People of Play (POP) Week Kicks Off On November 15th With Full Virtual Schedule

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POP Week runs from November 15-20, 2021

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People of Play (POP) today kicked off the Virtual POP Week, running from November 15 - 20, 2021. The week includes The Toy & Game International Innovation Summit, POP Duo Keynotes Legends & Leaders, Networking in the POP Pub Rooms, Entertainment on the Fair Stages, TAGIE Awards, and Young Inventors Challenge.

“Our 2021 program is turning out to be one of the most innovative we’ve ever had,” said Mary Couzin, CEO and founder of the Chicago Toy & Game Week (CHITAG). “We’re bringing our industry and other entertainment industries together in new and exciting ways to share ideas and cross pollinate. We’re creating network opportunities, bringing in the highest caliber of diverse speakers we’ve ever had and awarding deserving companies and kids with both the TAGIE awards and Young Inventor’s Challenge as well as stages of entertainment at the Fair. There’s something for everyone.”

Virtual POP Week runs from November 15-20. Key events include:

  • Monday, November 15

Sponsored by Mattel
Keynotes:

  • 9:00am Richard Dickson, President and COO, Mattel, and Robbie Brenner, Academy Nominated Producer, EVP Executive Producer, Mattel Films
  • 9:30 am David Fuhrer, Managing Director, BlueSquare Innovations with more than 300 licensed products generating retail sales over $1 billion, and Shawn Green, former Major League Baseball right-fielder for the Dodgers and Mets. 1st round draft pick and a two-time major league All-Star. holds or is tied for many major league records

Meetings:

  • 10:00am - 5:00pm Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch track) and Office Hours (free consults by appt.)
  • 4:00pm Tips for Your POP Profile with Mary Couzin in the POP Pub UNO Room

POP Pub: Networking, Questions and Fun:

  • 5:00 - 7:00pm POP Pub UNO Room Hosts: Tanya Thompson, Senior Director Design Innovation and Inventor Relations, Hasbro and Dougal Grimes Vice President of Innovation and Inventor Relations at Spin Master ~ Games, Gund, Outdoor and Activities
  • Tuesday, November 16th

Sponsored by Exploding Kittens
Keynotes:

  • 9:00am Elan Lee, Co-Founder, Exploding Kittens, and Jeff Probst, Emmy Winning Host, Executive Producer of Survivor and more!
  • 9:30am Dan Kitsner, Co-Founder, KID Group, Inventor of Bop-It & more and Surprise Guest, The Person Behind the Voice Insider Bop-It

Meetings:

  • 10:00am - 5:00pm Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch track) and Office Hours (free consults by appt.)
  • 4:00pm Unleash the Power of POP with Mary Couzin in the POP Pub UNO Room

POP Pub: Networking, Questions and Fun:

  • 5:00 - 7:00pm POP Pub hosted by Dave Harris, Senior Director, Inventor Relations and Strategic Partnerships at Mattel, and Brendan Boyle, Partner at IDEO.
  • Wednesday, November 17th

Sponsored by:The Michael Kohner Corporation, Goliath, Litzky PR and Longshore Ltd.
Keynotes:

  • 9:00am Jim Pressman, Past President, Pressman Toy Company, Michele Litzky, Founder, Litzky PR, Tom Kalinske, Executive Chairman at Mixed Dimensions, Prior: CEO of Sega America, Leapfrog and Mattel - all are TAGIE Lifetime Achievement Honorees for 2021! Moderated by Chris Byrne the Toy Guy.
  • 4:00pm Maximizing the Search Capabilities of POP with Mary Couzin in the POP Pub UNO Room

Meetings:

  • 10:00am - 5:00pm Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch track) and Office Hours (free consults by appt.)

POP Pub: Networking, Questions and Fun:

  • 5:00 - 7:00pm POP Pub hosted by Tom Rushton, Principal, Revenew Sales, Brian Turtle, National Sales Manager, Goliath Games and Matt Nuccio, President, Design Edge
  • Thursday, November 18th

Sponsored by Andrews McMeel Universal and Nextoy
Keynotes:

  • 9:00am Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, The NY Times, Puzzle Master, NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday and Garry Trudeau. a Pulitzer Prize winning American cartoonist, best known for creating the Doonesbury comic strip. Trudeau is also the creator and executive producer of the Amazon Studios political comedy series Alpha House.
  • 9:30 am Al Kahn, Former CEO 4Kids Entertainment and Kedar Narayan, Inventor, Speaker

Meetings:

  • 10:00am - 5:00pm Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch track) and Office Hours (free consults by appt.)
  • 3:00 - 5:00pm New Inventor and Student Zoom Pitches

Networking, Questions and Fun:

  • 5:00 - 7:00pm POP Pub hosted by David Norman, Global President and CMO of Gaming at Goliath and Jim McCafferty, President and CEO of JMP Creative.
  • Friday, November 19th

Sponsored by MEGO Corporation
Keynotes:

  • 9:00 am Marty Abrams, Father of Action Figures and President of Mego with Brian Volk Weiss Founder & CEO, The Nacelle Company, Creator of the Toys that Made Us
  • 9:30 am Nancy Zwiers, Chief Funosopher and Randy Duncan, Renowned Choreographer and Dancer

Meetings:

  • 10:00am - 5:00pm Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch track) and Office Hours (free consults by appt.)

Watch Parties:

  • 4:00pm - POP watch parties include: UNO Room and TBA. Let us know your watch party and we will list you here!

Awards and Entertainment!

Move over Oscars, Emmy's, CMA... the Toy and Game International Excellence Awards are taking the VIRTUAL center stage! This is a must attend event to celebrate your fellow toy industry colleagues at the 14th annual TAGIE Awards! Experience it from the comfort of your home and share the excitement with friends and family! It’s a must “tune in” event where Everyone is invited! Awards, funny stunts, and more!! Hosted by Karri Bean, Sr. Licensing Manager for LEGO at Disney Parks Experiences & Products.

  • Saturday - Sunday November 20th-21st, 2021

Chicago Toy & Game Fair and The Young Inventor Challenge!
There is something for everyone at the virtual Fair! In addition to seeing cool inventions from the under 18 crowd at the Young Inventor Challenge, we have Stages of Entertainment and Shopping Experiences from your favorite toy and game companies!

For additional information or to register for the Virtual POP Week visit http://www.chitag.com

About People of Play
People of Play (POP) celebrates and empowers toy and game innovation worldwide by providing educational opportunities, recognition and community for industry professionals, amateur inventors and people of all ages who love to play. People of Play oversees a number of events including the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair, the Toy & Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge, the New Inventor Conference, the Professional Inventors Conference, Play in Education Conference, the Bloom Report and the People of Play Foundation.

Press Contact: chitag@BrilliantPRM.com.

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