President’s Letter – April 30, 2013: Energize Your Mind at PlayCon

Winter would not loosen its grip on the northern half of the U.S. this year, and only within the past week have we begun to see temperatures in the 60s in NYC. So, all of us will be ready to warm up in Phoenix next week at PlayCon, TIA’s International Conference of Play Professionals (May 6-8).

We are glad to be returning to The Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ for the 2013 iteration of PlayCon.  Judging by the number of registrants so is everyone else – we are up more than 45% from last year in registered attendees. You can view the current list of registrants online.

Our top-notch speakers include toy industry executives that you will want to hear from – including business leaders at companies such as Disney Consumer Products, Toys“R”Us, Pretty Ugly, and Hasbro. Walmart’s Scott McCall (SVP of Toys, Seasonal and Celebrations) will open the conference with a keynote address, and in case you missed our most recent speaker announcement, John Barbour, CEO of Leapfrog Enterprises will share his “LeapFrog success story,” which will include both the peaks and the pitfalls of building an educational entertainment company.  

Exciting new research will also be unveiled at PlayCon, including the results of TIA’s recent Financial and Operating Benchmark Study and the results of a proprietary study on “Toy and Game Decision Making in the U.S.” from The Family Room. The NPD Group will present its much-anticipated domestic and international toy industry update as well. The program is truly one not to be missed … Take a look at the full agenda to learn more.

PlayCon is the only event in the toy industry that brings retailers, manufacturers, licensors, inventors, and reps together in a relaxed environment for an unpressured opportunity to build new relationships.  The PlayCon Committee has put together a stunning program, and in addition we all know that much of the added value of the event comes from the serendipitous encounters with other toy industry executives that result in new business opportunities.

There is still time to register, and although the Hyatt Gainey Ranch is currently sold out, rooms are still available at The Gainey Suites, located within walking distance from the Hyatt (call 480-922-6969 for reservations).

I hope to see you all there!

Warm regards to all,

ckeithley@toyassociation.org