This was our fourth consecutive year exhibiting at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair.
Exhibiting in Nuremberg is an expensive endeavor. Booth space is pricey - especially in a year where we increased our booth size. Hotels become ridiculously expensive as thousands of international visitors flood into the city. Plus, there are the logistical costs of exhibiting overseas and the time factor of being away from the office for an additional eight days during the prime tradeshow season.
But I love going to Nuremberg. It is the biggest toy tradeshow in the world. There are tons of interesting products to see and interesting people to meet. The global feel of the tradeshow just isn’t something you experience at NY Toy Fair. For a company like ours - looking to grow its international presence - being in Nuremberg is so very important.
Unfortunately, on the long flight from Vancouver to Frankfurt, I suffered a severe attack of gout. Flying and gout aren’t a good combination! By the time I arrived in Nuremberg, my foot was so swollen, I couldn’t put a shoe on my left foot.
Long story short, I had two separate trips to a German hospital, missed the first three days of the tradeshow unable to leave the hotel room, and spent the last three days of the tradeshow in a wheelchair. With the tradeshow spread over 12 halls, getting around in a wheelchair was soooooo frustratingly slow, that on those three days I was there, I never left the booth other than for appointments. Oh yes… and I never did manage to get that shoe on!
Fortunately, there were two other Outset employees in Nuremberg and they managed just fine without me.
There was some positive news. Cobble Hill now has a distributor for its puzzles in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. On the board game side of our business, Pickles To Penguins® was most popular, with strong interest from distributors in New Zealand and several countries across Europe.
Nuremberg is known for its dreaded last day. While most exhibitors would prefer a five day tradeshow - it is a six day tradeshow - and that last day is painfully slow! In the first three years we exhibited in Nuremberg, I don’t think we ever had a retailer stop by our booth on the last day. Stop the presses!!! We actually had TWO potential customers this year! There was a buyer from the British Museum looking at Professor Noggin’s and a distributor from Hungary looking at Cobble Hill puzzles.
Being in Nuremberg shows the world that our brands are strong enough to compete in the international market. And that is why we are going back in 2017. Here’s to hoping that next year I will be on two feet!