The organisers of the London and New York toy fairs have both issued strong statements regarding their plans for the events, which are slated to go ahead this January and February respectively.
The Toy Association expects to safely host Toy Fair New York at the Javits Center from February 19-22, 2022.
“Hundreds of small and midsize toy & play companies, entrepreneurs, and inventors across North America depend on Toy Fair New York for access to the market and new opportunities,” says Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “Many have been looking to the 2022 show to help their businesses recover from the negative impacts of the past two years of the pandemic. While international attendance will be down, and some major players do not plan to be present, Toy Fair New York is still set for the second half of February.”
To ensure the health and safety of all Toy Fair attendees, New York City’s strict indoor activity guidelines and the Javits Center’s own policy requiring proof of vaccination for admission to events will be rigorously enforced. All who enter Toy Fair will be required to wear masks. “Our steadfast requirement for proof of vaccination and mask wearing was seen as somewhat controversial last spring and today provides confidence that all health and safety standards are in place,” added Pasierb.
The Javits Center, now operating at 100% capacity, allows for social distance and is among the safest venues in the country, having received the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) accreditation and with the installation of hospital-grade High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters (the entire volume of air within the building is completely changed five times per day). Toy Fair has been planned from the onset with wider aisles as part of its health and safety preparations.
“Our industry is one of creativity, human connection, and collaboration, which is something we all desperately need and want – and something Toy Fair uniquely provides,” said Pasierb. “Toy Fair and the Javits Center have the standards and practices in place to deliver a safe environment to gather in person, meet with customers and friends, conduct business, and enjoy networking. With these tools in place, the industry has the opportunity to utilize them.”
Given that no new Covid restrictions are being mooted for England, the British Toy and Hobby Association has released a statement regarding Toy Fair 2022:
“Over the past months and weeks, we have continuously been monitoring the government regulations and industry guidance in order to best prepare and work towards delivering a safe and successful Toy Fair 2022 for the industry.
“We are pleased to confirm, given Government has not changed the conditions under which the fair can take place, that we look forward to delivering a great Toy Fair 2022 at Olympia and to welcoming the industry.
“The current regulations allow for large indoor events like Toy Fair to take place with mandatory mask-wearing and COVID-19 status checks, which we will be operating for allparticipants. The requirements for anyone accessing the halls, including exhibitors, contractors, visitors and staff will be either proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR or Lateral flow test (within 48 hours prior to arrival) or medical exemption.
“The health and safety of our participants is of utmost importance and hence we continue to track the guidance in order to comply with regulations. We are working closely with Olympia to provide a safe environment with enhanced cleaning, multiple hand sanitising stations and two points of entrance/exit to avoid crowding.
“We continue to recommend that exhibitors also strongly factor hygiene into their planning by regularly cleaning high frequency touchpoints and demonstration products, offering hand sanitiser to all visitors and monitoring numbers to avoid overcrowding on a stand. We would recommend participants make appointments to help avoid potential overcrowding issues.
“We would also advise in this exceptional year in light of the ongoing pandemic that exhibitors be prudent on expenditure where possible, especially in case the situation or requirements from government necessitate changes.
“Once again, we thank you for your understanding, patience and support during these difficult times and look forward to welcoming the industry to Toy Fair at Olympia from 25-27 January.”