Nuremberg ToyFair – Spielwarenmesse 2013 Review
Wow – what a show!
Nuremberg is normally a pivotal moment of the year, as the biggest Toy trade show in the world, it’s the place where most Toy people can be found at any one time of the year. Which means huge opportunity for anyone trying to do business in or with this industry.
The relatively recent move to the show’s first day being Wednesday instead of Thursday has seemingly had a very positive impact on the experience and opportunity for international visitors and exhibitors, with more days in which the right people are there to get things done.
This is always the hardest show of all to pick highlights for, as it is nigh on impossible to see anywhere near everything, and even more difficult to distil the product innovations of thousands of exhibitors.
So, because of this, I’m going to present the show from my own experience, and hopefully this way can find some insight/clarity among the gargantuan reams of activity, innovations and people at the show!
The first challenge ahead was the failure of my pedometer to work, really wanted to measure total miles walked during the show, as I’d racked up a suprisingly hefty 33 miles at the much smaller UK show. Subjectively, would be surprising if the distance was not at least double, but guess we’ll have to work that one out next year!
The unique feature of this show from my perspective was my involvement with some of the official events/presentations for the official Spielwarenmesse/Toyfair company. This involvement gave me new insight into the complete professionalism and efficient organisation of those behind putting this show on. When you think about the challenge of dealing with thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees, the mind boggles, but my experience proved to me just why this is a great show every single year – because there is a top team behind organising and arranging it!
I judged the China Toy Award, alongside Mr. Stephan Bercher (Marketing Director at Vedes the German buying group) and Christian Ewert (President & CEO of the ICTI Care Foundation). This process provided good insight into how the industry as a whole encourages Chinese based factories to meet appropriate standards.
There were also two presentations to be delivered. The first was at the Toy Business Forum in Hall 4, the presentation title was “Toys: What Will The Trends Be In 2020″. The presentation seemed to go well, and the audience seemed mildly interested at least (well that is nobody fell asleep)!
I also delivered a presentation as part of the ‘India Day’ on the Saturday. The topic of this presentation was “Is There ‘The’ European Toy Market?’, a topic which is very close to my own interests as a graduate of European Politics, and someone who has spent most of my career working across Europe in the Toy industry. Sadly, by this point I had been talking pretty much non stop for 4 days by the time this presentation came around, so my output may well have been unintelligble! Dread to think what the people in my last two meetings after this presentation thought of my garbled, exhausted patter…(moving swiftly on!).
If anyone is interested in the topic of those 2 presentations, feel free to drop me an email, and I will reply with a copy of the presentation via PDF. When we can get hold of links to video footage of either I’ll post here as soon as I receive.
In terms of product, clearly with over a million products on display, it would not be possible to capture even a small percentage of the totality of product on offer. However, there were several points to observe from my standpoint:
First, Disney Infinity was on display (in a limited form) at the Toys 3.0 exhibition. This really blew me away. Not because of the product functionality, which wasn’t really on show, but more because the ‘sizzler’ promising what is to come made it evidently clear just what an awesome opportunity Disney have to take an amazing array of characters and worlds into digital gaming…can’t wait to see the final thing in action!
Secondly, there were significantly less ‘App’ add on Toys versus last year, but considerably more traditional Toys with an App Brand license on. This trend is surely only going to grow over the net year or two. (Check out www.VirtualWorldLicensing.com for more of our take on this world!).
Thirdly, there is a new annex hall being built towards the East/Ost end of the complex, which means even more exhibitors and products to get round when that’s finished!
Finally, as I trudged away weary on the Saturday evening, I (and hundreds of others who were also starting to drift away) were held captivated by an amazing firework display which, from my perspective when combined with the ‘look inside’ my albeit limited involvement had given me gave me a lasting impression along the lines of ‘WOW – what a show!’
All the best
Steve and team
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