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In The World of Baby and Kids Products, There Are the Trade Fairs That You Simply Can’t Miss!

3 Apr 2024

Baby and kids products are reliable sellers and the industry has made remarkable recovery after COVID-19. New markets rise and threaten the status quo. Established markets turn to technology and innovation to keep their lead in this incredibly competitive landscape.

Come find out the contenders for the top spot, learn about the trends worth paying attention to, and take note of the newcomers that could potentially reinvent the concept of play!

Bologna Children's Book Fair 2024: April 8th – 11th; Bologna, Italy

The Bologna Children's Book Fair has been a cornerstone event for professionals in children's literature for 55 years, held annually at the BolognaFiere. It has become indispensable for anyone involved in the industry, serving as a global hub for copyright exchange, translation rights, multimedia, and licensing for children's content. This international book fair receives support from the accompanying events BolognaBookPlus and the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids. All three together create an unparalleled presence in international rights and licensing trading, generously supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAECI) and ITA - the Italian Trade Agency.

Recognizing the pivotal role of illustrators in children's literature, the fair hosts several awards for illustration alongside the highly popular Illustrators Exhibition, featuring international creators. Each edition also highlights a Guest of Honor Country, with recent focus on China. The Bologna Children's Book Fair made a glorious return post-pandemic. In just a few editions, it managed to achieve pre-pandemic numbers as over 1000 exhibitors from 90 countries showcased their work in front of an audience that far exceeded 21,400 international visitors.

Trade publishers are the primary audience, benefitting from networking opportunities and practical support programs. Visitors receive training in selling rights, operating as literary agents, translation rights, and various seminars. The fair also includes a hosted bookseller initiative and an Author Ambassador program. With a multitude of events, attendees face the delightful challenge of choosing which to attend. Major highlights include the famous Illustrators Exhibition, now available online for 190 days, and the coveted BolognaRagazzi awards.

Picture: Bologna Children's Book Fair

Pitti Immagine Bimbo 2024: June 19th – 21st; Florence, Italy

As part of the prestigious Pitti Immagine series of events that shape fashion trends across Europe, Pitti Immagine Bimbo investigates the intricacies of children’s clothing and youth fashion at the historic Fortezza da Basso. Held in January and June like other fashion events, Pitti Immagine Bimbo attracts national and international designers, suppliers, brands and trade visitors. It serves as the premier platform for discovering upcoming trends in children’s clothing. Exhibitors attend to enhance brand visibility, network, explore business opportunities, and stay updated with the latest in the fashion industry. The exhibition floors feature special areas covering clothing, accessories, lifestyle, footwear, shop supplies, and licensing.

The January 2023 edition saw one of its best turnouts to date as it attracted 230 exhibitors, which were fully vetted, and 2100 total buyers, out of which 600 buyers represented 70 countries. The audience at Pitti Immagine Bimbo represents the entire fashion retail sector, including boutiques, retail, multi-brand, department and specialty stores, chains, and specialist e-commerce platforms. With the worst of the pandemic behind us, organizers report an increase in international buyers, with strong presence from countries like Turkey, the United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, Germany, France, Greece, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Serbia.

Pitti Immagine Bimbo isn't just a trade fair; it's a playground for innovation, collaboration, and setting the trends that will shape the future of children's fashion. Whether you're an established brand looking to reinvent styles or a pioneering newcomer with a fresh perspective, this fair offers unparalleled opportunities to showcase your vision and connect with global markets.

Picture: Pitti Immagine Bimbo

Kind + Jugend 2024: September 3rd – 5th; Cologne, Germany

Celebrating almost 80 years of setting trends in the ever-evolving baby and children’s product sector, Kind + Jugend is where big business happens. From its humble beginnings in Cologne as "BABY," this trade fair has rebranded and grown, embracing the motto "Learn from children and stay curious" to underscore its commitment to innovative approaches and product development.

Kind + Jugend boasts a diverse product portfolio, with exhibition halls filled with dolls, strollers, kids' apparel, maternity clothes, baby carriers, seats, toys, child safety products, and much more. One of the highlights of the event is the Kind + Jugend Innovation Award, established in 2004, which remains a coveted honor for exhibitors. This award signifies prestige, trustworthiness, and quality, driving manufacturers to showcase their best and most innovative products.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected business worldwide, Kind + Jugend perseveres, adapting to the changing landscape. The first edition since the pandemic began tested the waters at a smaller scale. We’re talking 149 international exhibitors, a little over 20,000 international trade visitors and 50 journalists from trade publications. The Innovation Award competition remains a significant incentive for manufacturers to participate in Kind + Jugend. With nine categories covering a wide range of products, from toys to safety equipment to sustainability, winning this award brings immediate boosts in sales and exposure.

Picture: Kind + Jugend

The TOY FAIR 2025: September 21st – 23rd; London, UK

For over 70 years, the TOY FAIR has been the pillar of the British toy industry, providing a platform for manufacturers to showcase their latest toy models. Held for the first time in Brighton in 1954, this beloved event has since found its home at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London. Held annually in January, the TOY FAIR sets the stage for the year ahead, shaping the major trends that will define the toy market.

The TOY FAIR has a dedicated portfolio of product categories, ranging from traditional wooden toys and party games to applied arts, dolls, plushies, and children's books. Beyond the diverse product offerings, the event also features thematic zones like the Relaxation Garden, Toy Master Members Lounge, TOY FAIR TV Studio, and Demo Zone. With something always happening, attendees have the opportunity to meet a diverse array of trade visitors from across the country, making it the premier venue for establishing a presence in the UK toy market.

Picture: The TOY FAIR


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