Spielwarenmesse: Behind the scenes: KnowHow for the whole toy market

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Movers & shakers

Behind the scenes: KnowHow for the whole toy market

from Spielwarenmesse eG

The Spielwarenmesse eG team works all year long to organise the biggest event in the toy industry. Part 2 of this series is devoted to the marketing team and its preparations.

Just a few weeks after each Spielwarenmesse®, the some 50-person organising team at Spielwarenmesse eG will have already come up with fresh ideas for the next event. Now it’s all about bringing them to life. This is no easy feat – after all, topics of importance to two target groups, exhibitors and trade visitors, have to be defined and implemented. “Thanks to our long-standing experience and worldwide networking, we know the global markets very well. Fortunately, the industry trusts us”, said Christian Ulrich, Director Marketing at Spielwarenmesse eG. And he’s right. 90 % of exhibitors return each year. Visitor numbers increased noticeably in 2014.

These prove that the interplay between the industry and the trade fair organisers works. This starts right with the Spielwarenmesse® involving its exhibitors and visitors in topic selection. “While the trade fair is ongoing, we use surveys to find out what the toy sector is interested in. This is the only way to ensure we are effectively supporting it”, explained Ulrich. This is a massive undertaking in an exhibition space covering 170,000 m2, with some 2,800 exhibitors and more than 75,000 visitors bustling about.

Information and knowledge all the year

With its promotional areas, knowledge offerings and events, Spielwarenmesse eG demonstrates that it can do more than simply offer stand space to exhibitors. The organising team has continuously enhanced the trade fair programme and created both a network and a knowledge programme with which it can support its exhibitors and visitors all year round. “Through newsletters, email campaigns and personal visits we remain in contact with trade and industry after the trade fair as well”, explained Ulrich. The marketing team also runs several websites, Facebook accounts and a Twitter and a YouTube channel. The marketing experts work on the daily industry news and topics for the online magazine as well.

“Our online activities keep industry players informed about what is going on in global markets and allow them to stay in contact with us and each other. These activities pretty much function as a year-round extension of the trade fair”, explained Ulrich. “Networking is the be-all and end-all of our sector and truly the elixir of life for a B2B platform like the Spielwarenmesse.”

Lots of work is involved in all of the toy know-how offered at the Spielwarenmesse®. “The editorial work has really increased, so we now cooperate with a whole team of trend experts all over the world”, summarised Ulrich. These and other experts give presentations during the trade fair at the Toy Business Forum and also contribute articles to the blog in the toy magazine.

A trade fair that is also fun

ToyAward Jury Meeting

However, the Spielwarenmesse® is known for being more than just a pool of information. It is also considered a promoter of the sector and acts as a link between manufacturers, retailers and end consumers. For example, the coveted ToyAward helps guide retailers and consumers. “When companies submit their products for the ToyAward, our company headquarters turns into a colourful toy town. All of the offices are filled to the brim with toys and the team comes together to build them and try them out.”

As you can see, the Spielwarenmesse® organisers are well in the game when the trade fair opens its doors. So it’s no coincidence that they light up the nights of the trade fair just as well as the days. This is demonstrated by the numerous events, such as the opening ceremony and ToyNight, which take place during the Spielwarenmesse®. “When all is said and done, the trade fair has to be fun as well”, summarised Christian Ulrich.

In the third part of the series you get know how the team prepares for the biggest toy market event several days before the fair opens its gates.

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