We invite you to Chicagoland for the Mid-West Game & Kit Day!

by Nicole Bortnick | 31 Aug 2023

Industry Commentary, Op-Ed

We invite you to Chicagoland for the Mid-West Game & Kit Day!

Sunday, Sept 17th from 10am – 4pm

College of Dupage (Glen Ellyn, IL)


A fantastic opportunity for Retailers and their staff to interact with 30+ Manufacturers along with their local Sales Reps in a fun and informal setting. 


Hosted by:

BGN Sales Group ~ WundeReps Inc ~ Specialty Marketing Group ~ Kelly & Crew ~ RocketReps ~

Professional Sales & Marketing Associates ~ Fun D’mentals



Friendly competitors come together!


It was one of those dreary January days in Chicago, where I picked up the phone and called my friendly competitor, Barry Wunderlich of WundeReps.  A touch stone of sorts to compare notes and brainstorm about our roles as Independent Reps in the Toy & Gift industry.   We discussed trends, how the last few years have altered the way we now do our jobs as Sales Reps, but mostly, how we missed having a local show to bring our mid-west customers together.


It has been almost 10 years since the Chicago Merchandise Mart cleared out the wholesale showrooms and the Chicago Gift Show that we all loved eventually dissolved.


A month later, several of us Chicago Reps attended Toy Fest at the Las Vegas Merchandise Mart. It was there in the hallway that the discussion evolved:


We have over 100 years’ combined sales experience amongst us.  Why can’t we work together to create an event that will support our Mid-West customer base?


Friendly competition can drive innovation, but collaborating among competitors can also lead to increased efficiency, shared knowledge, and positive outcomes for various stakeholders. 


We all recognize that digital communication and online sales have shifted the way we connect and conduct business with our Retail customers. We also agree that the digital way to do things does not completely replace the value of in-person interactions. 


“Real-time feedback, shared experiences, and connections created during in person meetings are invaluable. “  

~ Rita Van Guyse (PSMA Inc)


With this in mind, we decided to collaborate to support our Local Specialty Toy & Gift Retailers by co-hosting the Mid-West Game & Kit day.


The Mid-West Game & Kit Day is a fantastic opportunity for Retailers and their staff to interact with 30+ Manufacturers and Sales Reps in a relaxed and informal setting.  We are encouraging participants to actually play the games and create the kits to enhance their expertise and understanding of the curated products they sell. 



“We are working together to educate and inspire the retailers and their staff.

Provide the tools to build that consumer loyalty and of course close that retail sale!.” 

~ Mary Waco~ Specialty Marketing Group


We know that consumers choose to visit their neighborhood specialty shops. They are seeking more than just products; they are looking for a personalized and unique shopping experience that caters to their specific interests and needs. 


Mid-West Game & Kit event will provide the Retailers and their staff with:

  • Product Knowledge: A chance to thoroughly understand the games and kits you sell in your store. Build the confidence to effectively answer customer questions and make tailored recommendations based on personal experience.
  • Customer Engagement: Retailers who can speak passionately and knowledgeably about the products they sell are more likely to engage customers and inspire them to become your loyal shopper.
  • Networking: MWGK event will foster networking opportunities among fellow retailers, manufacturers, and Reps. Share insights, strategies and best practices.
  • Feedback Loop: Retailers and their staff can provide valuable firsthand feedback to the manufacturers about their products and what works best for them at the store level.
  • Creativity: The energy of being physically present can be infectious and drive creative thinking. Our goal is that this event will lead to spontaneous exchanges of ideas and creativity. Retailers and their staff will take home unique ideas and suggestions for their customers, adding value to their shopping experience.
  • Content Creation: Great opportunity for the retailers and their staff to create and share content: reviews, gameplay videos and tutorials.
  • Prepare and Plan for Astra’s Neighborhood Toy Store Month: Gain creative ideas and product training for November!


“You will walk away fed with food and knowledge as well as a swag bag of fun toys and games.”

~ Barry Wunderlich ~ WundeReps Inc


Join us on Sept 17th.

Attend for Free if you register by end of day 9/3 and mention “Bloom Report”.



A $20 entrance fee will be applied for registrations after 9/3.


game event game kit day Retailers reps distributors

Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!