas Baby and Infant Articles between Halls 2 and 3 and Toys meet Books are to be continued. Situated in its tried-and-trusted location in the busy Entrance Mitte, the zone for booksellers features attractive theme worlds. The highly relevant talks have been extended to four days and start on the Wednesday.
With 120,000 innovations on display at the Spielwarenmesse, the TrendGallery is a source of valuable guidance. In Hall 3A, the three trends identified every year by the international TrendCommittee, are presented together with corresponding products: ideas that fall within the "Toys for Future" trend encourage environmental awareness or are produced sustainably from ecological materials. In "Digital goes Physical" children meet the physical versions of the stars and content they know and love from the digital world. Toys from the "Be You!" trend promote the individual abilities of people with illnesses and disabilities whilst also encouraging tolerance. In addition, the TrendGallery shines a light on the nominees and winners of the ToyAwards. The coveted industry accolade is awarded in the festive setting of the Opening Show in the categories Baby & Infant (0-3 years), PreSchool (3-6 years), SchoolKids (6-10 years), Teenager & Adults (from 10 years) and Startup (companies that have been trading for less than five years). 422 companies have entered 772 products.
Industry and licensing insights
Trade visitors can improve their business expertise at the Toy Business Forum. In the presentation area in Hall 3A, high-profile speakers from Germany and abroad shed light on current market developments and trends. The daily topics are #trend (Wednesday, 29.1.2020), #change (Thursday, 30.1.2020), #digital (Friday, 31.1.2020), #retail (Saturday, 1.2.2020) and #marketing (Sunday, 2.2.2020). In the mornings, the LicenseTalks provide informative insights specifically from the licensing world. The expert talks on a wide spectrum of topics such as "Sustainability and Licensing" and "Sequels & Co." have been extended this year by one day and take place from Wednesday to Saturday. The importance of licensing at the Spielwarenmesse is underlined by the fair's continued collaboration with the world association Licensing International which has a stand in the foyer of Hall 12.0.
New visitor services
The wide spectrum of services offered by the Spielwarenmesse contributes to a successful experience at the fair. Christian Ulrich, Director Marketing, states: "In our role as organiser, we want to make our visitors' stay here as enjoyable as possible which is why we're continually extending and improving our services." This includes, for example, the new experience zone in the passageway between Halls 3A and 4A, featuring an interactive Social Media Station, entertaining games and a catering area with seating. Dotted around the Exhibition Center are another five VisitorLounges with free water dispensers and mobile charging points. The online catalogue, the interactive hall plans and the Spielwarenmesse app are useful tools for planning each day at the fair. Admission tickets can be used for free travel on all local public transport for the full duration of the fair. This paves the way for business conversations to be continued after hours in the relaxed atmosphere of the ToyCity Nuremberg.
Concluding, Ernst Kick states: "The Spielwarenmesse offers all industry members a unique environment for discovering trends, finding innovative ranges, gaining new knowledge and promoting communication and networking. In a nutshell: The world's leading toy fair gives them the tools they need to meet the challenges of the future."
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