Global Connections - Comprehensive Content - Entertainment!


Companies who participated in 2019. We expect more in 2020!

Pitch ideas, connect, get feedback and information

Find new products, distributors, PR agency, suppliers and more


Thank you to our Sponsors

"CHITAG’s Inventor Conferences are timed optimally. There is no better time of year for inventors to pitch ideas to us!"

– Ben Dermer​, SVP Creative Development and Innovation. Deputy Creative Officer, Spin Master Ltd. 

"I’m looking forward to virtual CHITAG's People of Play Week this year! We won’t be seeing each other in February, or for the foreseeable future, so I’m thinking this is the main event that will not be missed."

– Troy Fischer, Managing Director, Fishco Innovation

"I love the CHITAG events! They're extremely well run with a great amount of thought put into them." 

– Carly McGinnis, Chief Operating Officer at Exploding Kittens

Your Registration includes ALL of the below and below PLUS a profile page on our new People of Play Platform, which is takes the best of Linkedin + IMDb.com + Match.com. This is special introductory pricing - DO NOT MISS OUT AND DO NOT WAIT TO REGISTER!
2020 Virtual Keynotes: Leaders & Legends! More TBA!
Richard Dickson, President & COO at Matt

Richard Dickson

President and COO, Mattel, Inc.

Jill Barad

Consultant, Prior: CEO & Chairman of Mattel

Tom Kalinske

Executive Chairman at Mixed Dimensions

Prior: CEO of Sega America, Leapfrog and Mattel

Neil Friedman

Advisor, Prior: President of

Alex Brands, ToysRUs, Mattel,

Fisher-Price, Tyco Preschool

Alan Hassenfeld 

Chairman Executive Committee, Hasbro

John Frascotti

President and COO, Hasbro

Leslie Scott

Founder, Oxford Games

Inventor of Jenga and more

Eric Nyman

Chief Consumer Officer,


John Barbour

Managing Partner, Volta Capital

Prior: CEO or President of

Leapfrog, ToysRUs, OddzOn, Real Networks-Games Div.

Reuben Klamer

Founder & President of Toylab

Inventor of Game of Life, 1-2-3 Roller Skates and much more!  

Eddy Goldfarb

Founder of Eddy & Martin Goldfarb & Assoc., Inventor of Yakity Yak Teeth, Kerplunk and more! 

Adi Golad

Founder, Managing Director

Goliath Group

Gerry Crown

Founder, Crown & Andrews Australia

3 Time winner Peking to Paris

Endurance Rally

Tim Kilpin

President, PlayMonster

Virtual Conference Speakers! More TBA!

Matt Nuccio

Co-Owner and Creative Director, Design Edge

Robert Fuhrer

Owner at Nextoy LLC and KenKen Puzzle

Karri Bean

Senior Licensing Manager, Disney Parks Experiences & Products

Clark Nesselrodt

Senior Vice President

Brilliant PR & Marketing

Kathleen Tomes

President, Brilliant PR & Marketing

Kim Vandenbroucke

Owner, The Game Aisle and Brainy Chick

Adam B. Hocherman

Vice President of New Business, 


Peggy Brown

President, Peggy Brown Creative

Catherine McMillen Gill_edited.jpg

Catherine McMillen-Gill

Co-Founder & President 

McGill Assoc’s

Richard Gill

Vice President Int'l, PlayMonster

Lisa Guili

General Manager, Educational Insights

Tim Walsh

Co-Founder, Roo Games; Founder, The Playmakers

David Norman

President of Goliath North America

Tanya Thompson

Director Global Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations for Gaming, Hasbro

Ken Johnson

Inventor of Phase 10 and more! 

Josslynne Lingard Welch


Christine Blumberg

Owner/Principal, RBG Sales

Derek Gable

President of West Coast Innovations (Invention and Product Development)

Inspirational Speaker

Gary Swisher

EVP of Design, Spin Master

Dougal Grimes

Senior Director, Global Games Inventor Relations and Partnerships,

Spin Master

Hayley Woodward

Head Of Global Marketing

 Rubik's Brand Ltd

Erin Griffin

Specialty Sales Rep Partner

Erin Griffin Group

David Kleeman

SVP, Global Trends Dubit

Wes Hardin

President, Diverse Marketing

Azhelle Wade

President, The Toy Coach

David Winter

Head of New Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations, Jazwares

Imogen Bailey

Editor – Toy & Hobby Retailer (Australia)

Astrid Specht

Editor TOYS 1st Steps magazine (Germany)

