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Welcome to People of Play Week


NOVEMBER 16 - 22, 2020

Thank you to our Sponsors

Agenda at a Glance

All Times in CT (Chicago)

MONDAY, NOV. 16TH, 2020, All times at CT (Chicago)


Sponsored by:

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9:00am Keynote: Mattel 75 Years and Fisher-Price 90 Years – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with current and past Mattel Leaders: Richard Dickson moderates with panelists Jill Barad, Tom Kalinske and Neil Friedman

10:00am: Who, What, Where, Terms, Acronyms and More - Dougal Grimes (Spin Master) moderates with panelists Azhelle Wade (Toy Coach), Greg Benassar (Asmodee), Lizzy Moody (7 Towns), Dan Rowan (UltraPro)

11:00am: Licensing Your Ideas: Perspectives for Individuals and Companies - Derek Gable (West Coast Innovations) and Greg Murphy (Landmark IP)

12:00pm: Pitch like a Pro to Manufacturers and Retailers - Tim Walsh (Roo Games) moderates with panelists Tanya Thompson (Hasbro), Adam Hockerman (PlayMonster), Leila Nosrati (Master Toy Advisors), David Winter (Jazwares), Gillian Ruan (Mattel)

1:00pm: Inventing for an Invention House vs as an Independent - Simon Skelton (Big Ideas) moderates with panelists Peggy Brown (Peggy Brown Creative), Ken Johnson, Kim Vandenbroucke (Brainy Chick, The Game Aisle), Mary Jo Reutter (You-Betcha Interactive), Jim McCafferty (JMP Creative)

2:00pm: Being an Inventor within a Corporate Design Department - Gary Swisher (Spin Master) moderates with panelists Brian Yu (Mattel), Ashley Mady (Basic Fun!), Gabe Carlson (Mattel), Andres Garza (Spin Master), Gina Melone (Studio Big Rock)

3:00pm: Innovation for Profit.- SCORE - Sponsored by Edison Nation - Gene Murtha (Mattel, SCORE Association) moderates with Jason Moss (House of Atlas), Pat Duncan (Great American Puzzle Factory, SCORE Association), Brian Filko (Gear Fusion), Aimee Carroll (Edison Nation)

6:00pm: Networking - One-click Zoom Rooms Always Open

TUESDAY, NOV. 17TH, 2020


Sponsored by:


9:00am Keynote: Hasbro’s Inventor & Innovation Panel - Where the Ideas Come From! -  Rich Mazel (Hasbro) moderates with panelists Reyn Guyer (NERF), Leslie Scott (JENGA), Richard Levy (FURBY), John Frascotti (Hasbro), Eric Nyman (Hasbro), Brian Chapman (Hasbro), Tom Warner, Hasbro), Brian Jarvis, (Hasbro), Kimberly Boyd (Hasbro), Jeff Anderson (Hasbro), Tanya Thompson (Hasbro),

10:00am: What are Mass Retailers Looking For? David Norman (Goliath) moderates with Mark Menichini (Meijer) and Daniel Warren (JCPenney)

11:00am: Maximizing Sales in the 4th Quarter Through Drop Shipping, Especially in a Covid World - David Norman (Goliath) moderates with Bob Moog (University Games, and Matt Stahlin (Flat River Group)

12:00am: Leading Innovation at Specialty Retail - Sponsored by Haba - Willie Wilkov HABA moderates and panelists Richard Derr (Learning Express), Betty Skoke Burns (Angelina's Toy Boutique), Amy Saldanha (Kiddywampus), Sarah Jordan (Mastermind)  

1:00pm: Connecting with Retailers Worldwide - Karen Klein (Kid Market Matchmaker) moderates with panelists Viren Mohan (Pick n Pay - South Africa), Ali Moosajee (HI 5 General Trading LLC - United Arab Emirates), Claudio Borella (Borella s.r.l. Italy)

2:00pm: Working with Reps in the US - Christine Blumberg (RBG Sales), Nicole Bortnick (BGN Sales), Carl Buchbinder (Toyology), Tom Rushton (Revenue Sales), Erin Griffin (Erin Griffin Sales), Brad Ketz (Ketz & Associates)

