Toy market news

World's largest games fair SPIEL in Essen grows by around 75 per cent in 2022

Pre-Corona level already reached again this year

The exhibition area of the world's biggest fair for board and card games, SPIEL '22 from 6 to 9 October in Essen, will grow by an impressive 75 percent and thus reach the pre-Corona level again sooner than expected.
Last year's SPIEL already impressively demonstrated how important it is for suppliers of board and card games to present their products annually at the world's leading trade fair for parlour games. For despite extensive travel restrictions and hygiene regulations, hundreds of game publishers from 41 nations found their way to the Essen fairgrounds in 2021. Visitors and exhibitors reported an exuberant mood as well as excellent buying and ordering business shortly before the Christmas season, which is so important for the industry.
"Last year's successful staging ensured that a high volume of bookings for SPIEL '22 was already apparent in January of this year. Today, the fair can report a growth of 75 per cent in terms of its exhibition space and is thus linking up with the pre-Corona level in 2019 faster than expected. We have been particularly positively surprised by the high level of commitment from exhibitors from third countries. We welcome a large number of game publishers from Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. Many exhibitors from countries such as Vietnam, Armenia, Kuwait and Qatar are on board for the first time," reports Dominique Metzler, Managing Director of the organising Friedhelm Merz Verlag, a subsidiary of Spielwarenmesse eG.
The abundance of new board, card and role-playing games already announced promises game enthusiasts and the trade another diverse games vintage that caters to every taste and age. Thousands of tables will be ready on site to invite visitors from all over the world to test and buy.
The supporting programme of the SPIEL will be consistently expanded. On Friday, 7.10.22, the EDUCATORS' DAY will once again take place. It is aimed at educators, teachers and other interested parties. Practical lectures and discussions will show how board games can be used in the classroom as well as in community and senior citizen work. A panel held by Asmodee Research presents games developed for people with cognitive disorders and presents current research results in this field.

Interested educators can use the Europa room on Fridays. There, publishers will present games that can be used in the classroom at specially provided game tables. Last but not least, on Friday, educators will have access to the Innovations Show in Hall 1A, where they can get an overview of all the latest board game innovations.
On Saturday, 8.10.22, the focus will be on science. Under the title "More than just a pastime? Boardgame Research in Germany", Boardgame Historian invites you to the Research Day during SPIEL '22 in the Panorama hall. In four panel discussions, the topics "History in Board Games", "Board Game Collections", "Representation in Board Games" and "Potentials of Board Game Research for the Industry and Authors" will be discussed with experts from academia and the scene. After the panels, there will be time for questions and discussions.

After last year's break, families with small children can look forward to numerous animation areas in the "Galeria" again this year. An intergalactic play-along journey, a juggling studio, 20,000 wooden building blocks that invite visitors to build spectacular sculptures, bridges and buildings, a ball pool and much more ensure XXL fun.