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South China’s strongest toy fair returns with new date, new location and additional concurrent fair

15 Aug 2019

This year has seen an exciting period of growth for Toy & Edu China and the concurrent Baby & Stroller China. Thanks to continuous growth, the fairs will relocate from Guangzhou to the brand-new Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, the world’s largest exhibition venue, from 6 – 8 March 2020. What’s more, a new concurrent fair, Licensing China, will be launched to capture the respective potential. Formerly a product zone in Toy & Edu China, Licensing China is expected to accommodate over 100 domestic and international licensors and agencies.

High-tech products have proved popular with trade buyers at the fairs (photo: Messe Frankfurt)

According to Euromonitor, the total retail sales of toys and games in China soared from USD 19.7 billion in 2013 to USD 47.1 billion in 2018, an average annual growth rate of 19.1%. This significant growth is just one indicator why Toy & Edu China and the concurrent fairs are the ideal platform to access the potential in China’s toy market.

Further retail opportunities can be found at Licensing China, which will meet the rising demand for character merchandising in China. With more animation series now available, Chinese consumers are becoming more familiar with characters, which are also frequently used in government tourism initiatives and by emerging domestic manufacturers, utilising familiar characters to make their brands more recognisable.

To reflect market demands, the fairs have been rebranded and have added further product categories. April 2019 already saw the successful rebranding of Toy & Edu China, consequently placing more emphasis on educational toys and supplies. In time for the 2020 edition, Baby & Stroller China now also includes new product categories such as Mother & Baby Care Products, Baby Food & Healthcare and Home Living & Lifestyle for Baby & Kids.

Greater Bay, greater play

The fairs’ new location in Shenzhen will take advantage of the strong local economy, which benefits from the Greater Bay Area initiative. This is a central government scheme to develop an integrated economic hub by linking nine major cities of South China’s Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau. With a focus on high-tech manufacturing and R&D, both Chinese and foreign manufacturers have been investing heavily in this area. While the fairs’ former location, Guangzhou, is included in this area, the city of Shenzhen stands out as a centre of potential.

The strengths of the fairs match those of Shenzhen’s resources: design and technological innovation. Shenzhen is a leading global technology hub, dubbed by media as the next Silicon Valley. The city can meet increasing demand for complex and high-tech toys with its readily available technology resources and skilled employees. With this relocation, the fairs will become the ideal platform to show innovative toy designs and technologies, in a city that is also a UNESCO City of Design and China’s creative capital.

Meanwhile, the fairs will remain conveniently close to Guangdong province manufacturers, who produce over half of the world’s toys – in particular, Shenzhen is close to Dongguan, where half of these toymakers are located.

Global and other large-scale cross-border e-commerce companies have also established themselves in Shenzhen to promote China's goods to the world. The location of the exhibition in Shenzhen will create more online trading opportunities for exhibitors to promote their brands.

The start of China’s sourcing season

Shifting earlier by a month, the fairs will now take place from 6 – 8 March 2020. This meets the beginning of the Chinese sourcing season, soon after the national holidays for Chinese New Year.

With Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China and Licensing China all held concurrently, the fairs are a one-stop platform to demonstrate and promote new products and innovation. The 2020 fairs are expected to attract a broad spectrum of visitors from respective sectors, as well as a new pool of customers from the licensing and mother products sectors.

Fringe events: Toy Talks upgrade

Industry insight through the fair’s fringe programme will add value for exhibitors and visitors alike. Toy Talks was established in cooperation with Global Toy Experts in 2018. In just two years, the response from domestic and overseas visitors has been exceedingly positive. The aim of Toy Talks is to inspire audiences with comprehensive coverage of industry topics, including trends, licensing, branding and more.

In 2020, Toy Talks will upgrade to include more networking events like a roundtable, as well as a welcome dinner, business matching services and the World of Play Summit. Speakers will include Rovio, best known for creating the global licensing phenomenon Angry Birds.

Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China and Licensing China are organised by Guangdong Toy Association, Guangzhou Li Tong Messe Frankfurt Co Ltd and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. The three concurrent shows will take place from 6 – 8 March 2020 in Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,500 employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €718 million. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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