Spielwarenmesse 2017 rewarded with climb in visitors, successful exhibitors and greater internationality

The Spielwarenmesse has strengthened its standing as the world’s leading event for the toy industry. Opening its doors from 1 to 6 February, the organisers in Nuremberg posted high numbers of international exhibitors and visitors as well as a broad spectrum of innovations and information. 2,871 companies from 63 countries, up from 2,851 in 2016, expressed their satisfaction with the number of trade buyers at the fair. A total of 73,000 visitors, up 3.2% from 70,714 in 2016, travelled to Nuremberg from 123 nations to view the latest innovations, to engage with other members of the sector and to experience something new.

The proportion of international retailers and buyers was particularly high, climbing from 58% to 60%. The majority of trade buyers came from Europe, Asia and America. Expressed by country, the largest increases were recorded from Italy, Russia and China. First-time exhibitor Marc Collinet, CEO of the Adamus Group, praised the high quality of the visitors: “The Spielwarenmesse attracted many German and international visitors with decision-making powers. The general mood here was great.” As in the past, the trade buyers’ main focus was on finding new products and ideas. However, observing the market and the competition as well as sharing information are becoming increasingly important facets of the fair. Besides the usual business aspects, more and more visitors are seeing the event as an opportunity to experience something new.

The manufacturers responded to this need and were rewarded with increased order levels. “Our exhibition stand was even busier than last year; the response to our new products was really positive – overall, there was a sense of a new beginning,” stated Schleich’s CEO Dirk Engehausen. More than 85% of companies said they were extremely pleased with their appearance at the Spielwarenmesse, which constitutes a new all-time high. A new record was also set for the number of exhibitors, which included no fewer than 2,151 international companies. “It’s truly unique to have the whole toy world gathered in one place,” concludes Frank Baldauf of Infantino Bkids. This fact alone encourages many exhibitors to return, with more than 90% of companies already pledging to exhibit again in Nuremberg next year.

There was also much praise for the special shows staged by the Spielwarenmesse, particularly for Tech2Play. The eye-catching promotion area in Hall 4A offered the latest technological toys in the five categories: “Electronic Pets”, “Robot Toys”, “RC Drones”, “Virtual Play” and “3D Printing”. The different theme islands successfully encouraged visitors to get involved. “We were delighted to see how keen buyers were to try the products out for themselves,” says Myles Bax of start-up Robotical.

The special area for Baby & Infant Articles generated an equally positive response, offering toy retailers plenty of inspiration between Halls 2 and 3. The Spielwarenmesse has thus responded with foresight to the growing demand for attractive complementary ranges. According to a survey, the Baby & Infant Articles segment shot up in the visitor ranking on three levels, with the range, specialist group interest and quality of the offering all gaining in relevance.

The TrendGallery in Hall 3A ranked high in the visitor survey. This innovation centre presented, among others, the ToyAward winners, such as LEGO. Frédéric Lehmann, CEO of LEGO GmbH, commented: “After receiving several accolades for this product, we’re delighted that our first German award is the coveted ToyAward from the Spielwarenmesse.” 635 product entries, up from 616 in 2016, underline the Award’s high standing in the industry.

Ernst Kick, CEO of Spielwarenmesse eG, concludes: “The overall outcome of the 68th event confirms that the Spielwarenmesse is in a unique position, ranking as the most important platform in the industry.”

Next year’s event will take place for five days from Wednesday to Sunday (31.1.-4.2.2018).

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