ASTRA’s Toy Boat and ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy? What is the difference and why both?

I have been wondering about ASTRA’s new Toy Boat trade event and how it differs from the organization’s Marketplace & Academy. I decided to stop wondering and went right to the source, Sue Warfield, President of ASTRA. Here is what Sue had to say:

ASTRA’s Toy Boat is sailing February 20-24, 2023, from Fort Lauderdale, FL.

ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy is June 11-14 in Columbus, Ohio. 

What’s the difference, and why should you do both?

ASTRA’s Toy Boat – This new experience allows manufacturers to highlight new products on tabletop displays for ASTRA members and showcase them at game and kit sessions – one for ASTRA members and one for the public that is on the cruise.

For everyone, it is an opportunity to network and build relationships like no other show can offer. Conference rooms can be booked for meetings and so much more

ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy – As always, the Marketplace & Academy is so much more than a toy show. There will be a full exhibit hall with over 300 booths. Educational programs will include a keynote speaker, round table discussions, and short “TED TALK” type offerings. They will be offered each morning and during our game and kit sessions, providing new opportunities to engage with products and members. 

Why Both? The concept for Toy Boat came after we received your survey input about the void that resulted from Toy Fair moving from February to September. It was determined that an additional full show was not needed…but networking and seeing new products were at the top of the survey results. Something new (Toy Boat) was the answer.

ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy is the cornerstone meet-up of our specialty toy industry professionals. It will continue to be our biggest event.

Both events support our mission to engage, elevate and promote the success of our membership. Our core belief is that our community is stronger when we learn, work, and succeed together, remembering we must also play together.

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