Eventprofs in Toyland

As the Toy Fair gears up for its 64th show, EN hits the playground with head of ops and sales Majen Immink to talk business

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Toy-Fair-new-resized.jpg

From Trivial Pursuit and the Jibber Jabber, to Action Man and the Cabbage Patch Dolls – the Toy Fair has seen it all through the decades.

 

The size and content of the show has changed over the years, growing and developing as the toy market has evolved.

 

While the fair was celebrating its 40th birthday in 1993, Barbie and Action Man were also blowing out their birthday cake candles, celebrating their 35th and 27th birthdays respectively.

 

The show, organised by the British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA), continues to showcase the big name manufacturers and retailers as well as championing the entrepreneurs and independent smaller companies.

 

“Being the only dedicated toy, game and hobby show in the UK is what is key to the show’s success over the years,” Majen Immink, Toy Fair head of ops and sales at BTHA tells EN. “It’s about getting the right retailers rather than necessarily increasing our numbers and we feel as the key trade show for the toy industry, we get the right people there, as well as other members of the wider industry.”

 

Traditionally a domestic show, with almost 90 per cent of visitors and exhibitors UK-based, the Toy Fair opened its doors to European manufacturers in 1960 and encourages more international visitors from the likes of Europe, USA and Asia.

 

“With the BTHA representing the interests of British toy manufacturers and to raise standards of practice in the industry, the show itself is about creating that platform for retailers and manufacturers to meet as well as generally industry networking all under one roof,” Immink says.

 

The profits of the fair are ploughed directly back into the workings of the association to ensure that members and the industry continue to benefit from the work that the association does.

 

In 2017, the show will be supporting KidsOut for the second year as the show’s official charity partner.

 

“We run a trolley dash at the end of the final day where exhibitors can donate products to the charity that goes direct to helping disadvantaged children and families,” Immink adds.

 

With more than 250 exhibiting companies ranging from the large renowned brands through to smaller start up companies, the sold-out show spans 22,000sqm at Olympia London with visitors such as John Lewis, Argos, Toys R Us, through to smaller independent toyshops. While the show has changed venues and name over the years, the main attractions, Immink explains, have remained the exhibitors.

 

“When it comes to the Toy Fair, it’s a pretty fantastic looking show thanks to the exhibitors and their contractors. The stands that they create are visually spectacular and it creates a great platform for them to promote their products from.”

 

A key part of the Toy Fair is the greenhouse area, located in the middle of the show on the ground level.

 

“It’s been going for about 12 years now and is a hub of smaller stands. It’s a zone where we entice entrepreneurs and smaller companies,” says Immink.

 

“It creates a bit of a buzz for them where they’re among like minded individuals looking to break into the industry and equally for visitors, it’s become recognised as an area to go to where you might uncover an entrepreneur with really exciting innovative products.”

 

Interestingly, the value of the market when the show started was around £85m, compared to today which is just over £3bn. It’s fair to say that the show and toy market has come a long way.

 

Toy Fair takes place on 24-26 January 2017 at Olympia London.

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Ripping up the rule book

Automechanika is a well-known global brand, so what happened when it launched in the UK?

Going all out

Lee Moulson, regional head of sales at Cheltenham Racecourse and the South West region of The Jockey Club, says seeing a client’s beaming smile cannot be bettered.

Ireland’s leading Exhibition Organiser is looking for a new leader

SDL Exhibitions Ltd has been organising highly successful exhibitions in Europe’s fast growing economy for over 40 years and the proprietors wish to step back from the day to day running of the business.

Elsewhere on EN

UFI and Explori sign three-year partnership

UFI and Explori sign three-year partnership

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has signed a three-year research partnership deal with London based insight specialists, Explori.
Media 10 summer party gives back to the community

Media 10 summer party gives back to the community

On 30 June, local pensioners were invited to a morning of live entertainment and high tea put on by Media10, with a fundraising initiative supporting charity War Child and a rare Spitfire performance.
Major new event campus coming to Newcastle Gateshead

Major new event campus coming to Newcastle Gateshead

A new multi million pound, state-of-the-art entertainment arena, and conference and exhibition centre is set for the North East, as plans by Gateshead Council push forward.

Poken by GES

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
Come to Confex and be inspired

Come to Confex and be inspired

The exhibition and events industry is all about the power of face-to-face, the art of exhibiting and networking with old friends and new, which is why EN would like to personally invite you to attend International Confex to learn more.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.

Latest News

UFI and Explori sign three-year partnership

UFI and Explori sign three-year partnership

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has signed a three-year research partnership deal with London based insight specialists, Explori.
Media 10 summer party gives back to the community

Media 10 summer party gives back to the community

On 30 June, local pensioners were invited to a morning of live entertainment and high tea put on by Media10, with a fundraising initiative supporting charity War Child and a rare Spitfire performance.
Major new event campus coming to Newcastle Gateshead

Major new event campus coming to Newcastle Gateshead

A new multi million pound, state-of-the-art entertainment arena, and conference and exhibition centre is set for the North East, as plans by Gateshead Council push forward.

Latest Galleries

East of England Arena and Events Centre open day

East of England Arena and Events Centre open day

Following a refurbishment, rebrand and £4.4m investment, the East of England Arena and Events centre opened to event professionals on 21 June to explains developments at the venue and provide an insight into future plans. Guests were also treated to a once in a lifetime experience in various classic cars and more unusual vehicles.
London Dungeon Lates

London Dungeon Lates

The London Dungeons has launched a unique nighttime experience with the theme of the seven deadly sins. The adults only tour includes seven themed food offerings and a range of themed drinks.
This Morning Live

This Morning Live

Tens of thousands of fans descended on the NEC on 18-21 May for This Morning Live, to see talent from ITVs award-winning daytime programme arrive in style.

Latest Opinions

Going all out

Going all out

Lee Moulson, regional head of sales at Cheltenham Racecourse and the South West region of The Jockey Club, says seeing a client’s beaming smile cannot be bettered.
In any event...

In any event...

In his regular column, David Chalmers, Cvent ’s senior marketing director – Europe, speculates on the fate of the large trade show.
Ticking all the boxes

Ticking all the boxes

Paul Edwards, operations director at deckle edge, examines the minefield that is health and safety.