Gregory Benassar

Licensing & New Business Director


John Baulch

Publisher, Toy World Magazine (UK)

Mindy Schanzle 

Marketing Communications Lead - Radio Flyer

Dr. Brittney J. Fusilier

Instagram - brittfusilier

 Lifestyle #Influencer

James Zahn

Senior Editor, The Toy Book, The Toy Insider, and The Pop Insider

Nicole Bortnick

Co-Owner, BGN Sales Group, LLC

Nathan Measom

Manager of Corporate & Influencer Partnerships, Best Friends Animal Society

Daryl Andrews

Co-Founder Evergreen Board Game Studio

Ross Thompson

Marketing Manager, The Op Games 

Gillian Ruan​

Enterprise Innovation and Inventor Relations Manager Mattel

Mary Jo Reutter

President, You-Betcha Interactive

Pat Marino

Game Design Manager, USAopoly

Jim McCafferty

President and CEO, JMP Creative

Armando arreteros 

Editor, Nación Juguetes 

Bond Yuen

Manager, Broadway Toys

Alex Green

UK Managing Director, Asmodee

Rachel Griffin

Co-Founder, PlayWise Partners, LLC

Leila Nosrati

Principal, Master Toy Advisors

Gregory Murphy

Principal, Landmark IP

Amy Friedland

Executive Vice President, Freeman Public Relations

David Barkoe 

CEO, Carve Communications

Phil Sage

Senior Director: Product Development, Design & Inventor Relations, Hasbro

Tom Rushton

President, Revenew Sales

Brent Bushnel

President, Two Bit Circus

Dave Harris

Senior Director, Inventor Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Mattel

Simon Skelton

Director, Big Ideas

Rich Mazel

Senior Director, Global Product Acquisition, Hasbro

Carl Buchbinder​

President, Toyology Inc

Gerrick Johnson

Director, BMO Capital Markets

Reyne Rice

CEO/ Global Trend Hunter, ToyTrends and Co-President ITMA (Int'l Toy Trade Magazine Asso.)

Tracy Dudkiewicz

President, TAP Marketing

Steph Wissink

Managing Director,

Consumer Research, Jefferies

Deirdre Cross

Director, Product Development

Funko Games, Prospero Hall

Michael Edelstein

VP, Director Brand Partnerships 

The Marketing Store

Tony Serebriany

Director of Inventor Relations

& International Sales

Danielle Parde

Digital Marketing Manager

Fat Brain Toys

Emile Kalis

Co-founder and Product Development Adviser, Identity Games

Sandra Gomez

Founder & CEO, Ludilo 

Willie Wilkov

CEO, North America, HABA

Mandi Hutchinson

Content Creator, The Dice Tower, To Die for Games, Salt and Sass Games

Megan Hinterman Kanous

Business Dev.Manager

 Publisher Services, Inc

Dawn Patmon

Designer Director, Hasbro Playmakers

Amy Saldanha

Owner, Kiddywampus 

Ian Bernstein

Co-Founder, Misty Robotics

Betty Skoke Burns

Owner, Angelina's Toy Boutique

Rick Derr

President, Learning Express Lake Zurich

Gina Melone

Chief Creative, Studio Big Rock

Sarah Jordan

CEO, Mastermind Toys

Jan-Maurits Duparc

Chief Creation at Identity Games

Stephan Van Hacht

Managing Director, MegaBleu

Your Registration includes ALL of the above and below PLUS a profile page on our new People of Play Platform, which is takes the best of Linkedin + IMDb.com + Match.com. This is special introductory pricing - DO NOT MISS OUT AND DO NOT WAIT TO REGISTER!

Virtual Conference Sessions

Monday, November 16th – Basics

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

10:00am: Who, What, Where, Terms, Acronyms and More

11:00am: Licensing Your Ideas: Perspectives for Individuals and Companies

12:00pm: Pitch like a Pro to Manufacturers and Retailers

1:00pm: Inventing for an Invention House vs as an Independent 

2:00pm: Being an Inventor within a Corporate Design Department

3:00pm: Resources for Building Your Business 

6:00pm: Networking


Tuesday, November 17th – Retail

9:00am Keynote: Hasbro

10:00am: What are Mass Retailers Looking For? 

11:00am: “Leading Innovation at Specialty Retail

12:00pm: Connecting with Retailers Worldwide

1:00pm: Working with Reps in US

2:00pm: Getting into Worldwide Markets: Licensing vs. Distribution

3:00pm: Toy Safety and Product Testing 

6:00pm: Networking  


Wednesday, November 18th – Entertainment Tie-ins

9:00am Keynote: Spin Master Founders Anton Rabie and Ben Varadi 

10:00am: Movie and Product Tie-Ins 

11:00am: Digital-Play in a Post Pandemic World

12:00pm: Partnerships with Fast Food and More!

