Interview Herr Ernst Kick - Chairman of the Management Board Spielwarenmesse eG

Messe.TV presenter Klas Bömecke in conversation with Mr. Ernst Kick, Chairman of the Board of Spielwarenmesse eG - the organizer of the Spielwarenmesse 2016 in Nuremberg.

Ernst Kick Interview Klas Boemecke 2016
Ernst Kick Board of Directors Spielwarenmesse 2016

Interview Herr Ernst Kick – Vorstandsvorsitzender der Spielwarenmesse eG

Klas Bömecke: The aisles are full, business is getting underway and it is mainly thanks to Spielwarenmesse eG that everything is running so smoothly. There is one man who is in charge of it all. The chairman of the board, Ernst Kick. And you're here with me, Mr. Kick, it's nice of you to take a little time! Ernst Kick: Welcome to our company. Klas Bömecke: Yes, thank you. I think it's great, there's a lot going on. It's all very exciting for me, but for you it's all routine or is there still a kick? Ernst Kick: There's always a buzz, there's always something new. You have to be able to imagine that we have 1 million products here, 75,000 new products. I've done the math - if you want to see every product and you start on the first day of the fair until the last day, you have exactly 0.1 seconds per product. Klas Bömecke: For God's sake. All right, most people are "special interest" driven. But you have a very wide range, actually everything that concerns the toy market. Ernst Kick: Well, we have everything from 0-99 in our range. There is a lot for adults: model making, model railroads. Then we have a separate area: baby and toddler articles. And of course the classic toy range. Educational play. Everything you can imagine is there. A total of 2851 exhibitors from 67 countries. Klas Bömecke: And do you currently see a trend - that you say it has developed in a certain direction in recent years? Ernst Kick: Yes, you can clearly see that a world of "smart toys" is growing. So electronics and information technology are also finding their way into children's rooms and this area is getting bigger and bigger. But the classic area remains, because electronics can only be played with from a certain age. Klas Bömecke: Is that something that can be welcomed without further ado? I'm always the one who thinks - without electronics, just playing and using your imagination is great too! Ernst Kick: Yes, of course. And that's why this classic area will always remain. I still see a future for it. But I also see a future in which electronics can develop more play appeal than just classic toys. Klas Bömecke: So all in all, the field continues to open up. Nothing is disappearing. It remains. And something new is being added. Ernst Kick: Yes, and the industry is naturally picking up on this. So if you look at a company's product portfolio today, it has become much broader than it was 10 years ago.

Ernst Kick CEO

Klas Bömecke: And one more thing about your company, Spielwarenmesse eG. You don't just organize this Nuremberg event - right? Ernst Kick: Yes, we organize two events here in Nuremberg. The Spielwarenmesse is the biggest in the world. So not just in Nuremberg, but the biggest toy fair in the world. Then in the fall we have the PBS, a stationery fair, which we also hold on this site in Nuremberg. And then we also have subsidiaries abroad. Klas Bömecke: You are international? Ernst Kick: Yes, we have an international presence, that's a must. We have sales offices in 95 countries alone and hold trade fairs in Istanbul, Moscow and Mumbai. Everything to do with toys for children. Klas Bömecke: Does that mean that anyone who exhibits here and thus has contact with you and does business with you can also open up the Asian market more easily by going to a toy fair in Mumbai through you? Ernst Kick: Yes, that is our aim. We want to look after our customers all year round. No matter where they are. Because they know the quality of service they get from us. And that's why we are so successful. Klas Bömecke: I can see that you enjoy it. Are you also a person who enjoys the game? Ernst Kick: Yes, not just the game, but also life (smiles). Klas Bömecke: Good, but today it's all about gaming. And you manage the entire games market in the trade fair sector - but do you play games yourself and if so, what do you play? Ernst Kick: Well, I can always play a bit of cards, I'm well practiced at that. When the children are here, we play Activity. It's a really great game because it provides lots of different stimuli and is also strenuous, of course. Otherwise, I spend a lot of time out and about with the companies, watching games. So that I can also see where the trends are. I visit a lot of showrooms - even abroad - so that we can always tailor the trade fair program to the needs of our customers. Klas Bömecke: If you are so close to the companies, then perhaps you can already predict where things will go in the next few years. This year you can see Star Wars license products everywhere. And the Internet is making its way into the children's room. But there has to be the next step somewhere. What will happen next? Ernst Kick: Well, we are currently presenting the trends of the future, one of which is "Train your Brain". Children should learn and practise cognitive skills at a very early age. A second topic. Design is becoming more and more interesting - naturally in a higher-value consumer segment, because design is expensive. And finally, this year's theme is "Everyday hero". We want children to realize early on that social responsibility is important, that sustainability is a topic in which they can also realize themselves. And there are lots of games to do this. Klas Bömecke: That's the immediate future. But is there something that developers or you also dream of? That would be an idea that will probably come to us in 5 or 10 years? Ernst Kick: I wouldn't say that, because then I would also have to know how life is changing. Play is a reflection of the world, of life. And children also want to copy life. Their parents' lives, their parents' behavior. Just as the adults will change, so will the children. Klas Bömecke: That means it will remain exciting. Ernst Kick: It will definitely remain exciting. And you can be sure that we will still be holding interesting trade fairs in 10 years' time. Klas Bömecke: I'm curious to see what topics we'll be talking about here in the next few years. Thank you Mr. Kick, good luck. Ernst Kick: Thank you.