The Best Laid Plans…it’s the John Baulch Friday Blog!

I have had quite the week. Saturday should have seen Anita and I heading off for a mini break for our wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, we woke up on Saturday morning to find that our chosen destination – Marrakesh – had been hit by a devastating earthquake. Our thoughts are with the people of Morocco, we didn’t feel it would be appropriate to travel there under the circumstances, so a last-minute switch to an idyllic island off the coast of Dubrovnik in Croatia (next door to the island where the Beckhams own a villa) was hastily arranged.

We ended up having a wonderful break, but the timing of our anniversary did mean that I missed a couple of industry events this week. Hence the Toy World team of Mark and Rachael flew the flag for us at the Licensing Awards and the Big Christmas Press Show. You can read Rachael’s report from the Press show today, while we ran a full list of the Licensing Awards winners on our sister site Congratulations to all the successful companies – toy suppliers and retailers celebrating included Spin Master, Amscan, The Entertainer and HMV, while toy / kids’ properties Barbie, Bluey, Wizarding World, Pokémon and Minecraft were all victorious.

Interestingly, it wasn’t just me who was absent this year: quite a few toy people would have missed both events, as many from the UK toy community have been out in LA this week. I wasn’t able to make it to California this time round, partly because of the anniversary trip, which was planned at the start of the year, and partly because I needed to be in the office for a couple of days to finalise our October issue, which is being sent to print today. Expect it to land (with a pretty hefty thud) a few days earlier than usual this month, so it gives everyone a chance to read it before heading to BLE. Because, as I say repeatedly to licensing people, no one has time to read anything at the show itself.

September is turning into the new January, with multiple trips and events vying for attention – and the reality is you can’t be everywhere at once and still do what you need to do to keep your business on track (ultimately, the most important thing). I decided a few years ago that it wasn’t right to put business commitments ahead of personal ones, so I try to get a balance and accept that I can’t be everywhere. In the end, that’s what teams are for and why it is important to hire good people. And anyway, if I had said I was at the Licensing Awards, no-one would have known any better with 1300 people in the room.

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