1:00pm: Celebrities and Twitch Streaming for Tabletop Games 

2:00pm: The Growth of Hobby Games and Fandom

3:00pm: Digital and Physical Cross-over in Games and the Integration of Technology  

6:00pm: Networking  


Thursday, November 19th – Marketing, PR and Social Media

9:00am Keynote: Adi Golad (Goliath, Netherlands) and Gerry Crown (Crown & Andrews, Australia)

10:00am: Public Relations Has Changed!

11:00am: Social Media Tips and Tricks for Brands, Companies and Inventors 

12:00pm: Working with Influencers

1:00pm: Inventor and Tabletop Media Networks

2:00pm: Global Perspective: Future of Toy Fairs and International Markets 

3:00pm: Activism and Inclusion in our Industry 

6:00pm: Networking  


Friday, November 20th  – Trends, Future of Play

9:00 Keynote: Industry Trends and the Future of Play with John Barbour and special guests.

10:00am: State of the Industry Worldwide

11:00am: Logistics, Supply Chains and Manufacturing – Where is it Going (literally)

12:00pm: Design Trends – Products and Packaging

1:00pm: How to Protect Your Brand from MAP Violations, Counterfeits, Gray-Market Forces 

2:00pm: Post U.S. Election - What's Next?

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

Friday– Evening

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

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

Spanning eight virtual stages/channels, 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 + IMDb.com + Match.com. This is special introductory pricing - DO NOT MISS OUT AND DO NOT WAIT TO REGISTER!

What Past Attendees had to Say...

“It’s an annual rite of passage for our industry. Keep doing a great job bringing the community together and promoting the spirit of play.” 

– John Bell, Director  of Product Design & Development,

Buffalo Games

"I attended CHITAG for the first time, and thought it was a fantastic event. It was great to connect with peers and learn from the quality talks. Look forward to attending next time!"

– Gabby Toniolo, Bella Products, Australia

The Innovation Conferences are a must for anyone - inventors or company people - in the toy and game industry.  The information you'll learn, the pitching and the networking is incredible. Mary and her team are to be congratulated; there is nothing else like it in the world!"

– Tanya Thompson, Hasbro

We are not mere creators of trinkets and insignificant baubles and playthings. we are the toymakers, the shamans, the wizards, the blacksmiths, the court jesters and sometimes even the town fool, and what we do – the toys that we create, contribute to the ever-evolving ever-advancing forward motion of the civilized world.”

– Bruce Lund 

"This event makes me fall in love with the Toy & Game Industry each year!"

– Megan Hinterman Kanous, PSI, Inc.

"I don't think I have learned more about the Toy Biz since?... ever. I didn't want it to end." 

– Carle Wunderlich, Best of Best Toys, Inc. 

Thank you for putting on such an informative and comprehensive conference and show.  ChiTAG is an excellent way to meet fellow inventors.  Our company, 1015 Creative, grew out of it.  Michael Adams and I met each other three years ago and within a year we were working together.  In October of last year we formed 1015 Creative, LLC with Damon Brown, bringing together a combined history of over 25 licensed games and 80 years of experience in game design, illustration and product development.  Our new company of successful inventors collaborating together debuted at the 2016 ChiTAG show.  We owe our success to the event and environment you have created."

– Eric Foster, Principal at 1015 Creative, LLC.

Chicago Toy & Game Week’s Professional Inventors Track is not just fertile ground for making the connections necessary to do business, it’s the annual gathering of the inventor tribe. In the whole wide world, there’s not a better place for independent toy and game inventors to go to catch up with each other, build friendships and strategic alliances, and spend quality time engaged with others who truly understand the nuances of the toy and game invention industry and share the common goal of expanding and improving our business opportunities. No other convention compares in personal warmth, richness of content, generosity of information sharing, and glorious un-rushed bubbles of quiet time to meet in depth and set a well-considered course right before the show season swings into hyper-warp mode and calm clarity morphs into frazzle."

– Peggy Brown of Peggy Brown Creative

​"Mary, you and your team throw one heck of an innovation conference!  It was a fantastic experience with a great group of people in the inventor community worldwide who are so clearly passionate about what they do and collaborative in spirit. Great keynotes/speakers, too!"  

– Patty Sullivan, Highlights