Just 17 days before SUMMER SOUL 2019! Perfect time for a guide to Summer Soul, plus the all-important MAP! and for other conventions and exhibitions obviously. First off this is a guide based on our own experiences having visited numerous conventions and exhibitions around the world. Most have different rules and regulations, as well as each vendor/booth, have different sales techniques. For us, meeting artists and seeing what’s on offer and what’s been showcased is one of the highlights Designer Toy Convention and Exhibitions. Today we get to see the MAP of Summer Soul 2019 and your plan to where to race off too when you get there!
Here’s a guide for collectors new/old to Designer Toy Convention and Exhibitions.
- Finding out artists who you would love to meet and make sure you have the official times of when they will be at a booth as some will have live painting sessions and signings at selected hours
- Check the layout of the event and where their booth will be at so you can navigate and won’t be running around like a headless chicken trying to find them.
- Usually, artists /vendors showcase what they will have at their booth a week or even a day before. Make sure you mark down what you are after.
- If you are looking to buy exclusives jot down which ones are your priority, this way you will know which booth to go to first and less chance of missing out on the item you want.
- Get there early, if you are looking to buy exclusive and/or limited edition items. Some conventions offer VIP tickets so you can gain access early. Some VIP tickets offer you a bonus which included extra goodies too. (Summer Soul does not offer VIP tickets BUT pre-booking tickets with ADDED bonus)
- Check the convention surroundings where the toilets/washrooms are, Pee breaks before you queue up helps :p
- Food! Some have food stalls some don’t. Lucky Hong Kong is filled with street food as well as restaurants and high-end fresh fast food with plenty of choices from local to fine dining no matter what your budget is. Fancy local foods, as well as international cuisine HK is known for food as well as toys!. Explore what’s good around the area.
- Bring some snacks and beverages especially if you expect to be queuing for something
- Don’t forget to check your favourite artist releases, some exclusives might be released on a specific day.
- Don’t be afraid to chat to people running the booths. We really enjoyed chatting with people over the years, not everyone will put a face to a name they have seen on the internet so don’t be taken back by it.
- Most artists will do a sketch for you, however, it’s better to ask for them after the peak rush in the morning. Especially if you expect if for free.
- Don’t feel that anyone is unapproachable. They’re normal people. Usually.
- Some artists will sign/doodle things, like sketchbook/toys, but please remember they will be busy and don’t bug them too much if they decline – don’t take it to heart. If you don’t have Blank DIY toys etc there will be vendors with blank toys – so you can purchase them at the venue)
- Be polite and ask if you can touch something before picking it up, especially if it’s a hand-painted or sculpted piece.
- In our experience cash is king but a few artists now offer wireless transactions which seems to go down well not having to carry so much cash around. We found in China and a few other Asia exhibitions WeChat and other forms of wireless transactions out weight cash but in general, cash is the easiest way to pay.
- Please don’t haggle the prices. Artists work far too hard and don’t make that much money on toys – with the hours they put into their work. If you’re looking for a few bargains, over the past couple of years we have found a couple of booths doing a little bit of discount towards the end of the conversation
- Toy Soul mostly deal in cash or card. Conventions in China take WeChat and some accept Alipay only, please check before heading to China convention/exhibitions.
- INSTINCTOY for example, now as an online lotto entry for some of the exclusive releases and then if you win you would be entitled to pick it up at the convention. Please note this is just an example and a smaller release sometimes don’t use the lotto system.
- More and more exhibitors have product cards so collectors can point at what they want so you don’t have to worry about any language barrier.
- Some vendors have started to use a phone app for lotto syle limited releases so please check if the release will need an app to make the purchase especially in Asia conventions and COMPLEX Con. Thailand Toy Expo many use lotto for limited releases so its best to follow their social media platforms on how to enter them to avoid disappointment.
- Meet up fellow collectors, another highlight is meeting people with the same passion. Maybe a trade-off? Perfect time to meet people who you’ve spoken to on the internet.
- Comfortable shoes are a must, you might be queuing up to make sure you something comfortable
- Take a shopper or tote bag with you, those toy boxes get heavy quick and some sellers won’t have bags. Plus in England, it’s 5p for a plastic bag. Save the environment and money to buy more vinyl, resin, plush, pins etc
- Portable charges for phones/extra charged batteries for cameras etc is a good thing to carry around as well as some side snacks and water if you like, because honestly… I always walked till I’m hungry but then to walk all the way to somewhere else to get a drink/bite is such a bother.
- Spend time at every booth, even if you don’t know the exhibitor, you might find a new love or something you didn’t think you would fall in love with.
- Releases! Now, this gets more complicated and sometimes confusing. Some may be strictly limited and some vendors choose to have a first come first served release. Some will be timed release. In Asia more artists and vendors are using lotto system so please check the sales details.
- Take your time to look around, always hidden gems. It’ll be quieter in the afternoon, so will give you more of a chance to wander around again to see if you have missed anything.
- Take your chance to see everything in hand, much better than photos and videos.
- Some conversations aren’t just about buying and meeting artists. Some hold question and answers sessions, prepare some questions you would like to ask. Bring a notepad & pen – you might learn a few things from artist/customizers sharing their tips and guides.
- On the certain vendors there are flyers/business cards – pick them up, sometimes there are discount codes for future purchases!
