Licensing Expo, the world’s largest and most influential licensing event, capped off Licensing Week in Las Vegas from May 22-24.
The 2018 rendition of the show was the most robust to date, realizing an increased presence from core categories and opened with a keynote address from Nicholas Denissen, Vice President at Amazon.
“Licensing Expo is where you need to be if you’re in this industry. It’s where our licensing program began,” said licensee Christopher Hayes, director of business development, Open Road Brands. “This is the place to develop relationships with licensors and brands from all over the world and find out what’s coming next in the market.”
Expo 2018 saw significant growth in key areas among its attendee base, including a 10% increase in retailers and 16% increase in first-time attendees, including Japanese retailer UNIQLO, Mexican department store Coppel, and online retailer Dolls Kill. Attendees from key licensing markets Brazil, China, Japan and the United Kingdom also increased.
Licensing Expo’s continued success mirrors the growth of the global licensing business, which rose 3.3% to $271.6B, according to results from the 4th Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey released by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA).
During the keynote address, Denissen revealed that Amazon believes the licensing industry will grow to $1 trillion in the next ten years.
Core exhibitor categories also realized significant gains, including a 51% increase in associations and non-profits, a 34% increase in music, a 20% increase in gaming and apps, and a 17% increase in sports that welcomed the MLB Players Association and Learfield Licensing Partners for the first time.
“Licensing Expo has been the anchor for sports licensing the past few years,” explains John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager, NFLPA. “It’s one of the best business development opportunities for us where we identify categories to meet strategic goals and find the latest trends and products in the market.”
For the third consecutive year, Licensing Expo provided Matchmaking, an exclusive networking tool designed to connect exhibitors and attendees. The service was exceptionally successful with more than 4,600 meetings scheduled before the show began, an increase from 3,800 meetings in 2017.
The Global Licensing Group will host several additional events throughout the year, including: Licensing Expo China July 25- 28, 2018 in Shanghai; the 20th annual Brand Licensing Europe October 9-11, 2018 in Olympia Grand, London; Licensing Expo Japan March 13-15, 2019 in Tokyo; and Licensing Expo 2019 June 4 – 6, 2019 in Las Vegas.
Launched in 1980, Licensing Expo is the world’s largest and most influential annual trade show dedicated to licensing and brand extension.