Just for Bloggers

Top Tips for Covering the Show

The Toy Association PR team has enlisted the help of some seasoned bloggers who have been to Toy Fair for their tips on covering the show. We hope the information provided below will help you to navigate the show and have a terrific Toy Fair.

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8 Points to Get You Started:

  • If you have companies that you are really hoping to connect with, check the Toy Fair site for contact information regarding who you can contact for an appointment in the weeks prior to the start of the event.

  • Compile a list of appointments as well as the list of must-see booth numbers in advance. When you are at the show, check them off to make sure you don’t miss anything you really want to see.

  • Get familiar with the Toy Fair Press Center immediately. There are charging stations for wireless devices, maps of the event, a calendar of daily activities, a new product showcase, access to computers with the internet and a very helpful Toy Association PR team to help you navigate the show. Though it's not monitored, there is a place to hang your coat and small treats like candy and coffee. It's a nice place to serve as a quiet, home base amongst all the chaos of Toy Fair to recharge, rest and plan your show strategy.

  • If you are using an iPad to do your photo/video work, try using the app Evernote to keep your notes and photos together. Relying on handwritten notes and a separate camera can become time consuming and lead to reporting errors when you are getting ready to write.

  • Bring a suitcase on wheels to store all of the press kits, catalogs and materials you may receive. Carry a small bag around with you and stop back at the press center every so often to drop things off and start fresh again.

  • Print or paste stickers of a QR Code of your site onto your business card. If toys are starting to blur for you after a while, imagine how the exhibitors feel about having met tons of bloggers. A QR Code is readable while they are on the floor.

  • Take a video camera! Even if you aren't a vlogger, it's really important to bring along a video recorder or to make sure you have lots of room on your smart phone's video cam. Still pictures of the fair are lovely, but to really get a sense of how a toy works and runs, videos are best.

  • Consider bringing a very lightweight tripod. It will get rid of the shakies when you are filming. You can also use it to tape an interview between you and the toy seller. Practice at home before the fair so you know the parameters of your shot.

10 Things to Remember:

  • Larger companies will likely require an appointment that is made prior to Toy Fair. Many companies will have booths that are entirely closed off where you will not be able to see inside and will need to check-in with a receptionist. Smaller companies may approach you in the aisle and ask to introduce you to their product, especially if you travel with a visible camera and have a press badge.

  • Always ask permission before taking photos and videos of toys and products, especially if you intend on immediately posting that image to Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels. Some toys and products are under embargo, especially if you attend the first day of the show, which means that the information related to them is considered "top secret."

  • Introduce yourself to representatives as a blogger and writer, and explain the focus of your blog in 2-3 sentences. Be prepared to tell your tour guide or company representative why you are attending and what you hope to see in their booth.

  • Be polite. Some companies are there just to sell to retailers and might not have a PR person or someone that could assist you. In the past, some bloggers have gotten rude and they have made the rest of us look bad… so remember as a blogger, we're a community... take a deep breath and internally sigh to yourself. Know that your blog rocks and it’s their loss.

  • Do not approach this like a blogging event. Brands are trying to cater to many audiences at Toy Fair: buyers, journalists, and more.

  • When you get to the show there are plenty of cool things to add to your schedule: like inventor signings, celebrity visits, etc. The better organized you are ahead of time the more likely you are to enjoy the cool events without missing any of the important stuff!

  • Don’t expect anyone to know you, and don’t get frustrated if they brush you aside; many companies are just now learning the positive aspects of working with bloggers—and there are quite a few of us! Be remembered for your positive attitude and energy.

  • In booths, ask if anyone is tweeting for the company and connect with that person (if he or she is there). It will make follow-up tweets more exciting and personal if you can put a face to the name behind the company Twitter manager!
  • Have fun… This is Toy Fair! Give yourself time to walk through the expo hall, enjoying the sights and sounds of toys, laughter, and fun. Think creatively and don’t box yourself into only looking for one type of toy or company; try to see a variety, and you’ll be glad you did.
  • Between appointments try to view an entire aisle or two. There’s never enough time to start at the beginning and wander through, so it’s best to knock them out when you can. Be sure to leave some time to discover new vendors – that’s where the fun in Toy Fair lies!

The Toy Association would like to thank the following bloggers for their “Toy Fair Tips”:

Jennifer Berger

Jenn Choi

Adam Cohen

Vincent Daly

Amy Mascott

Jyl JohnsonPatee

Meredith Sinclair

Kim Vandenbroucke

Keri Wilmont