Toy fair loses two board members, gains three new ones with new digital focus

The Covid pandemic has turned the trade fair industry on its head and while most are looking forward to returning to physical exhibitions, for some it is the right time to say goodbye.

Spielwarenmesse board members Ernst Kick and Dr. Hans-Juergen Richter are stepping down at the end of June after being part of the toy industry for more than 20 years.

Both men have been instrumental to the company and reached several milestones during their service. Kick was appointed CEO in 2002 and during his time he spearheaded the reorganisation of the trade fair’s structure so that it would provide a more focused market overview. This saw the introduction of new and relevant product groups and the retail-led presentation of special themes in dedicated activity areas as well as the introduction of the ToyAward and the annual trends.

Richter joined the Spielwarenmesse’s board in 2005 and has primarily been responsible for legal and membership matters. In 2013, the two board members set another milestone in the company’s history by registering Spielwarenmesse as a word mark with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.

However, the pandemic has changed  the industry significantly and there is now a much bigger focus on digital while the pandemic is still around― new concepts had to be developed and digitalisation accelerated.

“We would have liked to say goodbye to all our long-standing colleagues in person,” says Kick. Instead, the pandemic confronted them with a whole host of unprecedented challenges.

They will be replaced by three new board members who have been recruited from inside the organisation.

“Dr. Richter and I are very confident that the new three-member board will steer Spielwarenmesse into a successful future, building on its role as a driving force within the industry―we firmly believe in the continued need for and benefits of trade fairs.”