3:00pm: Getting into Worldwide Markets: Licensing vs. Distribution - Catherine McMillen Gill (McGill Associates) moderates with Sandra Gomez (Ludilo), Megan Hinterman Kanous PSI), Emile Kalis (Identity Games International, Alex Green (Asmodee UK), Bond Yuen (Broadway Toys)

6:00pm: Networking - One-click Zoom Rooms Always Open



Sponsored by:

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9:00am Keynote: Spin Master - The Beginning! The Stories! - Ben Dermer (SVP Creative Development, Deputy Creative Officer) moderates with panelists Anton Rabie (Co-Founder & Co-CEO at Spin Master) and Ben Varadi (EVP, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer)

10:00am: Importance of Films on the Toy Industry & How Innovation is So Important Karri Bean (Disney) moderating with panelists Rob Johnson (NBC Universal), Chelsea Condon (LEGO), Wolf Steingraeber, (Disney EMEA), Mason Fiske (Lucasfilm)

11:00am: Digital-Play in a Post Pandemic World - Sponsored by PlayTable - Robin Raskin (Living in Digital Times) moderates with panelists Brent Bushnell (Two-bit Circus), David Kleiman, Phil Sage (Hasbro), Joe Scott (PlayTable), Ian Bernstein (Misty Robotics)

12:00pm: Partnerships with Fast Food and More! - Lisa Wuennemann (PlayMonster) moderates with panelists Tracy Dudkiewicz (TAP Marketing), Hayley Woodward (Rubik's Brand), Michael Edelstein (The Marketing Store), Jill Collins (Licensing Works), Nathan Measom (Best Friends Animal Society)

1:00pm: Celebrities and Twitch Streaming for Tabletop Games - Ross Thompson (The Op) moderates with panelists  Xander Michael Jeanneret (Voice Actor), Anjali Bhimani (Actress), Matthew Lillard (Actor), B Dave Walters (Author)

2:00pm: The Growth of Hobby Games and Fandom - Tony Serebriany (The Op), Keisha Howard (SugarGames) Daryl Andrews (Evergreen Board Game Studio), Elisa Teague (Renegade Game Studios), Pat Marino (The Op), Deirdre Cross (Funko)

3:00pm: Phygital Games: Enhancing The Game Board Experience - Sponsored by The Last Game Board - Lee Allentuck (Last Gameboard) with panelists Don Whiteford (Nomad Games), Tomas Rawlings (Auroch Digital), Jeff Tidball (Atlas Games), Shail Mehta (The Last Gameboard)

6:00pm: Networking - One-click Zoom Rooms Always Open



Sponsored by:

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9:00am Keynote: Beijing to Paris Race and More! Adi Golad (Goliath) and Gerry Crown (Crown & Andrews)

10:00am: Public Relations Has Changed! - Sponsored by Litzky PR - Lisa Guili (Educational Insights) moderates with panelists Clark Nesselrodt (Brilliant PR), Josslynne Welch (Litzy PR), Rachel Griffin (Playwise), Amy Friedland (Freeman PR), David Barkoe  (Carve Communications)

11:00am: Social Media Tips and Tricks for Brands, Companies and Inventors - Lana West (Schleich USA) moderates with panelists Julie Stern*(Brilliant PR & Marketing),  James Zahn (The Toy Book, Toy Insider, Best known as THE ROCK FATHER), Mindy Schanzle (Radio Flyer), Mary Higbe (Goliath),  Danielle Parde (Fat Brain)

12:00pm: Working with Influencers - Kathleen Tomes (Brilliant PR & Marketing) moderates with panelists Jim Silver (TTPM Influencer Talent Management), Jordan Mae Williams (TikTok Influencer: Just Jordan), Brittany Fusilier (Instagram), Elisa Schmidt (Facebook and Twitter: 30 Seconds)

1:00pm: Industry Awards: Important or Not? - Lisa Orman (KidStuff) and Lea Culliton (Haba)

2:00pm: Global Perspective: Future of Toy Fairs and International Markets -  Richard Gill (PlayMonster) moderates, panelists include JM Duparc (Identity Games), Jenni Jalava (Martinex), Bob Fuhrer (NEXTOY), Jacqueline Vong (Playology), Stephan Van Hacht (MegaBleu)

3:00pm: Activism and Inclusion in our Industry - Jean Butler (moderator)  Eric Lang (Game Inventor), Steve Starobinsky (Diverse Marketing), Delanie West ( Founding Creative Director, Product Development & Design Advisor, Be Super Creative). Maura Regan (President, Licensing International)

4:00pm - 6:00pm: SPEED PITCH - New Inventors and Design Students - Here's Your Opportunity! 

