Nearly 140 first-time exhibitors are planning to participate at the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s annual marketplace scheduled June 25-28 in Philadelphia. For the first time, the Marketplace exhibit hall will be expanded to three full days.
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) recently announced the first-time exhibitors will be exhibiting at its record-breaking exhibit hall at ASTRA’s upcoming Marketplace & Academy. The exhibit hall—ASTRA’s largest ever—is sold out. Many will be showing products that are not available yet anywhere, which gives specialty retailers the opportunity to be the first to offer them in their communities.
The theme for this year’s Marketplace & Academy is Mighty Together: Inspired by the Power of Play. “ASTRA’s Marketplace and Academy is indeed a mighty event, given the many vendors who offer new products that differentiate our members’ stores, the formal education and unscripted networking opportunities that enrich our members’ knowledge base, and the generous show-only discounts retailers will find in Philadelphia,” says Kimberly Mosley, president of ASTRA. “Our theme underscores all this, plus that special aspect of ASTRA that makes all of our businesses a bit mightier thanks to the many ways we work together for success.”
Renowned Mount Everest adventurer, successful retail entrepreneur, and bestselling author Jamie Clarke will headline this year’s event. Clarke created two successful outdoor retail companies, one of which has been named one of Canada’s fastest-growing businesses. He brings a first-hand understanding of the many challenges faced by a specialty retailer—including hiring, sourcing products, and attracting customers.
Clarke will open the third day of the Marketplace exhibit hall with a rousing keynote titled Above All Else: The Power of Passion. He draws inspiration from his life as a self-styled “adventrepreneur” who points out that in elite mountain climbing, lives are at stake, but climbers have maps and high tech weather predictions and experienced guides. In the world of entrepreneurial business, says Clarke, livelihoods are at stake, but businesses often have far less clear indicators to support their decisions. He will share his insights on perseverance, leadership, and teambuilding, all earned at the top of the world and through his own entrepreneurial business success.
For more information visit www.astramarketplace.com.
About the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)
Founded in 1992, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is an international not-for-profit trade organization that develops and supports a membership of independent retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives in the toy industry. Inspired to change the world through the power of play, ASTRA is a community of dedicated professionals committed to providing children with healthy, quality play materials that have a high play value and are designed with a focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toy can do. Through certification programs, educational resources and networking opportunities, ASTRA equips and empowers members to make a positive impact on the economy and culture of the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.astratoy.org/.