2015 Program-at-a-Glance

PlayCon’s educational program is jam-packed with industry leaders, innovators, influencers and movers and shakers from the business of play and beyond.

Session times and speakers are subject to change.

Wednesday, April 29

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. TIA Executive Committee Meeting, Hyatt Boardroom
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. TIF Board of Trustees, Markland Boardroom

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

TIA and TIF Board Lunch, Arroyo CD

12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

TIA Board Meeting, Dunes AB

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

PlayCon Concierge & Registration, Arizona West Booth

6:00 p.m.

Welcome Dinner & Casino Night Fundraiser in support of the Toy Industry Foundation, Terrace Court

Thursday, April 30

7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. PlayCon Concierge & Registration, Arizona West Booth

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Networking Breakfast, South Foyer/Garden

8:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

PlayCon Sessions, Arizona Ballroom

Bob Wann, Chair, PlayCon Committee & CEO, Patch Products

State of the Industry
Carter Keithley, President & CEO, TIA; John Gessert, Chairman, TIA & President/CEO, American Plastic Toys, Inc. & Steve Pasierb, President & CEO, TIA

Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas
Jeremy Gutsche, Founder, The TrendHunter.com

Millennial Mom – What Makes Her Special?
Marinn Jackson, Sr. VP, Strategic Accounts & Sujata Luther, Sr. VP, Consumer Insights, Nickelodeon Group, Viacom Media Networks

10:20 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. Refreshment Break
Sponsored by FreemanFreeman
10:35 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

PlayCon Sessions, Arizona Ballroom

Workshop: Reinventing the Toy Industry for the Next Generation
Jeremy Gutsche, Founder, TrendHunter.com

Understanding 2014 MEGA Trends to Build Future Growth
Frédérique Tutt, Global Toy Industry Analyst, The NPD Group

12:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

Networking Lunch, South Foyer/Garden

1:20 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

PlayCon Sessions, Arizona Ballroom

Industry Financial Insights
Research provides clues you can use to leverage your companies’ performance.
Paul Vitale, Senior VP, Finance & Operations, Toy Industry Association, Inc.

Color: The Essential Ingredient
Laurie Pressman, Vice President, Pantone Color Institute

4th Quarter is King!
How to partner with local entrepreneurs to achieve success.
Jennifer Schubert, VP of Merchandising, Calendar Club/Go! Games & Toys

Thriving as a Toy Specialist
The Journey So Far…Vision for the Future
Gary Grant, Founder & Managing Director, The Entertainer

The Power of TIF
Hear how the Toy Industry Foundation’s work impacts kids and families around the world.
Peter Henseler, Chairman, TIF Board of Trustees & Retired Vice Chairman, TOMY International

4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Free Networking Time
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Pool Party Networking Reception
Sponsored by GES, PoolsideGES

Friday, May 1

7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PlayCon Concierge & Registration, Arizona West Booth

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Networking Breakfast, South Foyer/Garden

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

PlayCon Sessions, Arizona Ballroom

Consumable Content for Kids: Next Steps for the Toy Industry to Capitalize on Trend Curves
Ken Hertz, Founding Principal, memBrain LLC & Sr. Partner, Hertz Lichtenstein & Young LLP

The Proliferation of Pop Culture & the Era of the Super Fan! 
A case study of customer engagement and what it takes to create lifetime loyalists.
Brian Mariotti, CEO, Funko

The Maker Movement: What It Means and Why It Is Important
Parker Thomas, Inventor, Parker Thomas, Inc. & David Yakos, VP, Director of Creativity, Salient Technologies, Inc.

Leveraging the Digital Toy Store
How to engage, entertain & educate consumers in the changing world of e-commerce.
Eva Lorenz, Category Leader, Toys & Games Store, Amazon.com

  Closing Remarks

11:30 a.m.

Bus departs for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport  

Thank You to our Sponsors

Blue Plate Media Services Freeman