As JPMA prepares to bow out of the trade show game after its swan-song event in April, juvenile product manufacturers are already flocking to an alternative venue for selling to retailers. Enter the ABC Kids Expo, a four-year-old event that attracted 10,000 attendees and was singled out as one of the fastest-growing North American trade shows by Tradeshow Week last year.
ABC Kids was traditionally set up as a show for specialty retailers only, but the event’s organizers have decided to open up to mass-market buyers and licensors for the first time this year to fill a market need in the wake of JPMA’s exit. But the first two days of the 2007 show, which takes place in Las Vegas from September 7 to 10, will still be exclusively set aside for manufacturers and specialty retail players.
Larry Schur, president of All Baby & Child, which produces the event, says attendance of apparel and toy manufacturers has been on the rise over the last couple of years, and he anticipates seeing a lot more licensed product on the show floor this year with the entry of licensors. Among last year’s attendees were Fisher-Price, LeapFrog Enterprises, RC2 Brands and Baby Einstein, all of which do a considerable amount of business with licensed product.