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2016 New Inventor Conference Agenda​

2016 Keynotes

​Jim McCafftery


JMP Creative​

Andy Roo Forrest


Forrest-Pruzan Creative 

Michelle Thaller

Assistant Director of Science 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Tim Walsh

Chief Playmaker

The Playmakers

2016 Top Industry Speakers (and more coming!)

Richard Gill

President, NH Contract Managemen

Jeff Pinsker


Pressman Toy

Jessie Mansbacher Kibbe

President, Pterod

Roger Gehrke

RPD Consulting

Katherine McHenry

Owner, Building Blocks Toy Stores

Tanya Thompson

Director of Product Strategy and Inventor Relations

Marbles: the brain store

Megan Hinterman Kanous

National Accounts Manager, PSI Inc.

Reyn Guyer

Serial Entrepreneur

Developer of Twister and Nerf

Robin Raskin

Founder, Living in Digital Times

Matt Nuccio

Co-Owner and Creative Director, Design Edge Inc.

Carle Wunderlich

Founder & President, WunderReps

Peggy Brown

Owner, Peggy Brown Creative Consulting

Richard Gottlieb

President, Global Toy Experts and Global Toy News

Alison Ray

CEO, SoChic Media

why Attend?

"If you’re truly serious about getting into the toy & game industry, whether it be as a designer looking to license your ideas or someone looking start a company producing your own products, I can’t recommend enough attending this Conference.  I first attended T&GCon in 2014 and have since licensed several toys and games, all to companies that I met at the conference (Marbles, Mindware & Fat Brain Toys).  Although I’m a newbie to the industry I’m confident in saying that you would be very hard pressed to find any single event, at least in the United States, that new (and experienced) toy & game inventors can attend that will be as helpful as T&GCon will be to your aspirations. " -Brady Peterson



  • Opportunity to meet with toy and game companies.

  • Pitch your toy, game or app idea to dozens of companies for licensing and feedback. 

  • Network with toy and game companies as well as consultants and others that can help you succeed. 

  • Full conference program to learn about the industry and save you from making costly mistakes. 

Conference registration inclusions

  • Two days of customized conference sessions designed to give you a broad exposure to the toy & game industry

  • An exhibit table with a "Speed Meeting" opportunity to show off your prototypes, products, and ideas

  • Unparalleled opportunity to network with peers and presenters

  • Opportunity to meet with toy an game companies 
  • One ticket to D4 Pub Night - great food, great space, great networking! 
  • One ticket to the PlayCHIC Fashion Show on Friday night (same night as TAGIEs)

  • One ticket to the Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs) on Friday night (same night as PlayCHIC)
  • Two-day admission to the Fair on Saturday & Sunday

  • Discounts on exhibition space at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair - A $300 discount on a 6 feet inventor table space or a $500 discount on a 10 x 10 square feet or larger booth space. This is separate from the table you receive at this inventor conference. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for both days

  • Coffee, tea & networking breaks for both days


Exhibit Tables and "Speed Meeting"

Attendees with prototypes, inventions, products, and/or services receive a 6 foot exhibit table in our mini show room (near the conference rooms) which allows you to present product during the conference on Friday.

During the "Speed Meeting and Pitching" period on Friday morning, all conference speaker/experts have agreed to take time to walk through the Walkabout room to see product, and listen to the "elevator pitch" at each table. The schedule permits at least one minute with each company, and then take advantage of the networking opportunities to have deeper discussions with the people who are interested in your products.

There is no additional cost for reserving a table at the conference, Contact us to reserve your table.  All materials being displayed must fit on top of the 6 foot table. Table coverings are acceptable. No items may be placed adjacent to the table (i.e. banners or display racks).

Companies in Attendance (2015)

Past Speakers

Alison Ray

CEO, SoChic Media

Brian Torney

Design Manager, New Business Group, Hasbro

Carle Wunderlich

Founder & President, Best Toys Inc. and

Best of Best Inc.

Catherine McMillen-Gill
McGill Associates

Cindy Simmons



Dan Thorsland

General Manager,

Mighty Kingdom

Dougal Grimes

Director of Global Games Acquisition, Hasbro

Emile Kalis

Creative Director,

Identity Games

Gregory Benassar

Head of New Business, Asmodee

Haim Shafir

CEO, Shafir Games

Ian Bernstein

CTO and Founder,


Jeff Pinsker


Pressman Toy

Jessie Mansbacher Kibbe

President, Pterod

Joey Fortman

Brand Spokeswoman, Real Mom Media LLC

Katherine McHenry

Owner, Building Blocks Toy Stores

Keri Wilmot


Kurt Melcher

Associate Athletic Director and eSports Coordinator at Robert Morris University 

Lisa Orman

President, KidStuff PR

Maria Aguilar

Manager, Social Media and Influencer Relations at Spin Master Ltd

Matt Nuccio

Co-Owner and Creative Director, Design Edge Inc.

Megan Hinterman Kanous

National Accounts Manager, PSI Inc.

