Larry Shaw, the founder of Astrojax, played the trend island "Ready, Steady, Play" as his attention-grabbing stage at the Spielwarenmesse® 2019. Well done. Since trade fairs thrive on action. Larry Shaw talks about his experience of speeding up his products and sales.
Spielwarenmesse: What did you like most about joining the TrendGallery?
Larry Shaw: The exposure of being in the Trend Gallery was fantastic! We made connections we probably never would have made otherwise.
Spielwarenmesse: What do you think do exhibitors benefit most from when participating in the TrendGallery for participating exhibitors?
Larry Shaw: People come to visit the Trend Gallery with an open mind, ready to see something new and exciting. And having been chosen brings a lot of prestige and credibility. So you do make connections that just wouldn’t have happened at another spot. I actually can’t imagine a better forum for presenting the new version of Astrojax.
You took part in 2019 with your product in the “Ready, Steady, Play” trend island. What preparations did you make for joining the Trend Gallery most efficient?
Larry Shaw: I made sure to get in touch with the Trend Gallery staff before the show to understand how the Trend Gallery works. We discussed how best to present Astrojax there, which was very helpful.
What influence had your participation in the trend islands on your overall success at the Spielwarenmesse® 2019?
Larry Shaw: Being in the Trend Gallery put our Spielwarenmesse 2019 “over the top”! It would have been a good show anyways, but being in the Trend Gallery made it a great show for us.
There's a lot of science in Astrojax's three balls on a string. They have even been the subject of research on nonlinear dynamics and chaos. Astrojax walks the delicate balance between simplicity and complexity. How do you present your products at the trade fair under these conditions?
Larry Shaw: A wonderful thing about Astrojax is that it can be appreciated on so many different levels. Most people can immediately enjoy doing just the basic orbits. Then you can advance into simple tricks, and with a little dedication you can advance into more sophisticated tricks. And play at all those levels can be enjoyed without being aware that what you are actually enjoying is fundamentally very scientific. But for those who are interested in science and education, there is a universe of science involved. Because Astrojax is so open ended and the possibilities are so vast, it is definitely a challenge to convey the scope of the possibilities. That’s why we call Astrojax “The Free-Dimensional Orbiter.”
The Astrojax Weave has hand-made, fair trade crocheted balls with environmentally-friendly recycled cork stuffing. Did you notice that buyers and retailers focus more on sustainable products today?
Larry Shaw: There is definitely increasing awareness of the importance of environmentally- and socially-responsible products. I am heartened by the increasing consciousness about these issues, and yet it is frustrating to see the extent to which a lack of consciousness remains and how far we have still to go. So that is part of our mission as a greater-responsibility business ... to not just make products in an environmentally and socially responsible way, but to educate consumers about the importance of supporting such efforts by voting with their dollars. We have seen that people do respond really positively to the fact that we make a beautiful product in a beautiful way when we have the opportunity to explain what the product is and how we make it.
Thank you very much for speaking with us, Larry.
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