- Check if it’s ok to handle products on booths before picking things up. Some people are fine with it, others aren’t so keen.
- some vendors have signs, especially in Japan signalling if it’s ok to take photos or not to take photos
For exhibitors, we called upon Jon-Paul Kaiser aka JPK to give exhibitors a few tips seen as he’s travelled the world exhibiting solo or as a part of a collective.
- Prepare well, display well, have good light etc Make sure you have plenty of stock and take along an inventory of what you have.
- If you can, take someone to assist you. They can box up a purchase and answer queries from people, freeing you up to talk with potential customers and contacts. It’s also great to have some company.
- I have a few golden rules I try my hardest to follow at conventions;- Always stand up. It keeps your energy up and makes you look engaged and more approachable Keep your phone away. Don’t check it at all if possible. It sends out the wrong signal, distracts you, can put off potential customers or people who want a chat.
- Engage with people, chat etc but never put on a hard sell. If people want to buy something, they will. A hard sell style can put off someone who was determined to buy.
- Smile and be as genuine as possible. Have your boxes opened and within easy reach, that way when people buy you’re spending the minimum of time away from them and talking to people.
- Never be dismissive of anyone; even if they have no intention of buying anything, a positive experience may edge them into a creative career, or put them in a good enough mood to buy from someone else.
With ticket BUNDLE packs! 3 to choose from (that’s if you can get them quick enough, HA) Anyway like we said before. With just weeks away, TOYSOUL 亞洲玩具展 have announced this year’s special entry gifts for attendees to this year’s Summer Soul. Like we said previously. “Save the date, save the cheerleader” Summer Soul returns for the second year! ToySoul 亞洲玩具展 ready to shake up the art toy scene in Hong Kong once again as the Summers HEAT is out in full force and ToySoul’s spin-off show Summer Soul ready to make the presence felt with the scene.
Judging from last years Summer Soul, they look set to open the doors to bring you a wide range of artists and companies heading to this year’s Summer Soul, so expect plenty of exclusives and meet artists in person. Even if SummerSoul is a one-day event, unlike ToySoul 3 day event, don’t expect anything less from the show as the line up of exhibitors.
In 2014, we held our very first exhibition “TOYSOUL” in Hong Kong. We have made a great success through two years in terms of the number of exhibitors or visitors. TOYSOUL is a toy and goods exhibition which is being a massive platform for exhibitors to present their latest products, trendy design and also innovation concepts. There is a wild range of goods, toys and figures, including the different scale of collectable figures, illustrations, digital games, side products and technological geeks. Apart from local exhibitors, there are a various amount of exhibitors coming from the globe, such as China, Macau, Tai Wan, Japan, Korea and Thailand etc.
TOYSOUL is not simply a Hong Kong annual event, but also an iconic and influential goods exhibition in Asia.
WHEN: 28th JULY 2019.
WHERE: Star Hall, Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre (KITEC) HONG KONG
Summer Soul 2019 Entry Gift Announcement!
By celebrating the Summer Soul 2019, Summer Soul is bringing you the most valuable entry gift in the event!
After the event started, visitors can go to the organizer’s booth where locate near the exit of the venue. Summer Soul is going to have 3 types of entry gifts that visitors can draw one from it by their ticket.
Please note that only one draw per person per ticket.
Sufficient stock is limited and will end until finished.
1. Labubu Keychain by Kasing How2work
2. LULU TOYSOUL ver. by TOYZEROPLUS
3. Fired dace (Salted black beans ver.) by Chino Lam
(Actual product shot will be announced soon.)
Pre-sale Ticket Price: HKD 180
Walk-in Ticket Price: HKD 250
“Superman Toys” will be Summer Soul ticket distributor for Summer Soul 2019. Summer Soul will have the general admission ticket and ticket bundle pack presale in their shop starting on 6th July.
1. Pre-sale general admission ticket: HKD 180
2. 1000% Panda Bearbrick ticket bundle pack: HKD 4880 (10 qty limited, 1
3. TOYZEROPLUS BABY DOU DOU ticket bundle pack: HKD 360 (120 qty limited, 1 Qty/Person)
4. DCITM 打和戰隊 藍戰士 ticket bundle pack: HKD 580 (30 qty limited, 1 Qty/Person)
**All products from the bundle pack must be picked up at Summer Soul 2019**
For anyone who missed the ticket presale, Summer Soul are also selling the tickets at the entrance of the event. The walk-in price for the ticket is HKD 250 per ticket.
Please note that tickets are limited and sale until stocks end without notice, so stay tuned.
Summer Soul 2019 General Tickets Details
Sale date: 6th – 27th July
Pre-sale Ticket price: HKD 180
Superman Toys Superman Toys
Address: Room 222, 2/F, 1N Siu Wan Centre, Sai Yeung Choi South Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.
HONG KONG Star Hall, Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre(KITEC)
Find further info at http://www.toysoul.hk/
Artist and brands looking to exhibit at Summer Soul 2019? Hit up https://www.toysoul.hk/exhibitor to apply now.
We hope the guide was a little help to you all and took something from it. Enjoy your designer toy adventure conventions and exhibitions are waiting for you.
Feel like we’ve missed anything out or have any other cool tips? Comment in the comment section below and we will add it in.
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