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Design Student Conference Track

The Largest Toy & Game Inventor Conference in the World

Nov. 21-22, 2019, 8am-10pm 

This is your opportunity to show your portfolio, get internships and pitch ideas directly to manufacturers, investors, retailers, and product acquisition execs.


Our 14th year bringing you 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). 

NEW OPPORTUNITY! Design Student Sunday Showcase organized by James Brosnan. We are offering free space for design students to show their toy/game projects/portfolio to companies and public. You can participate in Conference and/or Showcase. Questions? Contact James!   Space limited - reserve your place now! 

This is 'THE' Event to Attend! Why You Need to Attend

"Thank you for organizing such a successful ChiTAG conference this year.  As a newcomer to this conference, I found much of the information insightful and inspirational. Most importantly, it was such a fantastic networking opportunity for me, and I will be recommending this conference to other fellow students and professionals at the University of Kansas.  Thanks again and see you at next year's ChiTAG! NEIL DUVAL, Industrial Design Student, University of Kansas

"We really appreciate you and what you did for us to allow us to be part of the CHITAG event! I made many potential long lasting connections that will set off my career in the world of toys and games that I wouldn't have if it weren't for you. The design faculty here at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design was very impressed with what we accomplished. I believe this could be an even bigger opportunity to introduce students to professionals as well as investors to designers. I even found a bit of freelance work doing some concepting work for inventors. James Brosnan, Industrial Design Student, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD)

"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, EVP Design, Spin Master

"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

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.

Prepare for the Conferences

Don't wait until the Conferences, here are things you can now to get started in the Toy & Game Industry:

1. Read the Whitepapers  especially How to Prepare Pitch Sheet

2. Become a member of Linkedin Toy & Game Innovator Group 

3. Review map of Navy Pier so you know where you are going. . 

Click Here for Map of all of Navy Pier - Conference Room are between the numbers marked 25 and 26 - near the Grand Ballroom. Addition directions here:

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

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.

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 

"CHITAG is the best conference and networking experience I have ever had!" -Heidi Larson, Hb's Toys & Accessories

"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. 

"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

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