Thursday, November 19, 2015

7:00 Registration, Continental Breakfast, Exhibit Table Set-up


I-SPI and T&GCon

Room 329

8:00 Welcome

Mary Couzin, Introduction to Catherine McMillan Gill and Richard Gill of McGill and Associates, Moderators of the Conference

Opening Keynote Presentations

8:15 Tanya Thompson, Head of Global Product Sourcing & Development at Mastermind Toys on Changing the World Through Play

9:00  I-SPI Attendees Leave for Room 328

9:00 So You Have a Great Idea!

Panel Discussion: Licensing or Self-Production, Agents and Licenses: How Deals Get Made, Legalities, NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements), Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents, How to Present Your Idea to Inventor Relations

Moderator: Richard Gill (McGill & Associates)

Panelists: confirmed Rich Mazel (Hasbro), Dougal Grimes (Hasbro), Jessie Mansbacher Kibbe (PterodactylPants), Peggy Brown (Peggy Brown Creative), Greg Benassar

10:00Coffee Break

10:15 Working with a Printer


10:45 How to manage your life as an entrepreneur in this uncertain and shaky business of inventing Haim Shafir (Shafir Games)

11:15   On the Importance of Inventors

Steve Greenberg (The Innovation Insider)

11:45 Networking Chicago-Style Lunch with attendees and experts from I-SPI and T&GCon

1:00 Top 10 Tips for How to Work w a Designer: Getting your vision made. What to look for in a designer/how to hire, how best to collaborate, how to work w China, and more.

Moderator: Ruth Synowic (Ruth Green Concepts)

Matt Nuccio (Design Edge), Wayne Park (envoi design)

1:30 Global Trends

Robin Raskin (Living in Digital Times) and Richard Gottlieb (USA Toy Experts) talk about industry trends worldwide. 3-D Printing, Crowdsourcing, Maker, and more.

2:00 International Markets and Fairs

Panel Discussion: Worldwide experts address the challenges and opportunities of accessing international markets, manufacturing outside the U.S and international trade fairs in NYC, Hong Kong, London, Nuremberg, Essen, Shanghai, and Tokyo

Moderator: Roger Gehrke (RPD Consulting, Scandinavia)

Panelists: Emile Kalis (Identity Games, The Netherlands), Richard Gill (McGill and Associates, UK/US), Dan Thorsland (Mighty Kingdom, Australia)

2:30 Coffee Break and Set-up for Pitch Perfect

2:45 Pitch Perfect – Getting Your Idea Across in 30 seconds – Room 326

Advice from experts on how to catch their interest in 30 seconds or less. You’ve heard less is more, it is true!  Tanya Thompson (Mastermind Toys)

One Minute Pitch – Room 326

Companies will spend 1 minute at each inventor table and will give you their information or take yours if they are interested. Prior to Conference, please put together your Product Overview Sheets for companies to take with them.

5:00Speaking Agenda Concludes for the Day, Buses Waiting Downstairs

5:30 – 10:00 Networking Dinner & Fun with the Experts/Speakers

Join us for the Networking Dinner (open bar and dinner) at Alhambra Palace. Busses will transport conference attendees from Navy Pier to Alhambra Palace between 5:00 and 5:45. At 10-10:30pm busses will pick up attendees and return them to the Doubletree Hotel and Navy Pier.

8:00 PlayCHIC

Toy inspired fashion show. (PlayCHIC media and guests will begin arriving at 7:00 pm)

10:00-10:30 pm Buses return you to DoubleTree Hotel and Navy Pier


You may elect to attend the conference sessions or attend scheduled meetings. All options take place in adjacent areas so you may move freely between sessions, meetings and networking.


7:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast

Keynote Speakers

8:00 Elan Lee, Co-Creator of Exploding Kittens on Really Big Stories

8:30 Bob Moog, President of University Games on Inventors: Put Passion in its Place

9:00  I-SPI Attendees Leave for Room 328

9:00 The Future of Toys

Conversation on Technology, Innovation, and Integrity for Tomorrow's World of Connected Toys.

Brian Torney (Hasbro), Dan Thorsland (Mighty Kingdom), Richard Maddocks (Hasbro), Melissa Hershey (Hasbro), Ian Bernstein (Sphero)

9:45 Coffee Break

10:00  Working with Retailers, Reps and Distributors

Panel Discussion: Best Way to Approach Retailers, Reps and Distributors; Be a Partner 

Moderator: Jeff Pinsker (Pressman Toy)

Panelists: Katherine McHenry  (Building Blocks), Megan Hinterman (PSI), Gini Wingard-Phillips (Math 'n' Stuff), Tanya Thompson (Mastermind Toys), Carle Wunderlich (WunderReps)

10:45 Getting Inside Play, What Research Tell Us

Dr. Susan Levine (University of Chicago) and Dr. Nora Newcombe (Temple University, Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center)

11:15 Domestic and Int’l Industry Awards – Which Ones Mean Something

Tom Felber (Chairman of Spiel des Jahres Jury), Lisa Orman (KidStuff Public Relations)

11:45 Networking Lunch


1:00 Social Media

Panel Discussion: Using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogs and More

Moderator: Maria Aguilar (Spin Master)

Panelists: Melissa Hunter (Mommy and Gracie Show), Joey Fortman (Real Mom Media), Cindy Simmons (SurvivingMommy.com), Keri Wilmot (ToyQueen.com), Nicole Robertson Brady (SAHM Reviews), Alison Ray (SoChicLife.com)

2:00 Public Relations and Marketing Strategy

With So Many Options Today, Where Do You Put Your Money

Sheena Stephens (MWWPR), Lisa Orman (KidStuff Public Relations)

2:30  Digial Media Product Launch Campaigns

Aalap Shah (SoMe Connect)

3:00 Let Them Interact with Your Product Online

Tim Rawls (Juice Interactive)

3:00 pm Kurt Melcher, Founder of the First Collegiate-level eSports Department, on Getting Games of all Kinds and Even Toys into Inter-Collegiate Competitions

4:00 Conference Concludes

Anyone who has exhibit space at the weekend ChiTAG Fair has until 6pm to enter the Hall (Festival Hall A) in order to set up their booth or table. Once in the Hall, you may stay until approximately 9pm. See ChiTAG Exhibitor Manual for details.

6:00 to 10:00 Toy and Game Innovation Awards (TAGIE) Awards

6:00 to 7:00 Cocktails and Networking at Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom

7:00 to 10:00 Dinner and Ceremony at Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom

"It's always a pleasure coming to Chicago for T&GCon.  For the attendees, it's a great opportunity to interface directly with some of the top folks in the toy biz and a perfect opportunity to get invaluable exposure for your game or toy invention." - Benjamin Dermer, VP Inventor Relations, Spin Master Ltd.

"T&GCon was a great place to meet industry professionals and to meet some new inventors. The panels were well done and we were able to learn from some of the best out there." - Lindsay Gaskins, President/CEO, Marbles the Brain Store

"I visited Chicago's ChiTAG events for first time in 2012. During my career I have visited many game fairs and gatherings from Japan to Europe. ChiTAG was absolutely different from my other experiences. People shared ideas, networked with other people and inspired each other. ChiTAG was different with an unique program for inventors, great storytelling with fashion show or by industry leaders. Days passed by so fast in Chicago, but I met many good people and made many new business opportunities. I visited again in 2013 and there was Philip Sheppard, a cellist, playing at keynote?! It was WOW! I talk about ChiTAG whenever I meet Korean inventors or companies in Korea. I hope we can have this kind of event in Seoul, Korea. Maybe named Seitag?" - Kevin Kim, Korea Board Games