If Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair has one problem, it is finding space for all the companies which would like to exhibit there.
And it’s not as if it’s a small, boutique kind of show either. The 2012 event attracted over 2,776 exhibitors from 62 countries, with 68 per cent from outside of Germany, while visitors numbered 76,055 from 120 countries. The amount of UK attendees has also been steadily growing – they numbered 1,929 in 2012, 1,962 in 2011 and 2,155 in 2012. Notably, the UK is the fourth largest country in terms of attendance outside of Germany, following Italy, France and the Netherlands.
British participation from an exhibiting point of view also continues to grow. In 2012, 153 British companies exhibited, 30 of them within the British Pavilion administered by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. 2013 will see the Pavilion swell to 35 firms, with the number of Brits taking independent stands is 125. These will include Carte Blanche, Activision, Fiesta Crafts, Golden Bear, Goldfish & Bison, Hornby, Mookie, Plum Products, Sambro, Kiddimoto, Smiffy’s, The Puppet Company, Trends UK, Underground Toys and Worlds Apart to name just a few.
Looking ahead to 2013, the organisers have calculated that no less than a million products are on display at the fair, a large proportion of them completely new to market.
“We always want the Spielwarenmesse to provide the best possible environment for manufacturers and traders to meet and do business,” Ernst Kick, CEO of Spielwarenmesse eG, explains to ToyNews.
“Additionally, we want to ensure that the fair provides ideas and information, increases knowledge and represents a platform for everyone in the toy business to be inspired for the future. During the summer and autumn this year, my colleagues and I travelled the world in order to provide a personal introduction to the Spielwarenmesse. In 20 countries from Argentina to New Zealand, we spoke to buyers, manufacturers and journalists, presenting to them the themes of the 2013 show and learning what their concerns and interests are in the toy industry.
“We also have representatives in 90 countries, all encouraging buyers to visit Nuremberg.”
The theme of the 2013 event is Toys 3.0 The Next Generation, with a 300 square metre interaction area created by the central entrance, where exhibitors can present and demonstrate ‘iToys’
and appcessories. “Our children do not know a world without the internet,” Kick continues.
“They are growing up with a digital confidence and understanding, and possess more and more multimedia gadgets. Consequently, producers are adapting and developing their toys electronically to provide further entertainment. Toys are not being so much replaced, but enhanced with new play functions. This is an exciting development which provides traders with new sales arguments, which we hope to highlight.”
Other new additions will include a refurbishment of Hall 12.2, with the permanent stands having been enhanced by a new lighting installation; the Toy Business Forum will now devote a full day to licensing; while an additional hall is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2014. It is likely that the new hall will be devoted to a single sector of the industry, although this has yet to be announced.
Back to 2013 though, and Kick is keen to point out that Nuremberg is a huge networking opportunity, and actually saves time. “If managers and directors wanted to meet all the people during the year who they meet in Nuremberg, they would spend a fortune in time and travel costs.
Also, the knowledge gained during the fair regarding trends and market developments underpin future decision making.”
Crucially for Kick and his team, there are some 800 exhibitors which are not represented at any other toy fair – a massive selling point for Nuremberg. “You cannot find such a vast, high quality range of products and services at any other trade fair for the industry,” he concludes.
THE UK CONTINGENT
There are 35 companies exhibiting in the British Pavilion in 2013, a dedicated area for British firms, organised by Birmingham Commerce and Industry, while the number of UK firms with independent stands is 125.
UK companies exhibiting at Nuremberg include:
- 50 Fifty
- Aurora World
- Carte Blanche Group ICasdon
- Character World
- Cheatwell Games
- Fiesta Crafts
- Goldfish & Bison
- Insect Lore
- Keel Toys
- Le Toy Van
- Manhattan Toy
- Plum Products
- Rainbow Designs
- The Puppet Company
- Underground Toys
- Winning Moves
- Worlds Apart
WHY SHOULD I GO?
Patt Expo’s Roger Sherman explains why British companies should make the trip to Spielwarenmesse in 2013
“If you are involved in any aspect of the selling or promotion of toys – retailing, wholesaling, online, licensing, merchandising – you can be pretty sure that most of your competitors will already be there.
It is the largest and most international toy fair for the trade in the world – statistics are elsewhere in this feature – and provides an astonishingly informative global view of the current state of the toy industry. Despite its size, the show is remarkably user friendly, with its 17 halls separately devoted to different sectors of the trade – model railways, plush toys, wooden toys, party articles, stationery, baby and infant articles.
Don’t be concerned that you will be isolated and friendless during your visit.
The British Pavilion in Hall 12 – with its 35 companies – will always offer you a welcoming drink in its smart lounge, and much business is done there, sometimes unexpectedly!
You will meet many traders with similar interests to yours.
If you look at www.toyfair.de, the online catalogue (which is available now on the same website) gives you the opportunity to arrange appointments before you arrive.
Sometimes the smaller retailer finds it difficult to attend these shows, which is why a special one- day/one night visit has been arranged for February 3rd and 4th. Call Baxter Hoare Travel on 020 7940 6271.
Please make every effort to attend the show – it really is an education.”
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