Toy Fair 2021: BTHA will create ‘strong platform and safe and secure environment’

The British Toy and Hobby Association has outlined its number one aim to ‘create another strong platform’ for the industry to do successful business in a ‘safe and secure environment’ as it issues its latest update on Toy Fair 2021.

Underpinning the latest developments for the show, set to take place next January at London’s Olympia, is an emphasis on the health and safety measures that will be implemented across the venue, including those adopted to facilitate social distancing and hygiene.

A full Exhibitor Manual with show guidelines, rules and regulations, and full supplier contact info will be published in September this year, but the organising body has reminded the industry that it is available in the meantime to answer questions with the most current information that it has.

The BTHA has also encouraged exhibitors already signed up for Toy Fair 2021 and now planning to start designing their show stands to contact the industry body before hand in order to equip themselves with the latest information on doing so.

Majen Immink, director of fairs and special events, issued the official update on the show Thursday evening. The update read:

The events industry during this period has been somewhat at a standstill with much of the industry furloughed. We have been watching the developments every step of the way and talking to relevant partners and stakeholders as much as possible to keep informed.

Our number one aim is to create another strong platform for the industry to do successful business within a safe and secure environment. 

At the end of July, after much campaigning from the Events industry, the PM announced in quite a low-key way that business events, including exhibitions, would be given a ‘go live’ date of October 1st. This is ‘conditional’ however and subject to a series of caveats including: a stable climate, no increase in the R rate, ‘test and trace’ being operational and a series of pilot events later this month to put the new health and safety measures into practice.

We are awaiting further updates both from the venue and the government- the guidelines are subject to change at any point, so we are keeping a keeping a keen eye on developments as well as being in close contact with our key contractors. Currently there are some parts of the government guidelines including the number of people permitted in the halls at any one time that has caused concern across the events industry and is therefore still being discussed and determined. 

The full Exhibitor Manual with show guidelines, rules and regs, and full supplier contact info will be published in September, but we are here in the meantime to answer questions as best as we can with the information we currently have.

We know that most exhibitors will not start designing their stand until the autumn and this we advise would be sensible this year given that the guidelines on what is and isn’t permitted is not yet finalised and is potentially subject to change.

Any exhibitors starting to think about stand design please do contact us if you wish to discuss any of the H&S measures outlined in the attached document. All Exhibitor Risk Assessments/Method Statements must ultimately demonstrate that you have thought about and taken steps to mitigate risks through means of social distancing, protection and hygiene. 

We are also awaiting an Olympia guidance document based on these government standards that is not yet complete.

We have been working on the floor plans which are progressing well, as you will know we have switched from the West to the National Hall as well as retaining the Grand Hall. We will be utilising a second entrance on Hammersmith Road (direct access into the National) to help alleviate crowd build up on Olympia Way.

As you will be aware, we extended the deadline this year for liability for the full cost of your stand from July 1st to September 1st. Balance invoices as normal will be issued on October 1st.

We are aware with government guidelines for exhibitions potentially open to change given the climate, at this point we would ask you to consider if there are major changes to your booking and your stand size to notify us of likely changes prior to September 1st. 

However, we are of course as always keen to treat our exhibitors fairly and reasonably as we have always done and would work closely and sensitively in response to either changes in the current situation or changes in your stand design requirements after that date.

In the undesired case of a general cancellation of the Toy Fair as a result of conditions resulting from Covid-19 forcing such a cancellation, we would not of course add to your disappointment and would reimburse all monies received for stand space payments.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

Check Also

TRENDS INSIGHT: KI’s Gary Pope on the power of nostalgia

When times are tough, we – much like hermit crabs – like to return to …