Making Connections at Toyfest West

Last week, I had the honor of being the lone seminar speaker at Toyfest West, the largest Toy Show in the West, at South Point Casino and Spa in Las Vegas, NV. Hundreds of people from the toy industry attended the three day show.

I put this video together featuring a few of the amazing people I met at Toyfest West.

At first, I was a little worried about whether anybody would show up for my talk. After all, I wasn’t anyone famous but I did come in with the intention of giving them solid practical advice about how they could use social media marketing for their toy businesses. The room filled up within the first 15 minutes and before long I had a solid audience of about 35 toy industry people ranging from toy manufacturers, toy inventors, sales reps and toy store owners.

This presentation I made served only as a guide and starting off point.

Because… the real interaction happened during the Q&A. The questions ranged from which social media channels they should be on (Answer: pick one or two where you can connect with your target demographic) to how much should they spend on Facebook advertising (Answer: depends on your needs and available budget.) What’s more, I managed to get the attendees to connect with each other, which was where the real learning began – one toy store owner shared his story about sprucing up his website after finding out most of his customers were coming from out-of-state and via online means. Another person shared how they did outreach with their local community to promote their store.

In the end, I let them know that while social media is free to use, demands a lot of thought, planning and an investment of time. I also shared that people can use social media in different ways. Anyone can use social media platforms as means a means to attain their objectives whether it be increasing brand awareness, promoting an event, increasing sales or building a community.

Many thanks to the Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) for a very organized trade show experience, especially to WTHRA Show Coordinator Frances Mendez.

But first let me take a selfie. With Toyfest West Show Coordinator Frances Mendez.

But first let me take a selfie. With Toyfest West Show Coordinator Frances Mendez.