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Making it Happy

I've been a bit backed-up on blogging lately. Whoa, that doesn't sound right! Let's start over and say I've been very busy lately and haven't had the time to sit down and blog. Better.

During the last few weeks I have been occupied attending some of the annual events in the business of children.

First was Kidscreen; one of the premier events that brings together writers, artists, creators, production houses, broadcasters, and digital streaming sites from around the world all looking to find the next great entertainment concept for children. As I mentioned in my last blog, there was a focus on putting forward the concept of empathy. I'm sure we will see that bubble up in the next few years in children entertainment. I have attended this show in the past but never as a seller, meaning a seller of my preschool expertise and creator of entertainment concepts. It was an amazing four days. The best way to describe it as a week of non-stop speed dating! Most meetings do not last more that 10 - 20 minutes. I was pitching my entertainment concept in a session that allowed only eight minutes to describe it all! In eight minutes, my adrenaline was flowing so much; I came out so pumped up I felt like I could lift a building! Talk about fast networking. Never the less, I loved the atmosphere which was upbeat, positive and everyone genuinely friendly. As a former Fisher-Price designer and executive, eyes widened when I talked with people. There is a big desire for for preschool programming and the need for that expertise. Most think they understand preschoolers, but their knowledge falls short on understanding the need for context, attention triggers and development milestones in understanding content. However, it was refreshing to see all the attendees marching towards one goal; making children happy.

Following this happy love-in, I proceeded to the NYC Toy Fair. This Toy Fair was my 43rd in my career, and although the venue and exhibitors have changed over time, the show is still the same. It's full of hundreds of companies showing off their newest, shiniest, original ideas. Truth be told, most ideas aren't original, but rather repackaged in style and technology of the play of the past. This show is the business end of children's product. Most of the big toy companies are there as well as all sort of small and tiny want-to-be toy companies, exhibiting everything from dolls, games, collectables, construction, electronics and everything in between. It's amazing how many things there are to make children happy! It is evident why the children product business continues to grow. Although it is becoming less of an open event there's still plenty to see. This show was less about fun people and more about delivering fun.

All this brings me to reflect on the business of children. As I was walking around talking with all sorts of people, one thing stood out. Creating children's product makes you feel happy. Certainly, in todays world of angst and conflict, it is refreshing to see there are still people that know that happiness starts with our children and it's important to get the happy right. Those products and entertainment properties lay the foundation of personality for generations to come.

It's all sort of like speed dating. You have a very short time to make a lasting impression!

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