Join us for this virtual half-day event on
September 9, 2021
Ever wonder how products make it to the shelves of Walmart?
We know that the road from concept to retail shelves can be incredibly daunting — and filled with hurdles. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Walmart for a half-day event about all things retail, e-commerce, and scaling your toy ideas, products, and businesses. Getting your products on retail shelves doesn’t have to be a marathon. This event will help train you to be “retail ready.”
Why grow with Walmart?
For suppliers, working with Walmart
means access to over 275 million customers who shop their stores around the world each week.
Retail ready or not, this event is for you!
If you’re an inventor, entrepreneur, or anyone wanting to learn more about the retail landscape in toys, licensing, and entertainment — this event was created for you. This is your chance to get a glimpse at what it’s like to work with a major retailer to bring your toy and game concepts to the masses.
Mark Your Calendars
Welcome + Keynote
2:00 -3:00pm EST
How can you bring your brand or product to market with the help of Walmart? Dr. Lisa Williams MBA., MA., PhD, creator of Fresh Dolls and Positively Perfect, shares her experience. She will be joined by Lisa Bowman, Senior Merchant for Walmart, who works with inventors to bring their ideas to life in the toy aisle.
SPRINT SESSION 1:
Sourcing in Motion
3:00 - 3:30pm EST
Joel Parrish and Danelle Jackson of Walmart Product Development, dive into the basics of how Walmart works with inventors one-on-one to help get their ideas manufactured and brought to life.
SPRINT SESSION 2:
Workout Your Pitch
3:30 - 4:00pm EST
Lisa Bowman, Senior Merchant for the Toy Department at Walmart, and Erin Fish, the Merchandising Director for Toys at Walmart, know exactly what to do and what not to do when making your pitch — and they’ll share their advice.
SPRINT SESSION 3:
Digital Shelf Standouts
4:00 - 4:30pm EST
We all know that it’s not enough anymore to have your products on physical store shelves. In this session, you’ll hear from Shilpa Holden and Jessica Partridge, Senior Managers for Walmart Site Merchandising, about how you should be thinking about your product online.
SPRINT SESSION 4:
Speed to Marketplace
4:30 - 5:00pm EST
In this session, Kristina Stewart, Strategic Account Manager for Walmart Marketplace, explains everything you need to know about listing your products on Walmart Marketplace and what it takes to be successful on the platform.
SPRINT SPEAKERS PANEL + Q&A
5:00 - 5:45pm EST
Join the speakers from the day’s sessions as they answer your questions about sourcing, ecommerce, pitching, and more.
Wrap Up + Next Steps
5:45 - 6:00pm EST
Once you’ve made it to the finish line of this incredible event, you’ll have the chance to hear from Steve Ronchetto, the Vice President of Core Toys at Walmart as we close out our time together
Join us live to hear directly from buyers, executives, and other retail leaders from Walmart.
Keynote by Dr. Lisa Williams
founder of Fresh Dolls and Positively Perfect
You have a great idea. Maybe you even already have a beautiful product. But retail success isn’t just about a really great concept. It requires a scalable business model, supply chain capabilities, and sometimes, support from a big retailer like Walmart. But what is it like to partner on a launch, and what is necessary to make sure it’s a success? In this session, Dr. Lisa Williams MBA., MA., PhD, creator of Fresh Dolls and Positively Perfect, will share her journey from pitching her ideas to Walmart, to developing the products, to distributing them nationwide. She’ll get open and honest about the hurdles she faced, what she learned throughout the process, and some tangible advice for how to bring your brand or product to market with Walmart. Dr. Williams will be joined by Lisa Bowman, Senior Merchant for Toys, Walmart Merchandising, who works with inventors to bring their ideas to life in the toy aisle.
Sprint Learning Sessions
Where should you get your product manufactured? How can you pitch your idea?
Is it even possible to stand out online? What’s the deal with Walmart Marketplace?
These sprint sessions will answer those questions and more.
Tie your laces tight — we’ll be covering a lot of ground in these 30-minute sessions.
Sourcing in Motion
3pm - 3:30pm EST
Whether you’re training for a 5K or trying to get your toy idea off the ground — the first step is always the hardest. Once you’ve fleshed out a great concept, where do you go from there? How should you define your brand’s guardrails and quality requirements? How, and where, should you get your product manufactured? If you partner with an organization, who will own the intellectual property? This session will run through all of the basics of sourcing. Joel Parrish, Sr. Director of Product Development, Walmart Merchandising, and Danelle Jackson, Sr. Manager of Product Development, Walmart Merchandising, will also share how Walmart works with inventors one-on-one to help get their ideas manufactured and brought to life.
Workout Your Pitch
3:30pm - 4:00pm EST
One of the biggest hurdles to landing your products on retail shelves is getting your foot in the door. How do you get the right people in the room to listen to your vision? How do you effectively pitch your idea in a way that will get those people to listen? Are “open calls” worth it, and how do you succeed at them? How should you prepare to present to a company like Walmart? In this session, you’ll hear directly from Lisa Bowman, Senior Merchant for the Toy Department at Walmart, and Erin Fish, the Merchandising Director for Toys at Walmart. Lisa and Erin have heard thousands of pitches from inventors looking to get their products into Walmart stores. They know exactly what to do and what not to do when making your pitch — and they’ll share it with you.
