Toy Industry Leaders Praise Annual Business Conference

June 24, 2019 | Leaders of the global toy and play community praised The Toy Association’s Annual Business Conference, where hundreds of toy and youth entertainment industry executives gathered last week in Minneapolis, MN, to hear insights on critical industry issues affecting their businesses.

Conference-goers attended seminars and workshops throughout the two-day event, where they heard from experts and seasoned executives on pressing topics such as the latest on the U.S.-China trade war and impending tariffs; key finance and credit issues faced by toymakers; protecting IP rights and brands from counterfeits; the future of retail, licensing, digital marketing, sustainability, branding, importing, and product innovation presented by Target; and influencer marketing.

“I appreciate the amount of information, learning opportunities, and general knowledge that the meeting presented and I wish we could have brought more of our team to the event!” said Merle Saddick, senior sales and operations manager for North America at Magformers. “The Association continues to do a great job of addressing critical industry issues and members should certainly be grateful that the team is comprised of so many dedicated and skilled professionals.”  

Added session presenter Dennis Cantalupo, president of Pulse Ratings and partner at Riemer+: “Everything was top-notch including a great group of attendees, professional venue, unique dinner location, and the attention to detail in the meeting rooms. Great work and thank you for all of your support!”

While in Minneapolis, several toy industry executives and Toy Association staff spoke with local media about the looming issue of tariffs on toys. Steve Pasierb, The Toy Association’s president and CEO, Michael Rinzler, co-founder and president of Wicked Cool Toys, and Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun!, were interviewed by CBS in Minneapolis – the clip was also syndicated to affiliate CBS stations in Memphis, TN and Baton Rouge, LA. In addition, Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs, spoke with the St. Paul Pioneer Press as well as FOX Business Network and Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs, gave a radio interview to KNSI's “Ox in the Afternoon.”

“More than 250 professionals from a diverse range of member companies gave the Annual Business Conference an energy and forward-thinking vibe while delivering answers on how to win in our industry’s rapidly changing environment,” Pasierb said. “Not only has this forum evolved into the premier annual gathering for toy professionals, television and print media coverage carried our message against tariffs on toys well beyond Minnesota. All in all, ABC Minneapolis and our partnership with Target was a huge success.”

Want to learn more about The Toy Association’s upcoming events? Visit the website or subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, Toy News Tuesday.