Hong Kong Licensing Show brings together over 320 exhibitors
Authorities explore diverse topics at concurrent conference
More than 320 exhibitors gathered in Hong Kong to showcase over 550 brands and intellectual property (IP) items at the three-day Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS) which concluded yesterday. The concurrent Asian Licensing Conference (ALC) brought together some 30 experts in the field from across the world to discuss hot industry topics including opportunities and strategies in global licensing, market trends, consumer patterns in the postpandemic era and key factors that drive market development, facilitating cross-disciplinary collaboration through licensing.
HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Dr Patrick Lau said: “The Hong Kong-Mainland China border reopening facilitates business flow and provides strong support to the city’s export growth and economic recovery. We are pleased to see that Hong Kong continues to play a key role in linking the mainland and abroad in the licensing field, demonstrating the substantial potential of the global licensing industry.”
Ever-changing consumer demands today made brand awareness crucial to a company’s success and licensing enhanced a company’s competitiveness, increased brand value and attracted consumers, he added. Hong Kong, with its stringent IP protection system, well-developed distribution network and sharp market acumen, was a pivotal platform where top global brands and international licensing agents could expand into the Asian markets.
Diverse licensing opportunities
Hong Kong has long been Asia’s licensing hub and a major IP centre in the region. The HKILS and ALC provided a platform for international licensing practitioners to network with industry professionals and help companies expand their business into Asia.
The HKILS broadened its scope this year, highlighting different areas of licensing businesses and taking in art, culture, design, entertainment, well-being and more.
Numerous local creative designs and products could expand their business to Asian and overseas markets through HKILS. Ms Chiu Siu Yin Lovinia, Chairman of Medialink Group, was one of the exhibitors focusing on IP and brand licensing management services. “We are pleased to be part of the physical event, where we had a chance to interact directly with clients from Southeast Asia, Australia and even India.”
International experts share market insights Mr Lau Chun, Raistlin, JP, Under Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, was guest of honour at the opening ceremony. He said: “The further development of e-commerce amid the pandemic facilitates the development of international licensing businesses, with more and more brands and properties investing in e-commerce to extend their customer base for licensed merchandise. The Hong Kong SAR Government has been strengthening our protection of IP rights, building our capacity by training more IP professionals and widely promoting Hong Kong’s IP trading and professional services through various activities.”
Brand licensing promotes traditional Chinese culture
As a centre for art and cultural exchange between China and other economies, Hong Kong helps promote Chinese culture to international markets. Mr Kong Lun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, People’s Republic of China, said at the launch of the Mainland China Pavilion: “The Ministry of Culture and Tourism attaches great importance to the integrated development of culture and related industries. In recent years, we have been actively developing the brand licensing industry, strengthening the development and transformation of IPs with Chinese characteristics, empowering the physical economy with brand licensing, boosting domestic consumption and enhancing the cultural values, creativity and added values of related industries. I believe that the Chinese licensing industry will see even greater development opportunities in the near future.”
At the ALC, Ms Miki Yamamoto, Senior Vice President, Licensing of IMG in Asia, elaborated on IMG’s marketing strategies and outlined insightful cases, such as the crossover between the Van Gogh Museum and FILA with Converse as well as that between Jimmy Choo and Sailor Moon. “The simplest way for small enterprises to take off is to collaborate with well-known brands,” she said when offering some tips to the audience.
Meanwhile, during a session that looked at IP rights protection, Mr Yoshiaki Bando, Chief Director of the Kumamoto Prefectural Government Hong Kong Representative Office, described the success story of Kumamon, one of the most popular prefecture mascots in Japan, and underscored key advantages of royalty-free marketing and associated IP topics.
A closer look into sport licensing
Mr Olivier Ceccaldi, General Manager of Infront Sports & Culture (Beijing) Co., Ltd, revealed his secret to success in sports licensing. He pointed out that thorough understanding of the latest industry trends and peers’ marketing strategies, full utilisation of a brand’s competitive edges, and effective promotion of corporate values through large-scale sports competitions are crucial to enhancing brand popularity.