An Interview with Christian Ulrich, Spokesperson of the Spielwarenmesse Executive Board

The 2023 Spielwarenmesse toy show is only a few months away. I wanted to find out the latest news about the show, its speakers’ forum, and its fabulous opening night party. Below is my interview with Christian Ulrich, Spokesperson for the Spielwarenmesse Executive Board.

Richard: There has been a great deal of change that has taken place over the last two years. The venerable New York Toy Fair has moved from February to the following September, and the January Hong Kong show is unlikely to occur. The Spielwarenmesse will take place at the usual time, making it a stable point in a somewhat chaotic environment. Are you seeing an uptick in visitors and exhibitors from China and the U.S.?

Christian Ulrich: The industry is longing for a live event after such a long time. Networking on site is indispensable, which is why we, as the leading international trade show, are in the fortunate position to bring the world together again at the Nuremberg exhibition center. Already since last year, we have seen growing interest from visitors and exhibitors from the USA. We are also receiving more inquiries from China and Hong Kong, which we are particularly pleased about, because exhibitors are accepting quarantine or commissioning their European subsidiaries or sales partners to be there again. Our Best of China Pavilion in Hall 11 is almost fully booked with over 100 exhibitors.

Richard: The Spielwarenmesse is five months away. Is there still booth availability for those who wish to exhibit?

Christian Ulrich: We are in the middle of planning for Spielwarenmesse 2023 and the booking status is surprisingly good. If the exhibitors are flexible and there is still space in the desired product group, we will certainly still find a way for them to participate.

Richard. Nuremberg is notorious for running out of hotel space during the Spielwarenmesse. Do you know how that is looking for those who have not yet made reservations? Do they need to get moving?

Christian Ulrich: During the Spielwarenmesse, the hotels in the city center are in great demand, which is unfortunately also reflected in pricing policy. In recent years, however, hotel density has increased, so that more bed capacity is available. Nevertheless, early booking is advisable. On our website we offer support with accommodation tips and the PartnerHotel program:

Richard:    You have an excellent forum each year with outstanding speakers. Is it too late for those who wish to speak to find a slot?

Christian Ulrich: Knowledge transfer plays an important role at the Spielwarenmesse. An established format is the Toy Business Forum in Hall 3A, which offers top-class expert presentations on current industry and trade topics from 1 to 3 pm during the fair. The speakers for 2023 have already been confirmed, as planning for this is already in the early stages. The main topics will include “Trends in retail and toys”, “Digitalization”, “Sustainability”, and “Diversity”.

Richard.   On a lighter note, you have a fantastic party each year. Can you tell us what this year’s theme for the ToyNight will be, or is it a secret?

Christian Ulrich: The motto of our popular ToyNight is eagerly awaited every year. At this point in time, however, not even our supervisory board members know it yet, which is why our exhibitors will have to be patient for a while. The surprise will be all the greater! We are very much looking forward to an unforgettable event where we can network and celebrate together.       

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