6:00pm: Networking - One-click Zoom Rooms Always Open

FRIDAY, NOV. 20TH, 2020


Sponsored by:

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9:00 Keynote: Industry Trends and the Future of Play with John Barbour (Volta Capital) moderates with Tim Kilpin (President, PlayMonster), Richard Barry (President & CEO at Tru Kids Brands), Steve Youngwood (COO Sesame Workshop), Wai Or (CEO, Longshore), Maura Regan (President, Licensing International)

10:00am: State of the Industry Worldwide - Reyne Rice (Toy Trends) moderates, panel include John Baulch (Toyworld UK), Armando Carreteros (Nación Juguetes Latin America and Spain), Astrid Specht (TOYS / 1st Steps Germany), Imogen Bailey (Toys & Hobby Australia), Sujin Lee, from Korea

11:00am: Logistics, Supply Chains and Manufacturing – Where is it Going (literally) - Steve Reece (Kids Brand Insight) moderates with panelists Josh West (Thinkfun), Pete Ridgewell (independent, ex Hasbro, ex Flair), Amy Holden (World Apart)

12:00pm: Design Trends – Products and Packaging - Matt Nuccio (Design Edge), Chris Down (Mattel), Jesse Falcon (Marvel), Fred Jordan (Magformers), Dawn Patmon (Hasbro), Michael Sala (Spin Master)

1:00pm: New Digital Media: Who Is the Audience and How to Reach Them - Bob Moog (university Games) moderates with panelists Richard Gottlieb (Global Toy News), Phil Albritton (Power Kid Podcast), Craig Hendrickson (UG Studios), David Becker from Blue Plate Media.

2:00pm: Post U.S. Election - What's Next? - Alan Hassenfeld (Hasbro) moderates with panelists Gerrick Johnson (BMO) and Stephanie Wissink (Jeffries)

3:00pm: Reuben Klamer and Eddy Goldfarb – Two TAGIE Lifetime Achievement Honorees, 150+ combined years of inventing and friendship. 


4:00pm: Networking - One-click Zoom Rooms Always Open


FRIDAY, NOV. 20TH, 2020


5:00pm - 6:30pm: Toy & Game International Excellence Awards – The TAGIEs!

Move over Oscars, Emmy's, CMA... the Toy and Game International Excellence Awards are taking the VIRTUAL center stage! This is a must attend event to celebrate your fellow toy industry colleagues at the 13th annual TAGIE Awards! Experience it from the comfort of your home and share the excitement with friends and family! It’s a must “tune in” event where Everyone is invited!  Awards, funny stunts, and more!! Hosted by Karri Bean, Sr. Licensing Manager for LEGO at Disney Parks Experiences & Products. Honoring Norm and Arlene Fabricant, Alan Roach, Erno Rubik as well as our innovative nominees!

Keynote - JoAnn McLaughlin, SVP-Hardlines Product Development, Disney Parks Experiences & Products

Introduction - Jesse Falcon, Director of Merchandising at Marvel Entertainment

6:30pm - 8:00pm: After Party – POP’s Got Talent 

Hosts: Robert Fuhrer, President of Nextoy, and David Fuhrer, Managing Director of BlueSquare Innovations will emcee random acts of skill and silliness by many infamous members of our industry


SATURDAY, NOV. 21 & SUNDAY, NOV 22, 2020

Saturday and Sunday November 21st-22nd, 2020 – Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Spanning eight virtual stages, there’s something for everyone!

Your Registration includes ALL of the above PLUS a profile page on our new People of Play Platform, which is takes the best of Linkedin + + This is special introductory pricing.


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