The Toy Association’s decision to cancel the move of the annual Toy Fair from New York to New Orleans highlights the strong attachment of the toy industry to New York City and the importance of place in the industry.
In a surprising turn of events, The Toy Association has reversed its decision to move the annual Toy Fair from New York City to New Orleans. The announcement of the move had been met with excitement just two weeks ago, with the convention center and New Orleans tourism group touting it as a significant win for the city. However, the association’s chairman, Aaron Muderick, wrote to members to explain the reversal.
Muderick stated that the decision to keep the Toy Fair in New York was driven by the strong feelings of tradition and enduring memories of toy business conducted in the city. The feedback came during the recent Toy Fair held at the Jacob K. Javits Center, the first in-person show since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Muderick acknowledged the professionals in New Orleans and praised the city’s ability to host large and complex shows but emphasized the industry’s passionate bond to New York.
The initial decision to move the Toy Fair was motivated by cost-saving efforts and the search for a more suitable date on the calendar. However, the backlash to the move made it clear that the toy industry valued the sense of place in New York more than these considerations. Muderick noted that the place holds as much, if not more, importance than the date for the industry.
While the cancellation is disheartening for New Orleans, Michael Sawaya, president and general manager of the Convention Center, assured that no business was displaced or opportunities missed in pursuit of the convention. The Toy Association will now explore hosting a show in Los Angeles next fall to meet the industry’s desire for a sooner event.
This about-face decision by The Toy Association highlights the strong emotional attachment of the toy industry to New York City and the significance of place in the industry. The tradition and memories associated with conducting toy business in New York outweighed the cost-saving and calendar considerations. This serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding the emotional connections and sense of place in any industry or decision-making process.