Chris Sherman is on the cutting edge of play and technology. He is the founder and ceo of Engage Digital, a company that executes trade shows featuring the latest in business-to-consumer commerce. His latest event is the 6th annual Digital Kids Conference in Los Angeles on April 25-26. Formerly called Engage! Expo held alongside Toy Fair in NYC in 2010 and 2011, Digital Kids is endorsed by the Toy Industry Association and is the largest gathering of professionals engaged in building online and mobile products and services for kids.
With the skyrocketing use of mobile and online devices by kids, our re-brand from Engage! Expo to Digital Kids really says it all. We're now intensely focused on helping companies position themselves for success in the hyper-connected youth market space.
Kids these days are growing up with instantaneous access to information and communications across a variety of platforms. Recent studies by the Pew Research Center, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and Common Sense Media help paint that picture.
Toddlers and Preschoolers Drawn To Apps
The Pew Research Center tells us that 77% of teens have cell phones today and that the average teen text user sends 60 texts per day – up from an average of 50 texts in 2009. We also know that digitally connected children and "screenagers" are among the most active users of smartphones and tablets. Apps for toddlers and preschoolers alone grew by 23% over the last two years, according to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. And a recent study by Common Sense Media tells us that half of children under 8 have access to mobile devices.
5 Tracks, 70 Speakers = Education and New Business Opportunities
In light of this, the Digital Kids Conference will provide unparalleled exposure to best practices, trends and business strategies and successful techniques for developing and marketing toys, games and more to digitally connected kids and youth. The event is an ideal opportunity to connect with peers across various industries and get new business done while attending conference tracks focused on Business, Content, Market Research, Operations and Safety.
In all, more than 70 speakers from industry-leading producers of kid-related digital content, services and software will address everything from games, mobile and tablet apps, virtual worlds, social media, and more. Participating companies include Spin Master, Sony Online, Kidz Bop, Mind Candy, Peanuts, Rovio/Angry Birds, Wizard101/KingsIsle, National Football League, Cartoon Network, Ubisoft, Cookie Jar, Google, Yahoo! Kids and The NPD Group among many others.
Our Digital Kids Safety Track, a first-of-its-kind workshop for the industry co-produced with the kidSAFE® Seal Program, will feature a panel discussion with representatives from the FTC and State of California Special Attorney General's office. With regulatory scrutiny heating up following the disappointing findings in the FTC's Mobile Apps for Kids Report, they'll address the unique set of safety and privacy concerns the mobile space presents for children and how new COPPA requirements could affect compliance.
We're also very pleased to have Todd Coleman and Josef Hall, co-creators of KingsIsle Entertainment’s popular online game, Wizard101, deliver the opening keynote address. They'll discuss how they moved from hardcore gaming in the world of massive multiplayer online games and achieved runaway critical and commercial success.
Discount to Global Toy News Readers
If you've read this far, you must have a deep interest in the subject matter. With that in mind, we are pleased and hope you'll join us. Digital Kids offers both a one-day pass (good for either day) and a two-day, all-access pass. As a Global Toy News reader, you benefit from an extra $100 off our all-access pass – just use coupon code GTOYNEWS when registering at http://DigitalKidsCon.com/register . We hope to see you at the show.