|ICRS: Mary Manz Simon honored for 20 years of children’s workshop|
|Written by Natalie Gillespie|
|Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:19 AM EDT|
Children’s author and trends expert Dr. Mary Manz Simon threw a party Monday afternoon with hundreds of retailers in attendance to celebrate the 20th year of her Children’s Trends Workshop, presented annually at ICRS. Seats were decorated with T-shirts, party horns and chocolate to mark the occasion, and attendees were also treated to fresh-baked cookies and cupcakes at the end of the event.
Special guests included the children’s characters Iesodo and Rippy, actress Erin Bethea and Mark Hall of Casting Crowns, who told the audience about his new children’s book with Matthew West, City on a Hill. Simon updated retailers on the latest trends in kids’ products, including for the first time Cross:Scan data on children’s products. Simon stressed that one important thing for retailers to know is that data shows that consumers are not looking for the lowest-priced children’s items, but are looking for personalized products and items that best fit the occasion or need. She also reminded retailers that today’s consumers are savvy researchers and are more likely to buy in-store if they have already read about the item online.
CBA and the Association of Logos Bookstores surprised Simon during the event with special awards to celebrate her 20 years of delivering the popular workshop. Vendors also treated retailers to a record number of free products, from tattoo kits to picture books and from candy to DVDs.