PlayCon Coming Up! Interview with Co-Chairs Bob Wann and Jane Ritson-Parsons

I've had the pleasure of being a part of the PlayCon Committee for six years. It is interesting group of people talking industry trends and hot topics for a common goal of a putting on a great conference for our industry. Co-Chairs Bob Wann (Patch Products) and Jane Ritson-Parsons (Hasbro) inspire and encourage during the planning months and leave no stone unturned. The committee also includes Shirley Price (Funrise), Sharon Hartley (ToysRUs), Richard Gill (McGill Associates), Kathleen Campisano (Barnes and Noble), Joel Berger (Cardinal), Jeffrey Kennis (Enchanted Moments) and Manuel Torres (Nickelodeon). We've put together a fantastic program for this year! Here are Bob and Jane to tell us more.


In one sentence: why should people attend PlayCon 2015 from April 29th -May 1st?

Bob: Everyone's time is so valuable  and at such a premium so spending 2 days at PlayCon where you can get so much insightful and actionable information and insight ,combined with a unique/ non time pressured, "second to none' networking experience makes PlaycCon potentially the best return on time invested in the whole calendar year!

Jane: take the time for yourself and your company, to join inspiring leaders and visionaries – away from your typical business day; to innovate and ideate and create growth opportunities; for the industry, consumers and your company. You will not regret a minute.

Tell us about the speakers for this year.

Both: We are super excited to bring such a dynamic and diverse group of experts – trend hunters / business leaders and innovators.  CHANGE is everywhere and affects every part of your life – your business life, your home life, your health and your ability to continue to succeed and flourish in a world that is ever evolving and always moving at warp speed. Our lineup of change agents includes:

  • Gary Grant, Founder, The Entertainer, the UK’s largest specialty retailer
  • Jeremy Gutsche, Founder, TrendHunter.com
  • Ken Hertz, Founding Principal at memBrain LLC and Senior Partner, Hertz Lichtenstein & Young LLP
  • Laurie Pressman, Vice President, Pantone Color Institute
  • Frederique Tutt, Global Toy Industry Analyst, The NPD Group
  • Brian Mariotti, President & CEO, Funko
  • David Yakos, Co-Owner Salient Technologies
  • Parker Thomas, Maker
  • And many more to come…

For complete details about the sessions, the resort, the speakers, the committee or anything else you need to know about PlayCon or to register please visit the PlayCon website .

Bob, one of the most memorable moments at PlayCon was when you and John Barbour wore kilts and ‘played’ bagpipes. Can we expect something memorable again this year?

Bob: The short answer is: of course you can!!  It seems like every year we have memorable moments at PlayCon whether they are planned or unplanned!  

For the last few years we have had memorable "musical" moments ranging from John Gessert's Jib Jab video serenading Carter  Keithley via "I got you Babe", to the unforgettable Cello sounds from Phillip Sheppard to the melancholic Bagpipes from John Barbour and myself ( perhaps not so "musical" but definitely  emotional !!) This year we have another musical surprise up our sleeves…  so you don't want to miss it!