This year, we have split the conference section of the Inventors Workshop into two new tracks to make it easier to enjoy insight, discussions and presentations from the inventors, manufacturers, technology companies and funding experts most relevant to you.
The Inventors track of the conference is a programme suited for those starting their journey in the toy industry, boasting educational sessions on elements including funding, toy safety, legalities, retail and pitching.
This track will kick off at 9:30 with a talk from Michael Fuller,head of business affairs at AIM Startups, titled A Beginner's Guide to Funding. The session will showcase what kinds of funding are available to start ups and individuals working in the creative sector of the industry.
"AIM Startups is delighted to be involved in the Inventors Workshop this year," said Fuller.
"New businesses are vital for the creative industries as a whole, and seeing business models reinvented breaths new life into the whole scene. Events like this are so important in correcting assumptions, providing fuel for thought, and giving people a chance to get a glimpse of the wonderful reality of starting a business."
At 9:50, Wendy Philips from The Toy Safety Experts will outline the key points from the new safety legislation and what to bear in mind when bringing your ideas to life in her session on Toy Safety.
Following this at 10:10, Jeremy Morton, partner at Harbottle & Lewis LLP, will be presenting Your Intellectual Property: Ownership, Protection and Exploitation.
“As a partner in the law firm Harbottle & Lewis LLP, specialising in intellectual property, I help businesses large and small to manage issues with brands, copyright and patents," Morton told ToyNews.
"A European Patent Office/OHIM report in 2013 ranked games and toys as the eight most ‘trade mark intensive’ industry sector in Europe, and 11th most design-intensive. The sector is also becoming increasingly hi-tech. It is important for toy and game inventors to understand what rights are protectable and worth protecting, and to build this into good business practice.
"Delegates should gain a basic understanding of what intellectual property rights may protect their toys or games, what to think about in terms of best practice, and what can be done in response to copycats.”
There will be then be a short break before we get back in the swing of things at 10:45 with a panel session looking at What the Retail Sector is Looking For?
This panel, chaired by KidsBrandInsight's Steve Reece will see Argos' toys and nursery trading manager Linzi Walker joined by Toy Hub's Helen Gourley and When I Was a Kid's Paul Warner to discuss what they are looking for from the next hot toy as well as taking questions from the crowd on how best to get their ideas onto shelves.
Following this at 11:25, Trevor Baylis Brands CEO David Bunting will be explaining what preparation should go into perfect pitch and how best to present yourself, and your idea, to companies in The Perfect Pitch.
“I‘m always delighted to talk to people with new and interesting ideas and I like to think that I may be able to help them with advice and suggestions," said Bunting.
"I will be talking about some of our experiences over the last ten years pitching many ideas to a wide range of companies.”
Closing the Inventors Track is the return of the popular How We Made It panel session at 11:45, this time with a new line-up of toy invention royalty.
This panel session, chaired by Hasbro’s director of global gaming acquisition and inventor relations, Dougal Grimes, will see Jenga inventor Leslie Scott, Crazy Cart creator Ali Kermani, LEGO designer Samuel Taylor Johnson, Ooba Toys MD Max Ford and last year’s Workshop success story, Skinny Sketcher designer Gillian Logan share their stories on how they took their first steps within the toy industry.
The conference will be followed by a free lunch and networking session before the One2One pitching sessions kick-off at 13:00.
To book tickets to this year's Inventors Workshop, click here.