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TAGIE/ChiTAG!!

Remember how you felt waiting for Christmas when you were a kid?  The excitement and anticipation?  This is how I’ve felt for the past few months waiting for these Chicago Toy and Game Conferences!  They’re finally here.  Mary Couzin is the organizer.  I met Mary at the NY Toy Fair in February.  She has been a blessing to me ever since.  She has got to be the most connected person in this industry.  She knows everyone!  And the best part, she wants you to know everyone too!  She has been so helpful to me as I navigate my way around.  She has a heart of gold and she genuinely wants toys and games to make a difference in the world.  I love Mary!

TAGIE is a two day conference for people in the toy and game industry.  It’s a tremendous opportunity to network with inventors and people from other companies.  I am speaking on a Panel called So You Have a Great Idea?  Myself and other Inventor Relations people from Hasbro, Spinmaster, Buffalo Games, Disney, Zobmondo, and P4 Inc. moderated by Mike Hirtle (Hasbro) will answer questions about what to do when you have a great idea for a toy or game.  I’m honored to be in the company of these industry greats and am proud for ThinkFun to be among them.  It will be a fun discussion and I’m really looking forward to it.

This conference is a great opportunity to meet with inventors.  Now that ThinkFun is producing multiplayer family games this will be a great opportunity to get the word out!  Also, on Friday night there is a TAGIE Awards Gala.  Joyce Johnston invited me to join her table at this Gala event!  She is a wonderful inventor I met at the NY Toy Fair last February.  She showed me a new game of hers that I absolutely fell in love with.  It is a memory game based in art and drawing.  I’m so pleased that ThinkFun decided to produce it and we will be launching it at NY Toy Fair this coming February!  The illustrator, Christopher Hart, who collaborated with Joyce for this game is brillant.  I’m excited to meet with her again!

Then after TAGIE is the ChiTAG conference!  This is like the North American Essen Game Fair.  Saturday and Sunday is when the public comes to Navy Pier to play games.  Over 100 exhibitors will have toys and games on display for people to play.  There will be lots to see and lots to do!  I have numerous meetings set up with inventors but I hope to have the chance to walk the trade floor and see what’s new!

So I can’t wait!  I need to go pack!  I’ve been telling so many of my new inventor contacts about this conference and how it will be a great opportunity for learning and networking.  And who knows, maybe I’ll find a new idea or two for our 2012 line up!  Wish me luck!

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