Digital Shelf Standouts
4pm - 4:30pm EST
We all know that it’s not enough anymore to have your products on physical store shelves. Technology is moving faster than ever, and to keep up, you need to also be taking advantage of ecommerce. But what does that mean for you? What is the process for getting your product on the digital shelf? What elements do you need to sell your product online? What should you be doing to make sure you stand out? In this session, you’ll hear directly from Shilpa Holden and Jessica Partridge, Senior Managers for Walmart Site Merchandising, about how you should be thinking about the digital shelf.
Speed to Marketpalace
4:30pm - 5:00pm EST
It can be a long, tiring race to the finish line — but you might be closer than you think. Maybe you had a great idea and decided to run with it. You figured out how to manufacture it. You’re already selling it to a group of early adopters. If this sounds like you, you may be surprised to hear that you’re ready to start selling your product on Walmart.com. Walmart Marketplace was created with inventors in mind to help them get their products out in the world. In this session, you’ll hear from Kristina Stewart, Strategic Account Manager for Walmart Marketplace. She’ll share everything you need to know about listing your products on Walmart Marketplace and what it takes to be successful on the platform.
Have you ever wondered: Who are the people behind the scenes at Walmart that help inventors get their products on the shelf? Well, stop wondering — you’re about to meet them. You’ll hear directly from the Walmart employees who help toys come to life and get to the shelf.
DR. LISA WILLIAMS
CEO World Of EPI
Creator, Fresh & Positively Perfect Doll Collections
Executive Vice President - Entertainment, Toys & Seasonal at Walmart
Sr. Merchant - Toys,
Sr. Manager - Toys
Walmart Site Merchandising
Sr. Director - Product Development, Walmart Merchandising
Merchandising Director - Toys,
Sr. Manager - Editorial
Walmart Site Merchandising
Sr. Manager - Product Development, Walmart Merchandising
Manager - Strategic Account Management, Walmart Marketplace
Vice President - Toys
What are you waiting for?
Access to Live Event on 9/9
Unlimited access to WIT Chat Slack for conversation during and after the event
Unlimited access to all session recordings following the event
Access to Live Event on 9/9
Access to WIT Chat Slack for conversation during the event
- Access to session recordings for one week
WIT Members get a ton of perks throughout the year (Mentorship Program, WIT Webinars, WIT Chat Slack Channel, Member Directory, event discounts & more) — and the WIT Launch: Innovation Summit is no exception. As a member, you'll enjoy free admission to Ready, Set.. Retail and unlimited access to all recorded sessions following the event.
WIT Innovation Summit 2020
From Stories to Shelves
Check out this recording from a session at last year's Innovation Summit featuring a Ready, Set.. Retail speaker Erin Fish! Learn how the characters and stories that you know and love are brought to life on store shelves, and how innovation plays a key role in our toy ecosystem - from the perspectives of both brand owners and retail buyers.
Learn more about another WIT Inventor working with Walmart!
Self-made millionaire and single Mom of four, Angie Cella is an inventor and entrepreneur with a big story to tell. A few years ago, she sold her home to pay for the manufacture of Blinger, which places pearls and crystals in hairdos. Since then, she has sold millions of units at Walmart and elsewhere and has been honored by Women in Toys.
Angie's first book, BLINGER, comes out in October, published by RosettaBooks.
What time does this event start?
The first session of the Ready, Set.. Retail Event starts at 11am PST / 1pm CST / 2pm EST
How do I access the Ready, Set.. Retail sessions?
All registered participants will receive an email with a link to participate in the Ready, Set.. Retail event. The site will include links to the live sessions on Zoom as well as additional resources and details to join the WIT Slack to chat with other participants during the event.
Will I have the opportunity to pitch my toy ideas to Walmart?
The Ready, Set.. Retail event on September 9th will not include 1:1 product pitches. However, we are planning a pitch opportunities for this Fall that will be announced very soon - stay tuned.
What is Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment?
Founded in 1991, Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) / The WIT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to advance women through leadership, networking and educational opportunities. WIT serves and supports women at all stages of their careers, from students to entrepreneurs to senior-level executives. The WIT Foundation grants scholarships to deserving students enrolled in industry-related undergraduate programs. WIT has 25 chapters throughout the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, France, the UK and Australia, with liaisons in Finland, Germany, Mexico, India and Lebanon.
What do I need to prep for the Ready, Set.. Retail Event?
We recommend you install Zoom on your desktop computer or laptop and test it out ahead of the event - even though you’re probably a Zoom pro by now! Grab a notebook and a pen - so you can jot down any questions you have for the Q&A session at 5pm EST. Lastly, we recommend having snacks nearby... snacks are always a good idea!