Every year scores of exhibitions and expos are held all around the world that attracts thousands of exhibitors and attendees.
And seeing the response, organisers are enthused to do much better in the coming year’s events.
After witnessing the great response at the Expo last year that attracted as many as 16,209 attendees and 489 exhibitors, the organisers of the Licensing Expo have undertaken to do much better in this year’s event that is in its 37th year. This year’s event takes place as always at Las Vegas from May 23 to 25.
In our bid to find out what new is happening this year, we talk to a spokesperson of Licensing Expo.
Licensing Expo is in its 37th year, what are the expectations with the show this year?
This year Licensing Expo will have a completely new look and feel along with the launching the new concept of Licensing Week. Licensing Week acknowledges the many licensing events going on in and around the show such as the Opening Keynote featuring Cole Gahagan, Chief Commercial Officer of Fanatics Inc. (free to all Expo attendees); Orientation Session; Licensing University; Matchmaking Service; Opening Night Party; Art & Design Mixer; Agents’ Business Forum; the annual LIMA International Licensing Awards and the Women in Toys Breakfast, among others.
We have seen the surge in the number of participants & attendees. What all has transpired between the last Expo and the coming one?
One of the many reasons brands and licensing professionals come to the Expo is to make quality connections and hold productive, deal-making meetings. We are thrilled to offer the additions of Licensing Week and IBP Select and return of the Matchmaking Service to effectively fulfill that need.
Has the number of participating countries to this year’s Expo increased? If so, which are the countries that would be participating for the first time?
Yes, over the three-day Expo in 2016, 16,209 licensing professionals attended the show, which includes a rise in international attendance over 3 consecutive years. The countries with the greatest increase in representation were Argentina (+95%), Colombia (+153%), Italy (+47%), New Zealand (+78%), China (+60%) and India (+34%).
It is said that 90% of attendees at the last Expo recommended a final purchasing decision. Pl explain
Retail buyers and executives from around the world attended Licensing Expo in force, which influences their buying decisions. The 2016 show had strong representation from leading companies such as Walgreens, McDonald’s, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Walmart, Kohl’s, Toys “R” Us, Alibaba Group and Coach, among others.
Licensing Expo has introduced a Licensing Week Program. What is this all about?
Introduced for the 2017, Licensing Week has expanded to include new and returning educational and networking events that surrounding Licensing Expo. The new offerings include a full slate of business-building opportunities for attendees and exhibitors that are designed to enable licensing professionals to take full advantage of their time in Las Vegas. New additions to the calendar include industry events, networking opportunities, exclusive parties, and invitation-only Entertainment Showcases.
How would the licensing week program be beneficial to the attendees of the Expo?
Licensing Week is the new destination for industry professionals. The number of events continues to grow with Licensing Expo as the anchor with new attractions added each week. Licensing Week is the hub for the industry and will allow visitors to maximize opportunities and attend a multitude of diverse events without leaving the city.
Licensing Expo introduced new match-making service. Can you describe this in detail as how can attendees & exhibitors use this service & its benefits?
In 2016, Licensing Expo unveiled a pioneering online platform that allows attendees and exhibitors to arrange key meetings in advance of the show. By searching through thousands of exhibitor and attendee contacts, exhibitors at the Expo can now connect with new and existing partners to arrange meetings. Licensors and licensing agents attending the show can get access to the Matchmaking Service by purchasing the new Networking Package.This dedicated, high-profile networking program is the official one-to-one Matchmaking Service of Licensing Expo.
Last year, the new Matchmaking Service helped book 2,569 meetings between brand owners and licensees and retailers at the show, with 37% of attendees and exhibitors participating in the Service.
On being selected as IBP, by US Government, how is this going to add value to the expo and its participants?
IBP is a joint government-industry effort that brings thousands of international buyers to the U.S. for business-to-business matchmaking with American firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows. Every year, the IBP facilitates billions of dollars of new business between U.S. and international companies. We have applied every year for the past 3 years and we were delighted to be accepted onto the program this year. Only a small number of shows are selected each year.
What are the plans of inclusion of IBP in South-Asia & India market?
Through the Licensing Expo, IBP Select will give exhibitors valuable access to more potential international licensing partners from China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea and Japan at the show. These markets collectively represent $169.2 billion in annual retail sales of licensed merchandise, and are attractive territories into which many of our exhibitors are hoping to extend their brands.
Can you throw light on LIMA’s coursework in licensing studies?
The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA) has assembled a wide range of business-boosting Licensing University™ sessions with topics range from the latest issues and trends to the fundamentals of how the licensing business works. In addition, LIMA offers a Coursework in Licensing Studies (CLS) Program, and individuals can participate in person at Licensing University at Licensing Expo. More info can be found at www.licensing.org.
Kicking off Licensing University on-site during Licensing Week 2017, will be Cole Gahagan, Chief Commercial Officer of Fanatics Inc., who will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, May 23, at 8 a.m. Fanatics is at the nexus of the sports licensing business as an e-tailer, physical retailer and licensee, but Gahagan’s presentation will be of interest to all in the licensing business adapting to a rapidly changing retail landscape. The Keynote is free and open to all Expo guests.
What are the other key-factors to look out for in the Licensing Expo this year?
Exhibitors utilize Licensing Expo, and now Licensing Week, as the forum to announce new licensed products and partnerships, debut new projects, introduce new brands or re-introduce classic favorites.
Most noticeable will be the increase in the number of new and brands including exhibitors including Auldey Toys, French Bull, Hang Ten, Line Friends, FAO Schwartz, Coca Cola, Yale University, Toon Goggles and Vooz Co, Ltd., among others.
Any other comments.
Each year at Licensing Expo there is something unique and new. Licensing Expo is a window into the new trends, movies, television shows, products and pop culture items that will be released in the next 18-24 months.