The announcement was made yesterday afternoon, during The Toy Association’s annual general meeting, which was held virtually and open to all members.
During his remarks at the annual general meeting, president and CEO of the Toy Association, Steve Pasierb, provided an update on the Toy Fair Reimagination Project, confirming the board’s decision to shift Toy Fair New York to a brand new autumn timeframe. The move and the dates are currently being negotiated for September 2023.
Meanwhile, with the Association reporting strong demand from exhibitors and keen interest from key retail buyers, it has decided to press ahead with this year’s Dallas Fall Toy Show, although the dates will move forward slightly in the calendar – the new dates for the show will be September 20th-22nd. This will be the last time the Dallas show is held, as it will effectively be replaced by the New York event next year.
Posting on LinkedIn, Steve Pasierb revealed additional background details behind the decision: “The Toy Association began a project more than a year ago looking at every aspect of Toy Fair in order to make changes beyond the 2022 show. The Board of Directors, our professional staff, the trade show committee, all have been engaged… also outside experts on trade shows were hired for stakeholder research and their independent perspective. The first rounds of results were reviewed during the November board meeting.
“The headline is that the board has decided Toy Fair is moving to the fall, which meets the prime timing of an evolved and swiftly evolving toy industry. Fall can deliver a powerful pre-holiday opportunity for companies to make product news that matters, something that can’t happen in February. Likewise, access to NYC’s major media and the NY financial community are important to many companies. Fall in NY is particularly appealing to allied industries, including licensing, entertainment and studios not currently part of Toy Fair, but important to the business of toys and now intrigued by potentially joining in.
“Retail buyers tell us they want to do their LA run, hold those key appointments, and depart — not have a Toy Fair elsewhere in LA too. A convention centre versus travelling the freeways to LA showrooms makes those at the convention centre nothing more than stepchildren. In fact, there was little board or major retailer support for anywhere other than NY right now. The board and Trade Show Committee are fully aware and accept some LA-based companies will take a different position in a fall Toy Fair, or use it for other purposes
“What’s more, the move to fall offers new timing and a better place for TOTY. We’re working right now to shift Toy Fair to late September 2023: the move and dates are being negotiated and not yet a given.”
A lively debate has already begun on LinkedIn following the announcement of these changes, and Toy World will continue to monitor the situation over the coming weeks.