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People of Play Releases POP Week 2021 Schedule

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People of Play (POP) released the schedule for its virtual POP Week taking place this November 15-20.

Event highlights include the Toy & Game International Innovation Summit; People Of Play (POP) Duo Keynotes Legends & Leaders; networking in the POP pub rooms; entertainment on the fair stages; the TAGIE Awards; and the Young Inventors Challenge.

“Our 2021 program is turning out to be one of the most innovative  we’ve ever had,” said Mary Couzin, CEO and founder of the Chicago Toy & Game Week (CHITAG). “We’re bringing our  industry and other entertainment industries together in new and exciting ways to share ideas and cross pollinate.  We’re creating network opportunities, bringing in the highest caliber of diverse speakers we’ve ever had and awarding deserving companies and kids with both the TAGIE awards and Young Inventor’s Challenge as well as stages of entertainment at the fair. There’s something for everyone.”

See below for the full schedule and visit the People of Play (POP) website for more information and to register.

Monday, November 15

Sponsored by Mattel

 

Keynotes: 

 

Meetings: 

  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch tracks) and office hours (free consults by appointment)
  • 4 p.m.: Tips for your POP profile with Mary Couzin in the POP Pub UNO Room

 

POP Pub:

  • 5-7 p.m.: POP Pub UNO Room hosted by Tanya Thompson, senior director, design innovation and inventor relations at Hasbro, and Dougal Grimes, vice president of innovation and inventor relations at Spin Master — games, Gund, outdoor, and activities

 

Tuesday, November 16

Sponsored by Exploding Kittens

 

Keynotes: 

  • 9 a.m.: Elan Lee, co-founder of Exploding Kittens, and Jeff Probst, host and executive producer of Survivor 

 

Meetings: 

  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch tracks) and office hours (free consults by appointment)
  • 4 p.m.: Unleash the power of POP with Mary Couzin in the POP Pub UNO Room

 

POP Pub:

  • 5-7 p.m.: POP Pub hosted by Dave Harris, senior director of inventor relations and strategic partnerships at Mattel, and Brendan Boyle, partner at IDEO

 

Wednesday, November 17

Sponsored by The Michael Kohner CorporationGoliath, Litzky PR, and Longshore Ltd.

 

Keynotes: 

  • 9 a.m.: Jim Pressman, past president of Pressman Toy Company;  Michele Litzky, founder of Litzky PR; and Tom Kalinske, executive chairman at Mixed Dimensions and previous CEO of SEGA America, Leapfrog, and Mattel. Moderated by Chris Byrne the Toy Guy

 

Meetings: 

  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch tracks) and office hours (free consults by appointment)
  • 4 p.m.: Maximizing the search capabilities of POP with Mary Couzin in the POP Pub UNO Room

 

POP Pub:

 

Thursday, November 18

Sponsored by Andrews McMeel Universal and Nextoy

 

Keynotes: 

  • 9 a.m.: Will Shortz, the New York Times Crossword editor and NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday puzzle master, and  Garry Trudeau, cartoonist and creator of the comic strip Doonesbury

 

Meetings: 

  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch tracks) and office hours (free consults by appointment)
  • 3-5 p.m.: New inventor and student Zoom pitches

 

POP Pub:

 

Friday, November 19

Sponsored by Mego Corporation

 

Keynotes: 

 

Meetings: 

  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Pitches (for attendees registered for pitch tracks) and office hours (free consults by appointment)

 

Watch parties:

  • 4 p.m.: Watch parties include UNO Room and TBA. If hosting a watch party, let POP know and they will list it on the schedule.

 

Awards and Entertainment

 

Saturday, November 20 – Sunday, November 21

Chicago Toy & Game Fair and The Young Inventor Challenge