EDITOR’S COMMENT: Workshop highlights

In a similar vein to Hot Chocolate’s 1982 smash hit, when ever asked about last year’s Inventor’s Workshop, one phrase leaps to mind: It started with a…honk.

For those of you present at the 2015 event, you will know only too well that we don’t mean the whiff of an unfortunate bowel movement; the result of a ill chosen breakfast menu.

Moreover, we mean the formidable honking sound that rang through the corridors of Whittlebury Hall last September to signal the start (and end) of what has been described by many delegates as the ‘most intense fifteen minutes of your life’.

The one to one pitching sessions in which we put you the inventors in front of some of the industry’s leading toy manufacturers have been picked out as just one of the highlights of the 2015 Inventors Workshop.

And based on feedback from delegates and toys firms alike, last year’s event was another major success, so much so that we have decided to run with it again.

But before we divulge any more information on that front, it’s only right we recap on what the 2015 event had to offer.

We’re talking saucy tales of the origins of Jenga, fascinating insight on cracking the toy industry from the brains behind some of the world’s most iconic toys and the sight of Andrew Harman dressed head to toe in the Yay Games uniform, running the length of Whittlebury Hall.

Until you’ve seen all that, you really haven’t lived, and it wasn’t by chance that the Inventors Workshop had it all under one roof.

Both the Inventors track and the Industry track conferences managed to provoke some fascinating tales and great insight into the industry, while, the pitching sessions made for a truly fascinating afternoon and seemed to hit the spot with both our inventors and toy manufacturers.

“It’s so difficult to talk to the big companies like Hasbro and Ooba,” said one delegate. “This is almost like a key to getting into the door. Getting to pitch to them is an amazing opportunity.”

An exciting day for all – punctuated by the now haunting sound of that dreaded horn – many have applauded the adrenaline fuelled, fast paced nature of the pitching sessions, including Geoff Eagles of Tosspot Games, who may or may not have had his own agenda.

“It’s like speed dating,” he puffs. “Only, with speed.”

While we can’t testify for Geoff’s whereabouts the entire day, we can assure potential attendees of Inventors Workshop 2016 that all personal tastes are met with an open mind.

If you – like many of the ToyNews team – are struggling to remember the day in full, then check out our Inventors Workshop 2015 video, that should stir up a few memories.

And yes, the Inventors Workshop will be back this year, and we are already hard at work putting together a full morning conference session and afternoon sessions.

Inventors Workshop 2016 will be back on Tuesday, September 20th.

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