Toy market developments, coming retail trends and the onslaught of digitisation will all be up for discussion at the upcoming Spielwarenmesse toy fair next January as the show finalises it Toy Business Forum and TrendGallery line-up.
A multitude of topics directly affecting the global toy business will be covered over the course of the week-long show, running from January 29 to February 2 next year, while international speakers will bring trade visitors up to speed on each, every day between 1pm and 3pm.
In addition to this, the LicenseTalks from Wednesday to Saturday will shed light on the licensing business. The talks are free of charge and are interpreted simultaneously into English or German.
Trends in the toy industry
Day one of Spielwarenmesse will see the Toy Business Forum get under way with the trend talks. International expert Reyne Rice (USA) reveals what is new in the world of toys, games and technology for children. She will be followed by Clara Blasco of the AIJU Technological Institute for Children´s Products & Leisure in Spain who will delve into the topic of sustainability.
Blasco will discuss the impact of sustainability on the industry and the business opportunities it could generate, while Richard Gottlieb from the US will look at shifts in the toy industry and how to adapt to them successfully.
On Thursday, January 30, attention will move to change management. Technological progress and shifting consumer habits are fundamentally affecting the retail trade.
In his talk “Decide for yourself – before others decide for you”, keynote speaker Stefan Hagen, business coach and consultant, encourages attendees to embrace change. Dr. Dorothea Hartmann of system worx in Munich is an expert in team and organisational development, corporate culture and strategy. In her presentation, she will share her knowledge on companies undergoing change.
Digitalisation in the spotlight
Friday will be devoted to digitalisation. As team leader of strategic insights at IFH Köln, Mailin Schmelter evaluates the opportunities and risks of applying digital tools to everyday business practices.
Subsequently, Caroline Zöller will outline new worlds of experience offered by visual communication in the digital age. In his talk entitled “Holographic Storytelling”, Kevin Proesel of Saint Elmo’s Group in Berlin illustrates how mixed, virtual and augmented reality can shape new opportunities for presenting products and creating memorable shopping experiences.
Retail in a state of flux
On the Saturday, February 1, the focus will shift to retail. While Theresa Schleicher, managing director of VORN Strategy Consulting, introduces the networked retail trends of tomorrow, Andreas Bork of Finc3 Commerce GmbH, Hamburg, will explore the impact of e-commerce on pricing.
Sales expert Sandra Schubert acknowledges that digitalisation is changing buying behaviour. Her “Happy Sales” solution consists in delighting customers.
New marketing ideas
An overview of current trends and approaches in the world of marketing will feature in Sunday’s presentations. Ralf Wendland of servicemeisterei will use practical examples to show which trends are likely to influence the toy industry in the future.
Attracting customers through the so-called “Aha Effect” is the remit of Dr. Michael Gerharz. Finally, Michael Lorenz of consultancy grow.up Management explores how toys are used differently by the younger generation.
The complete programme and information on the speakers and talks can be found at www.spielwarenmesse.de/en/toybusinessforum.