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Toys and Online  |  Online Games & Virtual Worlds  |  Virtual Goods  |  Technology Platforms  |  At-A-Glance

Toys and Online - Track Schedule

With the advent of web-connected and wireless-connected toys, toys that have an online or virtual world component, toy companies now have a direct connection to their consumers. With this direct connection comes three very important new business strategies for toy companies: New monetization strategies, strengthened customer relationships and new marketing solutions. This track provides critical information on how to capitalize on toys and technology for maximum ROI.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

8:00 am
9:00 am

Registration for Expo and Conference Attendees
Networking Breakfast - Conference Attendees Only

9:00 am
10:00 am

Keynote:  The Evolution of Entertainment, A Toy's Place
Will Wright, Founder and Chief Executive,
Stupid Fun Club
Creator of Spore and The Sims

Will Wright's presentation will will look at toys, play, and the product development process from a new perspective going forward. Through his SimCity, The Sims, and Spore game franchises created at Electronic Arts, Will generated over $1 billion dollars of value. At Stupid Fun Club, a design studio Will maintained throughout his career as chief designer at Maxis Studios and Electronic Arts, advanced toy designs are among Will's primary focus.

10:00 am
10:15 am

Networking and Exhibit Hall Break

10:15 am
11:15 am

Predictions for the Future of Play
Just when you finally figured out all there is to know about leveraging the web, here come a slew of new technologies and theories about play. This session will cover major trends in the making, the ones that thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and tech-forward creators are still perfecting. Hear about augmented reality's upcoming impact on play and toy marketing, episodic content and cross-media story-telling, and the evolution of viral adoption and viral spread. Be introduced to the full promise of trading cards, web-controlled toys (not just connected), the flourishing of user-generated content, and how pooled player data will lead to emergent behavior in virtual worlds and connected play.
Richard Gottlieb, President, Richard Gottlieb's USA Toy Experts, LLC (moderator)
Krista Marks, General Manager, Disney Online Kerpoof Studios
Greg Davis, General Manager, Total Immersion
Carlin West, Executive VP, Acquisitions & Development,  4Kids Entertainment, Inc.
Cynthia Breazeal, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT Media Lab

11:15 am
12:00 pm

Closing the Loop: Game Changing Toys and the Secret of their Success
Last year, recognized industry analyst Sean McGowan presented at Engage! Expo and detailed what was working and what wasn't in the area of web-connected and online-reliant toys. This year, Sean will update attendees with a look at toys which "close the loop" and offer kids -- through the presence of an online experience that builds on offline play -- an opportunity for an imagination breakthrough. How are the industry's smartest players making the web and online experience more fun for kids, how are they enabling kids to engage in play in ways that personalize the experience and make it their own; how are building value for their shareholders, and turning profits they take to the bank quarter in and quarter out. Sean, who has covered the toy beat for 23 years, will present data, opinions, and predictions you can leverage to grow your business, focus your agenda, and contribute to future success, both offline and on.
Sean McGowan, Managing Director, Needham & Company

12:00 pm
1:00 pm
 

Lunch and Exhibit Hall Break

1:00 pm
2:00 pm

Keynote:  Lane Merrifield
                Executive Vice President, Disney Online Studios
                Co-Founder and General Manager, Club Penguin

Since Club Penguin's inception, Lane has led the management, operations and business strategy for Club Penguin out of the studio’s headquarters in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. In addition to Club Penguin, Lane also oversees the development for all of The Walt Disney Company’s virtual worlds including Disney's Toontown Online, Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow, Pirates of the Caribbean Online and the upcoming Disney/Pixar The World of Cars Online.
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
Networking and Exhibit Hall Break
2:30 pm
3:30 pm

Leveraging the Web: Connecting Kids' Online Worlds to Offline Toys
This session will look at how the online experience factors into a toy's value chain, helping to establishes visibility, develop an emotional connection with the customer, and drive revenue. Attendees will be introduced to case studies that show proof-of-concept successes with products that have either expanded on a physical connection via online play, seen an online play mechanic grown and reinforced by an offline product, and in the case of a fully integrated play experience, hear from a toy creator whose product relies heavily on both online and offline play sessions to maximize fun and a return on investment. Offline or online alone no longer is enough for today's tween and pre-tween consumers. Hear what strategies are working today that engage kids, both online and off.
Cliff Annicelli, Editor In Chief, Playthings (moderator)
Rich Cleveland, Sr. Director Marketing, Digital Media and Gaming, Hasbro
Chris Bergstresser, CEO and Co-founder, Vector Entertainment, Inc.
Joe Lowandas, President, Smith & Tinker
Dave Finnegan, Chief Supply Chain and InBearmation (Information) Officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop
Cynthia Neiman, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development Mattel Digital Network

3:30 pm
4:30 pm

A Focus Group with the Kids: What Are They Playing, Where are They Spending?
Labeled Mousers or Techneratti, most kids and tween knows more about using technology than the adults around them. Do you have things that sleep in your room that also live online in a virtual world? Can you find characters from your favorite book online? How many videos have you uploaded to YouTube? Have you made an in-world avatar based movie, mixed it with music and posted it online for your friends? Have you played online games to raise money for the UN World Food Program? If your answer to those questions is either "no" or "what does that mean", than you'll want to come to this session -- an opportunity to hear from "kid experts" about what they see as the future of toys and online play. Find out what they would do if they combined toys with an online experience. Hear what kids think are "fun toys, great games" and why. Learn what "user-generated content" means to them, and what types of toys they think need a virtual world experience in order to put it in the "goes on my wish list" category. We'll have a panel of kids tell us about these things and more. Take the time to find out now what you need to do for to make your brand a kid "must have" and a parent "I'll pay for that" brand.
Jorian Clarke, CEO, Circle1Network

