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August 2011 | Vol. X - No. 8




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New Venue, New Perks at the 2011 ABC Kids Expo

Largest Anticipated Show Promises New Conveniences


Reporting by Justina Huddleston, Alison Marek, and Claudia Newcorn

The following is a paid advertorial.


From retailers and buyers looking for the next "it" product, to manufacturers and sales reps hawking their latest gems, trade shows are an essential part of the toy industry. The 9th annual ABC Kids Expo, running from Sept. 23-26, is the go-to show for those looking for new children's products to sell in their store. Exhibitors at the show feature everything from toys to youth apparel, nursery furniture to maternity clothes, and more.

This year's Expo will take place in Louisville, Ky., for the first time. Larry Schur, president of ABC Kids, told TDmonthly about the decision to move the show: "Louisville offers a non-union modern facility with 1.5 million contiguous square feet on one level. So, exhibitors can expect considerable cost savings with the move to Louisville."

Lea Culliton, president of HABA USA/Habermaas Corp., told TDmonthly in 2010 that she is looking forward to the venue change. "Louisville is giving them a good facility," she said. "It's super convenient; right next to the airport."

Last year's ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas was their biggest show yet, with 1,003 exhibitors renting 3,670 booths. "Our overall attendance increased by 7.8% over [2009]," Schur told TDmonthly in an interview after the 2010 fall expo. The 2011 show is expected to be even bigger.

The Growth of the ABC Kids Expo
Year 2003 2005 2007 2009 2010
Location LVCC LVCC LVCC LVCC LVCC
Exhibit Halls S-3 S1-2 S1-2-3 S1-2-3-4 S1-2-3-4
Show Dates -- 9/9-9/12 9/7-9/10 9/13-9/16 10/10-10/13
Gross Sq. Ft. 242,392 443,838 686,230 908,496 908,496
Net Sq. Ft. 110,000 159,300 303,500 330,600 367,000
Exhibitors:
Number 489 736 1,012 919 1003
Booths 1,100 1,593 3,035 3,306 3,670
Retailers:
No. Stores 830 1,391 2,102 2,550 2,507
Buyers 1,649 3,553 5,072 5,984 6,275
Media:
Companies 24 47 110 154 197
People Count:
Exhibitors 2,377 3,451 6,737 6,232 6,912
Retailers 1,649 3,553 5,072 5,984 6,275
Media 55 127 383 358 480
Reps 414 496 584 634 592
Govt./Spec. 5 17 81 385 396
Services/Other:
Total People 4,500 7,644 12,857 13,593 14,655
Source: All Baby & Child, Inc.

ABC Kids has a few extras up their sleeve that make this year's Expo a truly not-to-be-missed event.

Attendees can get to know their industry peers a little bit better at the complimentary all-attendee reception on Saturday, September 24th. Following the reception there will be a free concert headlined by KC & The Sunshine Band and the Unexpected Boys, Schur told TDmonthly.

ABC is also working to take the hassle out of travel for attendees: "Another first for ABC is hotel shuttle service. A total of 5 routes will shuttle attendees between downtown and airport hotels to the Exposition Center. A special shuttle on the last afternoon of the show will transport attendees from the Exposition Center to the airport," Schur shared. Another perk is trolley service throughout the venue.

For easy navigation, the floor of the ABC Kids Expo will be organized by category, including Apparel / Layette, Gifts / Room Décor, Baby Gear, Furniture / Bedding, Nursing / Feeding, Toys/Games/Book/AV, Baby Care / Safety and Service Providers.

Additionally, there are separate pavilion for First Timers, Naturally Kids, Modern Child, and Maternity Square. Maternity Square was a big hit last year, Schur said after the show in 2010, and The Naturally Kids pavilion, a juried area which features manufacturers who offer eco-friendly products, is already creating a buzz.

TDmonthly spoke with retailers and manufacturers after the 2010 ABC Kid Expo in Las Vegas, as well as the 2010 All Baby & Child Spring Education Conference. Here's what they had to say:

“If you are in the baby and juvenile products industry, this is the one show that you can't miss,” Julianna Shaw of Zoli Inc. told TDmonthly in June 2010.

“We carry products we wouldn’t have found without the ABC Expo,” Molly McMullin, owner of specialty toy store Twirl in Ranchos de Taos, N.M., told TDmonthly in June 2010.

“Nearly 100 percent of our contacts were with stores we did not know before,” said Beth Leistensnider, President of Catbird Baby, Inc.

Jill Cartwright, Founder of Go GaGa, told TDmonthly that “Not only did we book several key accounts, we were able to visit with current clients, get some great PR about a new product we’re developing, and meet three other manufacturers that can be terrific marketing partners in the future.”

Shaw summed up her thoughts with these word of praise: “We advise the companies we work with that if you do anything with juvenile products and want to get into the retail channel, then the one show you must do is the ABC Kids Expo. All Baby & Child shows really pull in the right attendees so you are getting in front of the right audience."

Schur agrees: “While it is possible to find our exhibitors at other gift and apparel shows, furniture markets, toy or fashion events,” he said, “you will not find a more diverse and comprehensive collection of manufacturers covering the full range of juvenile products anywhere.”

This year's expo will take place at the Kentucky Exposition Center, September 23-26, 2011. For more information you can visit the ABC Kids website at http://www.theabcshow.com. All photos courtesy of All Baby & Child, Inc.



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