PlayCon 2018: A Successful Two Days of Idea Generation & Networking

May 15, 2018 | More than 150 toy and play professionals gathered in San Francisco, CA last week at PlayCon, The Toy Association’s International Conference for Play Professionals, to engage with some of the most innovative thought leaders and influencers today.

“From a new conference format to a vibrant host city, the new PlayCon was a big success,” said Marian Bossard, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association. “The diverse speaker line up – all of whom provided impactful content and were outstanding to listen to – reaffirms that The Toy Association is fulfilling the responsibility we have to members to be a knowledge network for them.”

Presenters shared insightful commentary on a variety of trending topics to inspire toy, play, and youth entertainment executives to find their next big idea during short “TED Talk”-like sessions. Featured speakers and executives came from notable companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Disney Channels Worldwide, The Marketing Store, Activision Blizzard, The NPD Group, Trend Hunter, and more. The Toy Association also hosted a free open forum for industry professionals prior to PlayCon’s official opening that focused on how toy companies can succeed despite bankruptcies, retail disruption, and a changing marketplace.

Attendees came away from the conference motivated and brimming with ideas.

“It was exciting to hear Google and Amazon and other futurists talk about how they approach their business,” said Steve Starobinsky, chief marketing officer of Diverse Marketing, a boutique sales and marketing firm in Dallas, TX. Noting that his favorite session featured YouTube sensations Dan and Lincoln Markham and Bottle Rocket CEO Chas Lacaillade, “it is really important for [the toy industry] to embrace new marketing and new media and to understand that it’s worth the investment, if you can match your brand DNA to the right influencer,” Starobinsky said.

Bossard added: “The conference touched on a myriad of topics that toy companies should consider as they plan for the future, but also addressed issues that are on the minds of our members at this crucial time in the industry. The success of this year’s PlayCon provides an opening to look at ways on how we can expand the brand in the future.”

Visit The Toy Association’s website for more information on upcoming events.