Blog Iris Bonhof at the Shanghai Toy Fair
Last week I had an impressive week during the Shanghai Toy Fair. It was a week of meeting new people from all over the world, big dinners in 5 stars hotels, a lot of animations and toys and for me the most important one: my presentation!
Tuesday 18th of October
On Tuesday morning me and some of my colleagues went to Shanghai to prepare everything for the Toy Fair which started at Wednesday. At two in the afternoon we arrived at the Exhibition Hall which is one of the biggest of the world. It was immense what the Chinese people were building. They built stands from about 6 meter high. Huge constructions made of Lego or other materials, a lot of animations, colors and big screens with promotion movies. I helped with building and furnish the stand of EEG. It was hard working, a lot of materials needed to be put together. But it was also very good to get to know my colleagues better even the ones who can’t speak English try to communicate with me. There are all very friendly!
Wednesday 19th of October
The first official day of the Toy Fair. This fair is especially important for the Chinese market. Most of the visitors were from China instead of countries out of China. But unless this fact I have spoken with some people from South-Africa, India, Nepal, a.s.o. I have showed them our products and explained them our curriculum. It’s an amazing and also very interesting experience to talk with people from different countries. I also talked with the customers of Chongqing which I will visit in November. During the day I also walked around and I never cease to amaze me. You could see things as easy small toys like wooden blocks and puzzles. But on the other side you had big gadgets as robots and mini cars for children. At the end of the day we had an hour bus ride to get to a 5 star hotel with for a dinner with about 600 people of different companies. It was no problem that the ride was that long because I could enjoy the scenery of Shanghai with all his beautiful lights. A very funny fact of the dinner was that everything was very luxury but the theme of the dinner was Spongebob.
Thursday 20th of October
The day of my presentation at the fair about Playbased learning and Educo! During this presentation I have explained with some theory why play based learning during early childhood education is so important and I have showed some Educo products. This evening we had the dinner of our own company with our own customers. I have to be honest that all these kind of things are really new for me. Five star dinners with a lot of important people who play an important role in the development of early childhood education in China. But it was a very nice evening with good food, drinks and music.
Friday 21th of October
Today I could go my own way and I decided to sleep a bit out and walk around over the fair with my colleague (because there were still a lot of things I hadn’t seen). After five I have helped with changing the stand with the games and materials which would be sold in the weekend. For the weekend the fair was changed in a big outlet fair for parents and children. But during the weekend I have enjoyed Shanghai despite all the rain. Shanghai is an impressive city with big buildings (f.e. the Financial tower, Jin Mao tower), the typical Chinese markets and the beautiful Yu garden. And I have been on 351m height on the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower! Lucky at that moment it stopped raining and the view was amazing!