New Inventor & Business Conference Track
Nov. 21-22, 2019, 8am-10pm
Pitch, Learn, Connect.
LARGEST toy inventor and game inventor event in world!
This is your opportunity to pitch ideas directly to
manufacturers, investors, retailers, and product acquisition execs.
These companies will be there looking for ideas!
Our 13th year, formerly T&GCon, bringing together toy and game inventors with unrivaled opportunities to pitch your ideas and network. Learn ins and outs of licensing, how to pitch, self publish, international markets, distribute, find reps, pr, marketing, and more straight from the pros!
Includes tickets to exclusive Inventor Night and Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs).
Space limited - reserve your seat now!
This is 'THE' Event to Attend! Why You Need to Attend
"ChiTAG is “THE” event for the Toy Industry, it is a who’s who of Toy & Game Inventors and Toy & Game Companies. The Conferences, Gala and Fair are unmatched for Educating, Celebrating and Playing in our industry. I’m very excited for this year’s event - it is timed perfectly for seeing the best of the best toys and games right in the heart of our biggest selling season!" - Gary Swisher, SVP of Inventor Relations and Head of Gaming, Mattel Inc.
"If you’re truly serious about getting into the toy & game industry, whether it be as a designer looking to license your ideas or start 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 (Spin Master, 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 that new (and experienced) toy & game inventors can attend that will be as helpful to your aspirations. " -Brady Peterson
The First of our Outstanding 2019 Keynotes Announced!
Managing Director at BlueSquare Innovations
Our Awesome Speakers in 2018!
Senior Manager, Lego at Disney Consumer Products
Founder, Chairman of Goliath (incl. Pressman Toy, JAX, Tucker Toys and more!)
Director Global Product Acquisition and Inventor Relations for Gaming, Hasbro
Fearless Leader at The Playmakers, Filmmaker, Author, Inventor
Chief Innovation Officer
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
CEO, Founder at Cloud, Launched over 1500 Products
Senior Director - Design & Development, iPlay at Hasbro
Director of Discovery at The Grommet
Co-Owner and Creative Director, Design Edge
Founder & President, WunderReps
Manager Business Development and Sales
Product Category Director MARTINEX OY
Global Executive Vice President - Geo Chem
Founder, Managing Partner
"ChiTAG is a high point of the year. I am able to meet and speak with inventors from around the globe in an amazing, innovative and supportive environment. It is the only toy and game fair that offers this combination of new and experienced inventors, learning and networking opportunities, and an event that is literally and figuratively built around an open-to-the-public Toy Fair set on Chicago’s historic Navy Pier. It is a great place to experience every part of the toy industry, from the inventors, colleagues, and business partners, to watching the children’s reactions to the toys and games on the show floor to wrap up the week.” - Rich Mazel – Head of Global Product Acquisitions, Hasbro, Inc.
2018 Conference Agenda!
Conference Registration Includes...
Two days of customized conference sessions designed to give you a broad exposure to the toy & game industry, expand your business and save you from making costly mistakes.
An exhibit table with a "Speed Meeting" opportunity to pitch your toy, game or app prototypes, products, and ideas to dozens of companies for licensing and feedback.
Unparalleled opportunity to network with peers, speakers, toy and game product acquisition executives as well as consultants and others that can help you succeed.
- Opportunity to meet with toy an game companies
- One ticket to Inventor Pub Night - great food, great space, great networking!
- One ticket to the Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs) on Friday night
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 which allows you to present product during the conference on Friday. All materials being displayed must fit on top of the 6 foot table. Table coverings are acceptable as is a free standing pull up banner up to 3'x8' placed behind your table.
During the "Speed Meeting and Pitching" period on Friday morning, all product acquisition executives will 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.
Register for the 2019 Conference Opens Soon!
Thursday, Nov. 21, 8am - 10pm
(includes evening pub event)
Friday, Nov. 22, 8am - 4pm, includes TAGIEs 6pm to 10pm.
We reserve a limited block of rooms at The W (easily walkable or a five-minute taxi ride to the Pier)
with a discounted room rate if you make your reservations through Kate Hennessy.
Call Kate at: +1 802-857-8434 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Availability is limited! Book early!
Prepare for the Conferences
Don't wait until the Conferences, here are things you can now to get started in the Toy & Game Industry:
2. Become a member of Linkedin Toy & Game Innovator Group
3. Review map of Navy Pier so you know where you are going. navypier.com/meeting-rooms .
4. Register for Women Toys Breakfast on the Saturday morning after Conferences for addition knowledge and networking.
5. There are inventor tables available at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair on Saturday and Sunday for $500 if you are attending Conferences. Ask us for the promo code if interested.
6. Welcome to our inventor community! See you soon!
7. From the archives! You Don't Know What You Don't Know!
8. Curated list of tools and resources for starting your business and working more efficiently http://techbizgurl.com/resources
Past Attendees Recommend Attending!
