Exhibitor Cancellation FAQs

Message from the Board

ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy, originally scheduled for June 7-10, 2020, in Orlando, has been canceled.

The ASTRA Board of Directors and ASTRA staff care deeply about the safety and health of our members and their families. We determined there would be too great of a risk to members’ health, families and businesses by traveling in light of COVID-19. Although the in-person connections and business conducted at the show is extremely important to the ASTRA community and our industry, we ultimately decided it would be irresponsible to move forward with the show, even if it were postponed because there are too many unknowns about how the situation surrounding COVID-19 would unfold. In addition, we recognized that attending the show could present an undue financial burden during a time when many members of our community are struggling.

Read Cancellation Memo

Exhibitor Cancellation FAQs

After weeks of carefully monitoring the ongoing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Board of Directors of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has made the decision to cancel Marketplace & Academy 2020, originally scheduled to be held June 7-10, 2020 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

Over the years and with the help of the ASTRA community, Marketplace & Academy has become the premier event for the specialty toy industry. We recognize that exhibitors and attendees rely on the show for connecting to colleagues and successful business operations. Ultimately, the safety and health of our community is paramount and our number one priority. In guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection on large gatherings, it became clear that the cancellation of the show was the best decision forward.

Thank you for your patience and understanding over the past few weeks as we evaluated all factors to make this decision. We ask for your continued support as we work through next steps.

We know this event was the major marketing and sales event for many manufacturing companies, and an invaluable buying opportunity for retailers. Finally, though no less importantly, we know that our show partners – from those who prepare our booths to those who clean the exhibition hall at night – have been dramatically impacted by this cancellation. While we continue to evaluate other virtual event options for the remainder of this year, we have determined that rescheduling the trade show for later in 2020 is not feasible.

Will my booth fee be refunded or can I apply it to the 2021 show?

Marketplace & Academy represents approximately 60% of the ASTRA association’s planned revenue for the year yet we want to serve our members as much as possible. 

Exhibitors can roll over booth fees as a credit for the 2021 show or arrange for a full refund. For exhibitors who roll over booth fees for Marketplace & Academy 2021, ASTRA will award one (1) additional Priority Point towards the 2021 show booth renewal process. In addition, ASTRA will thank the exhibiting company on the Marketplace & Academy website as a 2021 exhibitor supporting ASTRA during the crisis. They will also have priority access to virtual marketing options as they are rolled out.

Exhibitors may arrange for a full refund. The primary contact listed in Map Your Show (booth account) will receive an email that includes a link to a form to make this selection.

If requested, when will we receive exhibit booth refunds?

Exhibitors requesting a refund will receive a check to the address on file for the primary contact listed in their Map Your Show (booth account) by June 30, 2020. Please log in to Map Your Show to review and confirm the contact information listed.

Will the cost of additional booth personnel registrations be refunded?

All registration costs for exhibitors including full conference registrations, welcome reception tickets and the Lip Sync Battle tickets will be refunded to the original payment method used for the purchase by June 30, 2020.

Exhibitors may opt to donate their registration fees to support the ASTRA Foundation’s mission to increase the awareness of the importance of play and its impact across the lifespan by emailing foundation@astratoy.org by May 31, 2020 to designate their registration fees or a portion of fees. 

Unless otherwise specified, refunds will be processed by June 30, 2020 and may take up to two weeks to appear on a credit card statement. We ask for your patience as we work to refund these fees to you. If you have questions about registration refunds, send an email to info@astratoy.org or call (312) 222-0984. 


If I booked my hotel through the official housing provider, Experient, how do I cancel my reservation? 

By April 3, 2020 all hotel reservations made through Experient Housing will be canceled on your behalf. You will receive an email confirming this cancellation. If you do not receive the email, you may call Experient customer service at (800) 424-5249 or email astra@experient-inc.com

If you booked outside of the official hotel block and not through Experient Housing, please contact your hotel directly to address cancellations or fees.

How will my Advance to Warehouse freight be returned?

For shipments already in transit, please contact the carrier and request the shipment be returned to sender or re-routed to the location of your choosing. Return to sender will be your most cost effective and efficient option.

How do I get refunded for the services I ordered through GES?

All orders will be canceled by GES on behalf of the exhibitor and refunds will be processed.  Please allow up to three (3) weeks for this refund to be visible.

For further questions regarding orders placed with GES contact the GES National Servicenter® at (800) 801-7648.

I had big plans for my booth. How can I get the word out to buyers?

ASTRA believes in the statement “Mighty Together” as a formula to strengthen the community of independent businesses supporting play across the lifespan. Our industry needs this support now more than ever.

Contact Ahren Hoffman, business development director, at ahoffman@astratoy.org or (312) 222-0984 to discuss partnership opportunities you would like to explore.

How can we support retailers during this time?

We are encouraging ASTRA member manufacturers to update the "Other" section of their Year-Round Offerings to keep a central location for retailer support/specials related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Support Offerings:

Go to the Year Round Offerings Update Form (only for Manufacturers & Affiliates)
Update the "Other" line beginning your special with "COVID19 Support" (This will allow retailers to filter)
Click submit
To confirm the update you can view the live Year Round Offerings

I still have questions. Who can I talk to?