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Toy Fair Not Put Off by NYC’s Weekend Blizzard

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
February 13, 2013
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New York, NY – New York City buttoned up for a snowy weekend lashing by Mother Nature, but the fun went on at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center where the American International Toy Fair opened on time February 10 despite the likelihood many attendees were unable to fly into the Big Apple on schedule.

About 14,000 buyers trooped into the cozy confines of Javits Center on a Sunday morning after about 11 inches of snow, less than what had been forecasted, fell in the downtown area. It was the 110th time in as many years that the show opened on time regardless of the weather, according to Kimberly Carcone, senior director, trade show and event marketing for the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Inc.

“There were only six companies on opening day that were unable to exhibit due to the storm,” Carcone told Trade Show Executive.

A total of 10,666 exhibitors were signed up to fill the exhibit floor, which covered a record 375,000 net square feet. The TIA was expecting a total crowd of about 33,000.

As the storm closed in on the East Coast, the TIA website was abuzz with social-media comments from attendees lamenting that their flights were cancelled. Once the storm passed and things got back to normal, there was optimism everyone would be in town before the show closed February 13.

“While our attendance numbers on Day 1 may be down compared to previous years, the outlook for the rest of the week was positive,” said Carcone. “International buyers and journalists have arrived in New York despite difficult travels and are participating in Toy Fair.”

The storm was hardly kid’s stuff but it was not enough to derail Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, either.

Despite media reports of supermodels and stalwart fashionistas slogging around Manhattan in coats, boots and even flat-soled shoes, most of the runway shows and parties at the February 7-14 event took place as scheduled.

A handful of fashion shows had to be postponed due to freight difficulties, and some took place with the headline designers stuck elsewhere due to cancelled flights.

Javits Center cancelled a February 9 hiring call for union carpenters seeking to work the March 29-April 7 New York International Auto Show.

A sunny Sunday was also promised in Boston, Hartford, CT  and Providence, RI where the trade show calendars were clear on a weekend when nearly two  feet of snow piled up and large areas were left without power.

Reach Kimberly Carcone at (646) 520-4869 or kcarcone@toyassociation.org; Marian Bossard, TIA vice president, meetings and events, at (646) 520-4853 or mbossard@toyassociation.org; Javits Center President & CEO Alan Steel at (212) 216-2000 or asteel@javitscenter.com

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