4:30 pm
6:00 pm

Conference Reception - Conference Attendees Only

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

8:00 am
9:00 am

Registration for Expo and Conference Attendees
Networking Breakfast - Conference Attendees Only

9:00 am
10:00 am

Keynote:  Natalie Hornsby
                VP of Marketing
                Cepia LLC - Creators of Zhu Zhu Pets

How does a brand new toy go from obscurity to phenomenon in half a year? As the Vice President of Marketing at Cepia, the company that makes the toy, 24-year-old Natalie has been the driving force behind the marketing and branding of Zhu Zhu Pets.

10:00 am
10:15 am

Networking and Exhibit Hall Break

10:15 am
11:15 am

Investing in Online Worlds and Toys:
Venture Capitalists Talk About Where They Are Investing and Why
Kids and teens are increasingly spending time online and in social networks. Their play experiences are also moving online. Technology-focused venture capital firms, sensing a major shift in play patterns, share of time, and share of wallet that is increasingly moving online, is closely following this migration and strategically backing business models that are positioned to create value. Enter companies like Gaia, Club Penguin, Stardoll, Zynga, Smith and Tinker and others, all changing the basic building blocks that go into creating games and toys. Those companies are also changing the rules behind revenue, which now comes not only from toy and games sales, but also from virtual goods, subscriptions, and advertising. Find out where this panel of venture capitalists thinks the disruptions -- and opportunities -- are occurring in our industries, what the next generation of breakout hits will look like, and where they are placing their million-dollar bets.
Julia Angwin, Technology Editor, The Wall Street Journal (moderator)
Jeremy Liew, Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Fred Wilson, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures
Ryan McIntyre, Managing Director, Foundry Group
Woody Benson, Partner, Prism Ventures

11:15 am
12:00 pm

It's the Activity Stupid: Keeping Kids and Tweens Engaged
To the creators it's an online and offline experience, or a connected experience. To kids it's just a new game. There are no boundaries for this generation. Entertainment spans all platforms and mediums including toys, books, phones, computers, and more. So why do we keep thinking about the separate experience when they don't? In what new ways should we be innovating for a generation that has gone well beyond the digital divide? Come hear the latest insight on kids – acquired from in-person focus groups and observed play sessions with kids. What lesson have we learned about social networking for kids, community, online and offline play, collectibles and top game trends? What game and play mechanics attract today's kid market? What is motivating parents as they steer their kids to suitable online playgrounds, and what do they see as threats? Remember: If you are reading about a trend in a mass market publication, you've already missed the boat.
Michael Pinkerton, COO, Metaverse Mod Squad (moderator)
Jacques Panis, Founder and CEO, Webosaurs
James M. Bower PhD, Chairman and CEO Numedeon Inc., Founders of Whyville.net
Josh Fisher, Executive Producer, Brandissimo

12:00 pm
1:00 pm
 

Lunch and Exhibit Hall Break

1:00 pm
2:00 pm

Keynote:  Tor Sirset
                Vice President of Marketing Girls/Preschool
                Bandai America Incorporated

Bandai is expanding its dominance in the boys market to the girls category. Core to that effort is the integration of online elements into the majority of these toys. Core to that effort is the integration of online elements into the majority of these toys. In an engaging onstage interview, Tor Sirset will discuss the strategy behind this rollout and how the Internet plays an increasingly important role in the crafting and marketing of toys.

2:00 pm
2:30 pm
Networking and Exhibit Hall Break
2:30 pm
3:30 pm

Marketing in the Digital Age: Mommy Bloggers, Twitterers and Kids
Meet the new influencers: Mommy bloggers, DigiDads, Twitterers, forum posters, and kids themselves. They all contribute to your product's branding. And unlike TV, print, or direct in-store messaging, they fall outside your range of control. But there are ways to court the new influencers and turn them into brand sirens and evangelizers. This session will introduce you to the new landscape of peer-to-peer marketing that is actively taking place on blogs, micro-blogs and social networks: who are the new influencers, how do you reach them, and how do you control what they say about your product? Understand 360 degree marketing in the digital age and find out how to tame the new recommendation engines.
Maria Bailey, CEO, BSM Media (moderator)
Greg Verdino, Vice President, Strategy & Solutions, Powered, Inc.
Katja Presnal, Community Manager, Collective Bias
Natalie Hornsby, VP of Marketing, Cepia LLC

3:30 pm
4:30 pm

Innovations in Toys, Games and Beyond
A round-up of trends and innovations affecting today's marketplace for toys, games, entertainment and the youth marketplace. An exciting and fast-paced overview of the over-arching trend stories, the most compelling innovations, and the products and manufacturers that are on the leading edge of this revolution. Presentation will include updates on technologies impacting the youth market and families, with examples and images to illustrate the news, including iPhone apps and eReaders that focus on applications for kids and families. 
Reyne Rice, Trend Specialist, Media Spokesperson, Toy Industry Association

4:30 pm
5:00 pm

Conference Concludes
Networking and Exhibit Hall

Tracks:

ar ar Schedule At-A-Glance

ar Toys and Online
ar Online Games & Virtual Worlds
ar Virtual Goods
ar Technology Platforms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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