Baby & Kids

Learning, Buying Opportunities at ABC, JPMA and Toy Fair West

ABC SPRING CONFERENCE

We warmly welcome all independent retailers and their suppliers to the 10th Annual ABC Spring Educational Conference & Trade Show being held May 22-24, 2018 at the breath-taking Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Florida.

This event is designed exclusively for the independent juvenile products retailer, their suppliers and their representatives. It is the only event of its kind in America dedicated to this specialty market and a priceless opportunities to make new contacts and develop relationships with your fellow industry stakeholders.

The event revolves around 3 essential activities: vital educational, outstanding networking receptions and exclusive trade show. These events are designed to promote a highly interactive experience among all event participants. Hands-on educational sessions provide knowledge about the products available and how to best sell to today’s consumer, net-working events provide maximum interaction among participants in order to compare notes and find out what is working, and the trade show provides a one-on-one experience with key suppliers and discussions on methods to help build sustained profitable business together. A Millennial consumer panel provide insights into the minds of today’s consumer, their values, what they expect, how best to communicate with them and to cater to their wants and their needs. An Open Forum session between retailers and manufacturers solicits frank dialog on best practices of conducting business for this vital channel of distribution.

The event also provides ABC with the opportunity to announce ABC scholarship winners, selected by an independent 3rd party from applications submitted by industry retailers and manufacturers. Now in its third year, ABC will announce its 2018 Scholarship winners, where a total of $10,000 in scholarship dollars will be awarded.

Registration for the ABC Spring Educational Conference & Trade Show will be avail-able early next month at: www.allbabyandchildsec.com

JPMA BABY SHOW

The JPMA Baby Show, now in it’s second year, will be taking place March 20-24, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Education starts March 20, the exhibit hall will be open Wednesday March 21-23. On Friday afternoon we will transition the trade show to a consumer event, which will open to the public on March 24. More details on the event, including a schedule and registration details, may be found at www.jpmababyshow.org. Qualified buyers enjoy free registration!

For retailers on the East Coast, the JPMA Baby Show is an alternative to juvenile product shows that have been taking place on the West Coast. Washington D.C. is very accessible by air, car and train so for many buyers, this is a fairly short trip. Also with about 230 exhibitors, the JPMA Baby Show is very compact. We have gotten great response to a format that helps buyers cover the show more easily, see trends and facilitate more conversation. Even if you are not planning to place a large amount of orders, attending the show to understand where the industry is going, enjoy some education and connect with peers and vendors can be energizing!

As for education, there are options that fit our attendees’ interest and schedule. We’ll continue with content related to regulatory issues, marketing and doing business outside the U.S. In addition to topic-specific educational programming on the show floor, we will introduce retailer roundtables to encourage sharing among buyers. We are about to announce our Thursday keynote presenter, so stay tuned in to the website!

Giftware buyers are sure to find a wide range of new products that don’t filter down to the big markets. Apparel items, bedding, gifts and accessories will be well represented. It’s a great opportunity to discover something new that your local competitors aren’t seeing.

2018 will continue to be a year of consolidation all around, which is why it is more impor-tant than ever to travel and see the trends and disruptors in the industry. Juvenile products are finding their way into more distribution channels than ever before. They are being embraced as gifts as well as useful products that make moms’ and dads’ lives easier. Bloggers and online influencers are becoming more important than ever to share news about new products and they are very much welcomed at the JPMA Baby Show.

We’re very excited about some new technology that we are introducing this year. Our Product Spotlight will go digital, allowing us to share that information in a variety of ways at the show – and after the show to promote long-tail marketing. We will be utilizing a technology called Poken that will ensure that product information is easily collected. Plus, the winners of the 2018 Innovation Awards will be announced at the show with fanfare.

In terms of advice to buyers who want to maximize their time at the JPMA Baby Show, here are three helpful suggestions:

1. Check out the interactive floor map at www.jpmababyshow.org. Not only will it help you plot out your path by showing you where your appointments are, exhibitor listings will be updated with new product information, promotions, etc. Use the filters to focus on the categories you are most interested in.

2. Take advantage of the show app which will be launched in early 2018, this will be a handy tool to put all of the information on your phone, at your fingertips.

3. Make appointments with key vendors but be sure to allow time to view the interactive exhibits and just “walk the floor” to find something new. Take advantage of opportunities to chat with other buyers about what new and interesting things they have seen on the show floor. It will help you discover the hot products and companies.

TOYFEST WEST

Retailers should consider attending ToyFest West because it has great customer service and a personalized feel to it. Retailers who don’t go to Toyfair will have the opportunity to see the latest and greatest toys on the market as well as have personal one on one time with manufacturers. Its an easy show to walk and can be covered extensively in one to two days. Another great reason to attend ToyFest West is this show works well with people’s budgets, with attractive room rates and an exceptional resort experience. Its more than just a show, its a meet and greet event without the high pressure.

Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) President, Bill St. John and Blake Goldenberg, Chairman of the Board both agree that Baby and Infant products are extremely hot right now. The specialty toy stores will be looking for new products to add to their stores at the next show.

ToyFest West will host two seminars on Sunday, March 11 at 9:00 a.m. and Monday, March 12 at 8:00 a.m. with a panel of speakers. Topics will include Trends and the Retail Experience. The ToyFest West Gala happens Sunday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. and all exhibitors and attendees are invited to mingle and meet with store owners and vendors in a fun social setting. On Monday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m.all attendees are invited to the annual Game Night where 15 manufactures will showcase two to four games and allow attendees the chance to learn and play. Its a fun night for manufactures and retailers to connect. And finally, a social media campaign has also been launched this year to connect manufacturers with retailers. We showcase product that will be on the floor as well as current trends, new products and industry news.

TOY FAIR NEW YORK

Toy Fair opens its doors to thousands of registered global play professionals to explore a record-breaking 443,000 net square feet of exhibit space filled with hundreds of thousands of toys, games and youth entertainment products.

Toy Fair is set for Feb. 17-20 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.

Toy Fair is produced by The Toy Association™, Inc., the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages.