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2021 Trade Show Calendar: Your Essential Update

Source rounds up what we know so far of how this year’s events calendar could pan out.

With last year’s events calendar taking a distinctly different shape from what the industry is used to, 2021 could begin to see a return for in-person get-togethers, mixed with virtual elements.

While the situation is something of a moveable feast, Source has put together a guide to what some of the key events are planning for this year (correct as of Wednesday January 6).

Here’s what we know so far:

Top Drawer On Demand

The spring/summer 2021 edition of the design-led show – which is usually held at London’s Olympia – will take place online from January 25-29, with content remaining on-demand until February 21.

Toy Fair 2021

The BTHA confirmed last year that Toy Fair 2021 would be unable to take place, marking the first year that the event will not be held in 66 years. Toy Fair will return to London’s Olympia from January 25-27, 2022.

Spring Fair @ Home

With the in-person event at Birmingham’s NEC cancelled until February 2022, Hyve Group is returning to the virtual formula following success in 2020. Spring Fair @ Home will run from February 8-10, 2021, providing key industry insight, as well as revealing the latest products, trends, designs and collections.


Spielwarenmesse 2021

Organisers confirmed last September that Spielwarenmesse will not take place in its traditional January time slot in 2021, instead running in the summer for the first time. The show had been due to run in Nuremberg from January 27-31, 2021. The new summer edition has been dated to run from July 20-24. Further details on the new concept are expected over the coming months.


Toy Fair New York 2021

The Toy Association stated in October last year that it was aiming for the show to take place at New York’s Jacob K Javits Center from May 1-4, 2021. At the same time, it will continue to expand on its virtual opportunities including Toy Fair Everywhere. It has also confirmed dates for 2022: February 19-22.

2021 Australian Toy, Hobby & Licensing Fair

The largest annual trade fair for the industry in Australia will be running digitally from March 1-5, 2021.

Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2021

The popular event will return to the Hilton Park Lane, London on Thursday May 6, 2021.

Bologna Licensing Trade Fair

New dates of June 14-16, 2021 have been confirmed by the organisers for an in-person event in Bologna, Italy.

Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2021

Launched in 2020 and breaking new ground in the licensing industry, the Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2021 will be staged both physically and dual-cast online. It is aimed at everyone in the licensing arena, from retailers to licensors, licensees to trade suppliers. The event will take place on June 24, 2021, with the in-person element being hosted at the British Library.


London Book Fair 2021

LBF has shifted its 2021 dates with the aim of bringing the publishing industry together for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. Reed Exhibitions has confirmed the show will run from June 29 to July 1 – moving from its original March date – at London’s Olympia.

PG Live 2021

The world’s only trade exhibition dedicated to greeting cards has confirmed dates of June 8-9, 2021 at the Business Design Centre, London.


Licensing Expo 2021

It’s a new date and a new event format for the Informa Markets event this year. Licensing Expo will take place live and in-person at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas on August 10-12. Accompanying the trade show is an online event, which will be held two weeks later on August 24-25.

The Licensing Awards 2021

The industry’s big night returns to The Grosvenor House Hotel on Tuesday September 14, 2021.


Brand Licensing Europe 2021

As with its sister show Licensing Expo, this year’s BLE will consist of in-person and digital experiences. Brand Licensing Europe will take place live and in-person at ExCeL London on November 17-19, 2021, with an online event also following two weeks later on November 30-December 1, 2021.

Progressive Preschool Awards 2021

Celebrating their ninth year in 2021, the PPS Awards will take place at The Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday November 11.

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