Licensing Expo Sees Growth in Int'l Attendance

Licensing Expo welcomed more than 16,000 licensing professionals to the annual tradeshow.

Licensing Expo returned to Las Vegas, Nev., May 23-25, and this year’s event proved to be one of the most successful to date with the debut of Licensing Week, a new initiative that incorporated all events surrounding Licensing Expo into one streamlined week of licensing industry happenings.

"Licensing Expo 2017 saw substantial international attendee growth, including an 87 percent increase in attendees from South Korea and a 23 percent increase in attendees from Japan. Several product categories also saw an increase in growth this year, including video games, which experienced a 46 percent increase, followed by TV, video, filming and streaming, with a 45 percent increase," says Jessica Blue, senior vice president, licensing, UBM. "Our rebook total for Licensing Expo 2018 has already hit 84 percent, which proves that this year's show was a tremendous success."

High-profile keynotes, presentations, celebrity appearances, educational Licensing University sessions hosted by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, and invite-only entertainment showcases drove more than 16,000 attendees and 406 exhibitors, with 185 new exhibitors including BuzzFeed and the Scott Brothers. With a large presence from leading companies such as WWE, NFLPA, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Authentic Brands Group, Licensing Expo proved once again that is the premiere event for licensing professionals to attend and conduct business.

"Licensing Expo is a key part of our business development strategy because it is the one and only show we exhibit at in the U.S. It's the premier place to put our amazing brands in front of both the North American community, as well as the global community. It gives us the opportunity to have face-to-face meetings with our existing partners and find new opportunities," says Kelly C. Hill, vice president, licensing partnerships, Endemol Shine North America.

In 2016, Licensing Expo introduced Matchmaking, a service designed to connect licensors and licensees. The service was also successful in 2017, with more than 3,800 meetings scheduled, an increase of more than 1,200 meetings in 2016.

"Licensing Expo for us is the greatest, single point where we have the chance to meet with all potential licensees and retailers from around the world–all in one spot, in a really compact, two-and-a-half-day window. It's a chance for us to talk about what we're doing at retail, in product development, and where we're going with our entire brand – with the goal of securing best-in-class licensees from around the world," says Peter Maule, global head, licensing and consumer products, Nitro Circus.

Through UBM’s global licensing portfolio, these top industry events will continue throughout 2017 with Licensing Expo China, July 18-20, and Brand Licensing Europe, Oct. 10-12. Licensing Expo 2018 will take place on May 22-24.

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