Melissa Hershey

Strategic Partnership Development, Hasbro

Melissa "Mommy" Hunter

Founder and CMO, Mommy & Gracie Show

Nicole Brady

Founder and owner of

Nora Newcombe, Ph.D

Professor of Psychology, Tempe University

Peggy Brown

Owner, Peggy Brown Creative Consulting

Rich Mazel

Director of Global Toy Acquisition, Hasbro

Richard Gill

President, NH Contract Managemen

Richard Gottlieb

President, Global Toy Experts and Global Toy News

Robert Yusim

President, Product Counsel

Robin Raskin

Founder, Living in Digital Times

Roger Gehrke

RPD Consulting

Ruth Green-Synowic

Ruth Green Concepts, Inc

Sheena Stephens

Vice President, MWW

Tim Walsh

Fearless Leader of The PlayMakers

2015 Printed Program

New Inventors Track

November 17-18, 2016


Pitch companies such as Hasbro, Spin Master, Mattel, Bandai, PlayMonster, Asmodee, Pressman Toy, Goliath Games, ThinkFun, Offset Media, Trend Int'l, USAopoly, Marbles, the Brain Store, Polygroup, Fat Brain Toys, Marektoy, Identity Games USA and Netherlands, ​Carletto, ​Buffalo Games, Peaceable Kingdom, Longshore, CASS Group, Haywire Group, Jazwares, Blue Orange ​and​ more to come from around world. Learn how to develop products and pitch them effectively from Design Edge, PSI, Barnes and Noble, JMP Creative, Forrest-Pruzan, The Playmakers, Reyn Guyer Creative, Building Blocks, Living in Digital Times, Global Toy News, RPD Consulting, U.S. Patent Office, McGill and Associates, WunderReps and more. Learn the ins and outs of licensing, self publishing, social media marketing, and more straight from the pros! Includes tickets to exclusive Inventor Night at D4 Irish Pub, Toy & Game Innovation Awards and PlayCHIC. 

In our 10th year, formerly known as T&GCon, this is a forum for advocating, educating and bringing together people in the toy and game industry; with unrivaled opportunities for private/confidential meetings, knowledge sharing, learning about new trends, pooling resources and generating new business. 

Space is limited! Register to attend here! 

Pitch Your Ideas to Toy & Game Executives

4 Things every New Inventor should know

No need to wait until the Conferences, here are 3 things you can today to get you started in the Toy & Game Industry

1. Read the Whitepapers (

2. Read the Blogs (


3. Subscribe to the ChiTAG Newsletter (Email us at:

4. Become a member of ChiTAG Group to get introductions and one-on-one mentoring ($10-$30 per month depending on your requirements contact us to find out more:

I attended T&GCon (New Inventor Conferences) and ChiTAG (Week) for the first time in 2012 as a newbie inventor looking to gain feedback on our party game, Schmovie. I received invaluable insights from seasoned industry folks and consumers alike, and we ended up making key changes to both our game play and box design as a result. I’m excited to return this year as we celebrate Schmovie’s official launch!

Bryan Wilson, Partner/Creative Director, Galactic Sneeze

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Register for the

New Inventor Conference 2016!

Thursday November 17

7am to 10pm

(includes evening event)

Friday November 18

7am to 4pm, then the

Gala from 6pm to 11pm. 



Conference Sponsors 2016 

Where to stay

We reserve a block of rooms at the Doubletree Magnificent Mile (a five-minute taxi ride to the Pier) with a discounted room rate if you make your reservations through our travel agent - Kate Hennessy at Milne Travel American Express.

Call Kate at: +1 802 735 1316 (or +1 802 862 2200) or email: 

Availability is limited! Book early!

Inventors and Small Publishers

 "Thanks for making my first official inventors experience an awesome one. I could not have asked for a more productive use of time or better group of industry experts to learn from and meet." - Marc CooperDoodle Roll

 "T&GCon was an amazing experience. It was energizing and informative, and not only did I learn a lot, but now have several projects being considered for licensing. What a fantastic event! Honestly, I loved the whole thing. I'd give top marks across the board." - Patrick MatthewsLive Oak Games

"You can spend years trying to figure out the ropes of a new industry, or you can spend two days at T&GCon and meet those that know, listen to those that know, and then you can move forward with your idea. We listened. When we left we had orders and we had a vision. We went from being a nobody to a somebody. Thank you so much!" - Bill Witt, Founder, Pajaggle, Inc

"T&GCon was amazing and I highly recommend that any and all budding toy and game inventors invest in this opportunity to learn every aspect of the toy and game industry!  Not only do you get to network with the top experts in the industry, but you can get a one-on-one meeting to discuss "your" toy or game with them!  It's a rare and golden opportunity for toy and game inventors!" - Barbara Jenkins, J Links Enterprise

Art of pitching your idea

Recorded at Conferences 2014  

Randall Hoyt pitches his game "Turnpike" to toy & game publishers. Used by permission of Grandfather Films

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