In a matter of weeks, toy makers will descend upon New York City to unveil the hottest and latest toys at Toy Fair. Toy Fair is the premier event for the toy industry. Think of the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys combined with Fashion Week, and that is Toy Fair. For many start-ups and even existing toy companies, Toy Fair is a make or break event. Be discovered by the media at the trade show and the sky is the limit. Be ignored and it is hard to recoup.
Why is this? Toy Fair is an opportunity for journalists to notice trends and get a sense of what is changing and new in the toy industry. That allows reporters to form toy trend stories throughout the year and develop the ideas for television segments and print articles. This is a way to get a toy in front of consumers and for many start-ups, a way to get the notice of investors (Shark Tank producers attend the show along with many financial analysts).
So how should you stand out to earn the coveted media attention?
Know what the media will be looking for and target your presentation for the specific media that you need to target. What is the media looking for at Toy Fair?
- Toys that are cool (I know everyone thinks their toy is cool). Reporters are looking for good visual toys that will appeal to people instantly. They are looking for groundbreaking toys. They also want toys that are easy to demonstrate on camera and can be explained easily. Have a good, appealing, and strong elevator pitch between 30 seconds to a minute prepared. Don’t overwhelm with technical details.
- Reporters like toys that are tied are tied into hot topics and trends.
- Tech toys.
- Entertainment tie-ins.
- Lifestyle themes.
- Social consciousness.
- Compelling business start-up stories (This really appeals to the financial press, analysts, and of course Shark Tank producers).
- Toys that are connected to a particular regional market.
- Toys that have a strong human interest appeal.
So knowing what the media is looking for, how do you attract them?
- Develop key talking points so you are prepared when the media stops by. Among these talking points should be:
- Who you are.
- What your company and toy does.
- Why your toy stand out.
- Important selling features.
- Getting the media to your booth:
- Have the booth look professional.
- Make sure that you have contacted the media who will be attending Toy Fair and invite them to your booth.
- Host a special event at the booth just for journalists such a pre-show breakfast or lunch.
- Have snacks available for reporters.
Toy Fair happens once a year but the impact of the show for a toy company can be felt throughout the year. That is why for anyone exhibiting at Toy Fair, media coverage is not essential but a must in order to be successful.