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My First Toy Fair

Carla Silvestrone

My First Toy Fair by Carla Silvestrone on March 6th, 2019

Walking into the Javits Center for Toy Fair New York was like walking into an amusement park for the first time. There was so much to see and I had such an overwhelming feeling of joy, excitement and nostalgia. I truly felt like a kid again, except this is my career!

 

Walking into the exhibition space, there is booth after booth with the newest characters, figures, and toys. Seeing all of the new toys and trends made me wish these items were around when I was a kid! It was surreal being in a room filled with the best of the best in the toy industry.

 

My four days at Toy Fair were a fast track opportunity to network with some amazing influencers and media. I was able to talk through strategy face-to-face with clients from different time zones, and work with buyers and media to show them the latest and greatest from our client booth space!

Toy Fair New York was an opportunity to put my PR skills to the test and showcase key communication elements, often times, in front of a camera without warning.

Here are the top things I learned from my first trade show:

  1. Early bird catches the worm!
    It is best to set multiple alarms and arrive early! This way, you can grab breakfast, a big cup of coffee and be ready to start the day with tons of energy.
  2. Demonstrations are key
    Having the opportunity to represent our clients at trade shows means driving traffic to their booths! Do what you can to catch attention of those walking by. They might not know that you have the coolest product to show!
  3. Hone in on key messages
    When you’re being asked a series of questions that may seem unfamiliar, stick to what you know!
  4. Have your business cards handy
    Not only your own, but your clients’ as well! The show itself is so fast-paced, that communication after the fact helps sort out all the details that the booth-visitors didn’t have time to talk about at that time.
  5. Always be on the ball
    There are phones and cameras everywhere, it’s best to try and keep your hands busy and be smiling at all times (even if your feet really hurt!).
  6. Breathe.
    Don’t be nervous! Showcase what you are there to sell and have a conversation. It’s important to take breaks, breathe and remain calm.
  7. Have Fun! — It’s Toy Fair, after all.