"The conferences were informative and motivating. It was wonderful listening to industry professionals speak to a variety of relevant topics. We attended as new inventors with a diverse portfolio of ten games to pitch. The connections we made at ChiTAG resulted in licensing six concepts and one brand. Pretty remarkable! We look forward to many more conferences in the future. Thank you!" - Brenda Ekstroem of Blue Ninja Studios and Erica Golub of DesignELF Studios.
“The Inventor Conferences are an incredible opportunity to network and pitch your ideas to industry professionals. I licensed my game, Stripes, to Breaking Games after pitching it at a speed dating event. The contacts I made remain invaluable years later. Thank you, Mary!” -Maxine Ekl, Clever Playing Cards, Protospiel-Chicago organizer
The Inventor Conferences and consumer Fair surpassed our wildest expectations. We have interest from retailers, licensees and met vendors with whom we have now contracted for manufacturing and fulfillment. The Conference panels were so rich with content and we are so grateful for this insider knowledge. Perhaps the most rewarding element, was the direct family and kid feedback we received at the Fair following the Conferences. The positive reception gave us the data we needed to accelerate getting our game into the market! - Stacy Katz and Maximina Revis, Co-Creators of Not Parent Approved
Thank you for the hard work you put in setting up the new inventors conference. It was a great experience, and really amazing to be able to get that much access to information and contacts in the toy and game community as a newcomer. I also really appreciated how much you care about fostering new inventors (e.g. by ensuring that everyone came to our pitches). - Will Cavendish
BrainSpin continues strong sales at Winning Moves USA, selling over 50,000 copies since its debut in 2016. I learned so much at the Conferences and Fair and could not have gotten this deal without the work you do supporting newbies like me. I came to understand the value of licensing versus self-publishing; learned the important terms, conditions and gray areas of legal deals; met a Hasbro executive and played my game with him (he later connected me with Winning Moves); and a colleague of his, who kindly offered his advice on who to work with and what I could expect in a deal; and I boosted my credibility by selling more than a hundred copies of BrainSpin at the Fair. Super psyched to come back this year with a new idea!" - Frankie Abralind
"What an excellent introduction to the toy and game profession! I met acquisition execs, license brokers, experienced game designers and newbies like myself. And I learned a lot from each group!" - Luke Fischer, Gamefish LLC
"CHITAG is the best conference and networking experience I have ever had!" -Heidi Larson, Hb's Toys & Accessories
"The Chicago Toy and Game Conference was a great opportunity for me. I walked away with a deeper understanding of the industry and met many inspiring people. Their passion was motivating and provided an excellent experience that I will hang onto as I follow my dream." -Steve Rolland, Game Creator of Yes, and…you are the Comic!
"I had been trying over the last 6 months to figure out how and who to license my toy idea to. I got not a ton of great info... and I think I made a deal yesterday with a great company, all through the network of folks who were generous enough to share their insight and make connections. I think this is the best money I ever spent." - Avram Kaufman, Evolvems
"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
"Thank you for putting on such a wonderful conference. It definitely exceeded my expectations! As someone who is interested in getting started in the toy and game industry, I found this conference invaluable. The great variety of session topics and quality of presenters helped me gain a better understanding of the industry as a whole. I would recommend it to anyone who thinks toy or game design is something they want to do." - John Berube
"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
"I attended T&GCon and ChiTAG 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!" -BryanWilson, Partner/Creative Director, Galactic Sneeze
“First class - ample venue, fine food/beverage, well-credentialed speakers, awards dinner, impressive and well-connected industry execs attending. Your event far exceeded my expectations! A great experience! The face-to-face contact with industry folks is invaluable. I heartily recommend this for anyone hoping to break into the business. Even if a person does not find the news to be good about their proposed toy or game, then they at least know that they gave themselves the very best chance for success. Thanks to T&GCon, my game “Choice Words” was picked up by MindWare.” - Bob Kamp
“We went to a Toy Show, and it happened to be the Chicago Toy Fair, and within the first hour we got offered a license agreement.” — Dustin "Red Dragon" Berk, Ninja Cards on Shark Tank
"This event makes me fall in love with the Toy & Game Industry each year!” - Megan Hinterman Kanous - Publisher Services, Inc.
"I don't think I have learned more about the Toy Biz since?... ever. I didn't want it to end." - Carle Wunderlich, President, Best of Best Toys, Inc.
The Innovation Conferences are aa valuable a networking event to me, as it is to the inventors attending! Mary and her team assemble some of the most talented people in the industry. It is like no other toy conference available. I am sure some the industry’s best, new ideas are being discussed and created throughout the conference events – we will just have to watch the toy shelves to see!" - Tracy Dudkiewicz, TAP Marketing
"In two days companies such as Hasbro and Barnes and Noble covered everything from what the major retail buyers were looking for, how and why decisions were made, to how to save on manufacturing. This was topped only by the opportunity to have a one-on-one with the same experts allowing them to comment on our product and answer our questions. They were all very generous with their time and suggestions. T&GCon is a must for anyone who wants to understand the toy and game industry or market their product. I came away from the event both professionally and personally enriched." - Gary Nolan, Inventarium