Toy Industry Veterans Come Together to Create the North East Toy Show (NETS)

Share Article

Christine and Alan Blumberg, Lea Culliton Fill Winter Trade Show Gap for Industry Professionals


Trade Show Ventures, run by Christine and Alan Blumberg, have partnered with industry veteran, Lea Culliton, former president of HABA and Chairman of the ABC Kids Expo, to create the North East Toy Show (NETS), designed to bring manufacturers, retailers, buyers and key accounts together in February, where there is a void in Northeast trade shows. NETS will run from February 11-February 13, 2024 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“The trade show calendar has shifted dramatically over the last few years and, as an industry, we find ourselves lacking an East Coast show in the beginning of the year,” said Christine Blumberg, President, Tradeshow Ventures. “We are answering the requests of our specialty toy retailers and key accounts and giving them a convenient Northeastern location for all of their 2024 purchasing needs.”

NETS has tapped former HABA USA President and ABC Kids Expo Chairman, Lea Culliton, to come out of retirement and take the position of Executive Director for the show.

“February is a pivotal time for brands and buyers to meet and many don’t have the time or personnel to travel west. NETS will offer a simple solution and bring the industry together after being apart for so long,” said Lea Culliton, Director of NETS. “Additionally, on a personal level, working on the show allows me to step back into an industry for which I have a great passion.”

“Having Lea Culliton at the helm of this show allows Christine and I to focus on RBG Sales, dedicating our time and efforts to our customers and vendors we represent,” said Alan Blumberg, Vice President of Trade Show Ventures.

Reaction to the show has been strong so far, with both brands and retailers encouraged by the fact that their requests were heard.

“This show is exactly what we need. Because the show is centrally located, we will be able to bring our staff, which will help us create a better shopping experience for our clientele,” said Brigitte Drew and Melissa Brilliant of Henry Bears Park, a 9-store specialty toy store chain based in Arlington, Massachusetts.

“Adding NETS to the calendar is a huge opportunity for those of us on the East Coast,” said Tracy Jojokian, Vice President of Sales, Ravensburger. “The Northeast represents a large segment of the Specialty retail demographic and being able to have a show on the East Coast in February, as we have done for so many years in the past, will certainly make it easy and convenient for so many of our retailers. We at Ravensburger will be supporting this show based on the resounding requests from our customers in New England and the Mid-Atlantic”

Offering a new trade show for East Coast-based industry professionals, NETS will provide an affordable opportunity for retailers, buyers and key accounts to network and see the 2024 product lines from brands. Special events will include an Opening Night Super Bowl Party, Game Night, where retailers learn to play the new games, as well as other social events.

Registration will open this Spring. For more information visit:

About Trade Show Ventures:
Christine and Alan Blumberg are the principals and owners of RBG Sales. In 2022, they were tapped as a resource by ASTRA to create/lead/execute a Game & Kit Day in October of 2022. Game & Kit day had 37 vendors, 8 rep groups, and over 100 retail owners and staff representing 58 retail doors. It was so successful that retailers, reps and brands asked them if they would continue doing it annually. This event was the genesis for a larger trade show and that is how the North East Toy Show was conceived.

Christine has served on the ASTRA board for 7 years, 3 of those years as Chairman. Christine is still actively serving ASTRA's Nominating Committee. Alan is currently serving on the ASTRA Marketing Committee.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lea Culliton
Visit website