The Toy Business Forum will take place at Spielwarenmesse, featuring experts speaking on current topics affecting the industry such as trends, marketing, digitalization, and more. Presentations for the forum will take place daily from 1 to 3 p.m. from Jan. 31 through Feb. 4 in Hall 3A, and Spielwarenmesse Trends 2018 will be a daily feature of the program.

The first day is devoted to retail trends, the future of play, and global licensing themes. Speakers include Charles Riotto, CEO of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association; New York-based trend expert Reyne Rice, who will talk about trends likely to shape tomorrow’s toy market and the products and manufacturers that are leading the way in innovation; and Dr. Maria Costa, AIJU Centro Tecnológico Valencia. Rice will bring the Toy Business Forum to a close each day with an introduction to the Trends for 2018: Explore Nature, Just for Fun, and Team Spirit.

On Feb. 1, the forum will focus on digitalization. the spotlight will shine on the topic of digitalisation. The opportunities and challenges it poses for the trade will be discussed in the presentation by Dr. Markus Preißner will speak about the opportunities and challenges it poses, and Bernd Albl will present how in-store experiences can be successful.

On Feb. 2, the Toy Business Forum will focus on multi-channeling. focuses on this highly relevant topic. Prof. Hanna Schramm-Klein, chair of marketing at the University of Siegen and an expert in retail marketing, will present a diversity of alternative strategies and their chances of success. Ralf Wendland, managing director of the agency Servicemeisterei, will explain how social media can help manufacturers and retailers to attract new customers.

On Feb. 3, Peter Hollo will focus on how to buy and sell. Gaby Marx will explore how to use emotional competence to sell successfully. The self-employed consultant to the book, stationery, and toy trade demonstrates how lasting customer relationships are key to long-term sales success.

On Feb. 4, all attention at the Toy Business Forum will shift to marketing. Prof. Harald Eichsteller of Stuttgart Media University, will his perspective on marketing trends for toy retailers. Visitors will also learn how to optimize their websites from a marketing point of view from Stefan Sigloch, Klickpiloten GmbH, based in Stuttgart. In “Shopfit for future”, Stefan Suchanek, managing director of interior design studio RaumKunst in Stuttgart, will share tips on creating a high-impact sales space.

The presentations are all interpreted simultaneously into English or German. The full program of events can be found here