President’s letter – January 25, 2011: Our Numbers Are up and the TIA is Changing

I am glad to report that as of today, 18 days out from the ribbon-cutting, our numbers are up and we anticipate a nice increase in buyers and 23 of the 25 top global retailers at the 2011 Toy Fair.  Attendance by non-U.S. buyers is up 6% with representatives from nearly 100 nations, and exhibit space has grown by 5%!

Once again this year, TIA’s Toy Fair has qualified for the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) Foreign Buyer Program.  Much of the growth in toy sales is occurring overseas, so Toy Fair exhibitors should take advantage of the export counseling offered at the Fair by DoC.  The increase in foreign buyer attendance at Toy Fair illustrates the increasingly global nature of the toy business.  As resources permit, TIA will renew its efforts to help smaller member companies break into overseas markets. 

The ever-evolving toy business is also reflected in TIA membership numbers. We ended 2010 with more than 550 members… up 5% from 2009.  And at our Annual Member Meeting at 8:00am on Monday, February 14, we will be amending our Bylaws to enlarge the scope of our membership to include any company, foreign or domestic, that is doing business in the U.S. toy market.  Retailers, licensors, inventors and sales reps will also be welcomed as full regular members of TIA, eligible to vote and hold office. 

TIA is on the move again….changing, expanding and growing its programs to serve the constantly changing toy business.  Come join us at the Annual Member Meeting to see what’s going on!

Warm regards to all,

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Carter Keithley
ckeithley@toyassociation.org