Source: Spielwarenmesse/the Toy Book

Ernst Kick, CEO of Spielwarenmesse, chatted with the Toy Book about the company’s summer exhibition plans, digital initiatives, and more in this year’s State of the Industry Q&A.

The Toy Book: With major toy fair shifts due to the pandemic, how has Spielwarenmesse pivoted to connect buyers and manufacturers on a global scale?
Ernst Kick: As the world’s leading trade fair, we have a great responsibility to the toy industry. Fortunately, we were still able to hold Spielwarenmesse successfully in 2020. Just after the event, we were suddenly faced with completely new challenges.

Even before the pandemic, our trade fair participants had the opportunity to keep in touch with the toy industry all year round both on our website and our Spielwarenmesse app. We are planning on bringing international independent retailers and buyers together with more than 300 companies from around the world. At Spielwarenmesse BrandNew, participating suppliers are presenting more than 4,000 innovations on our channels, giving them the chance, despite the pandemic, to unveil their innovations to the global toy market on our highly frequented website, our social media channels, and in the Spielwarenmesse newsletter — all at the perfect time for placing orders.

TB: What are Spielwarenmesse’s key initiatives this year?
EK: We have set the goal of gaining a more profound understanding of the digital opportunities that we have been exploring in recent months so that we can link them to the analog world more usefully. This will enable us to expand our information offering and bring the industry closer together. Having a far-sighted view of the marketplace is more important than ever for all industry participants — even though nothing can replace the personal interaction of a fair. We still believe that trade fairs are indispensable in forging new and strengthening existing business contacts. Besides the aspect of face-to-face communication, our event also offers a unique diversity of products that visitors can view with all their senses, as well as creative retail ideas and valuable expertise.

The postponement of the fair until July means that our preparations for the Spielwarenmesse 2021 Summer Edition are now in full flow. The health and safety of our participants is our top priority in everything we do. We are constantly adapting the detailed health and hygiene concept devised in collaboration with the relevant health authorities to the latest regulations. Our international exhibitors, trade visitors, buyers, and media representatives are already looking forward to experiencing Nuremberg in the warmer summer months. We are responding to their needs and are introducing new ideas to ensure that all attendees have a wonderful live experience at the show from July 20-24. There is so much to feel excited about!

This State of the Industry Q&A response was originally published in the February 2021 edition of the Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue!