Toy Fair tell all...

The Toy Fair takes place this January at Olympia London

Toy Fair tell all...

Jan 2017

Are you looking to launch a new exhibition? Majen Immink, Head of Operations and Sales for Toy Fair shares excellent advice, plus her experiences in Marketing and the key advantage of working closely with a trade association...

Research, research, research
"It would seem like an obvious thing to say, but research your market through and through. It is key to understand what your target audience need and want and ensure you deliver in line with their expectations. Also manage your own expectations- a launch show is never going to be perfect, but you will learn a lot from which to make improvements. Factors such as the venue/location and timings can be the difference between success and failure so it’s important to weigh up all options and combinations. Studying other shows as a benchmark can also teach you a lot and give you some useful ideas or even help you to avoid pitfalls. Imagining every eventuality in advance can help you to prepare for all outcomes, good, bad and ugly.

Taking a customer-centric view
"Depending on budget, when launching a brand new show, PR support can be money very well spent to ensure your brand is marketed and presented in the best possible light and in worst case scenarios you have a contingency plan for crisis management. I would say my marketing and PR gave me a good foundation to enter the role with a rounded approach beyond just the pure operational aspect of running the show. Although my job is to ensure that all aspects of operations come together (with the help of an extensive team) to create the best possible platform for our exhibitors to market their products to retailers, it is also crucial to recognise any changes in the industry and the role that the event plays within the current market. Consequently, it is very much an evolutionary process, and hence key to continuously take on feedback in order to make improvements, provide added value and ensure that the event aligns with what exhibitors and visitors expect and need. Working in PR previously has taught me to keep on my toes at all times, to adapt and implement necessary changes (whether small or significant) for the benefit of the brand and exhibitors, and to deal calmly with any potential crises we may face."

Working with partners? Ensure both brands are kept aligned
"The BTHA owns the Toy Fair and first opened the show’s doors in Brighton in 1954. The original objective was to create a platform for toy manufacturers, distributors and retailers to do business as well as being a forum for the whole industry to come together and network. Despite changes in size, venues and exhibitors over the years, this today still remains the fundamental function of the event. Being owned by the association means that we have the benefit of continuous consultation with our members to ensure that we are remaining current. In addition, the profits from the event are ploughed straight back into the working of the association which aside from Toy Fair includes an extensive public affairs programme, toy safety guidance, environmental matters and charitable work, all of which are designed to benefit members, promote the value of play and to maintain the highest standards of practice within the industry."

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