SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It takes a team of seasoned industry pros to turn an idea into a successful show, and that’s exactly what’s happening in Massachusetts next February. Christine and Alan Blumberg of Trade Show Ventures partnered with industry veteran Lea Culliton, former President of toy retailer HABA and Chairman of the ABC Kids Expo, to create the North East Toy Show (NETS), slated to take place Feb. 11-13, 2024, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.
The organizers are expecting 1,200 attendees for their first show, which will be a combination of a traditional toy and gift show with a board game emphasis.
“We will have a special Game Hall exhibition space that will have extended hours open in the ‘Game Night’ Monday evening,” Culliton, NETS Executive Director, said. “In the common area outside the halls, additional game tables will be made available to brands that are exhibiting in the main halls.”
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The event will replicate the successful event they organized in October of 2022, when they were tapped as a resource by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) to create a Game & Kit Day. It attracted 37 vendors, eight rep groups and more than 100 retail owners and staff representing 58 retail doors, and it was so successful that the retailers and brands asked if they would continue doing it annually. They chose February to fill a need specifically requested by specialty toy and gift store owners in the Northeast region in this wintertime slot.
“February is a pivotal time for brands and buyers to meet and many don’t have the time or personnel to travel west. NETS will offer a simple solution and bring the industry together after being apart for so long,” said Culliton, who is coming out of retirement to take the lead. “Additionally, on a personal level, working on the show allows me to step back into an industry, for which I have a great passion.”
Registration for NETS will open this Spring. For more information visit: http://www.NEToyShow.com.
Reach Lea Culliton at firstname.lastname@example.org