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World’s Fair targets kid spring-breakers with branded fun pavilions in Orlando

With the average U.S. family hitting Orlando for a summer vacation about once every six years, top kids marketers know that the Disney World and Universal Studios home base is the place to set up long-term July and August initiatives. But what about spring break?
October 1, 2004

With the average U.S. family hitting Orlando for a summer vacation about once every six years, top kids marketers know that the Disney World and Universal Studios home base is the place to set up long-term July and August initiatives. But what about spring break?

Enter the first-ever World’s Fair for Kids, a new 10-day annual event that’s on the prowl for sponsors and promotional partners working in fields including kids technology, games, fashion, food, entertainment, learning, toys and travel to support its grand opening in spring 2006. The Fair’s aim is to educate kids and get them excited about their world, so sponsors will be required to teach kids something, rather than simply showcasing their products. For example, says WFFK CEO Brian Sockin, an interactive software company might consider running an audio-visual show giving kids a behind-the-scenes look at how video games are created.

Held in the Orange County Convention Center, the sprawling event will physically consist of 20 themed pavilions, including Sporting Kids, Trendy Kids and Creative Kids. Each pavilion will also house a 20,000-square-foot area where kids can engage in some hands-on fun – like scaling the chocolate volcano in Sweet Kids.

Sockin is trolling for grade-A sponsors to host each of the pavilions, as well as secondary partners to present the Zones (smaller entryways leading into the 20 main attractions) and three entertainment stages for live shows and concerts. ‘Rather than making a lot of money off our sponsors, what we’d like to do is try to translate their investment into real tangibles,’ Sockin says. Perks will include booth space, dedicated staff, hotel accommodation, discount coupons for customers, VIP passes and opportunities to be included in the event’s planned US$5-million advertising spend.

Sponsors can expect to pay anywhere from US$27,500 to support a Zone area, to US$150,000 for the Sports Stadium (the Fair’s largest pavilion), and they’ll also be expected to purchase print advertising from the event’s kids media sponsor publication National Geographic for Kids. The magazine will run three special issues for the Fair, and sponsors will be obliged to buy one full-page ad in each issue at a reduced rate. In return, Nat Geo Kids promises to support the advertising with an equal amount of editorial coverage.

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