In my past trade show/magazine lives, if retailers "left paper" at a show, then the show was deemed successful. Unscheduled "drop-by" retailers, thanks to an eye-catching display or unusual product twist, were an added bonus.
So how do we define a successful Licensing Show? Is it the amount of press coverage? The overwhelming energy and bustling of the show floor? The connections made-licensors and licensees, retailers? The retailers who scheduled appointments or merely dropped by to applaud current merchandise sales or talk future merchandising and product concepts and placement? All of the above?
For someone who is still essentially "honeymooning" in the licensing business, the buzzword for me was "connect." The Licensing Show is a marketing forum-a show and tell. It's a large meeting room, a genesis of concept-the beginnings. Judging from the levels of senior management retailers who attended this year's show, it's their meeting space, as well. Was it always their meeting space? Exhibitors I spoke with were awed at the retail teams that happened into their booths. Not surprising that retailers are taking a serious interest in their business and yours, especially when you consider overall retail sales, shrinking real estate, uneven merchandising tactics, overstocked shelves, markdown dollars (forgive me, have I gone off on a retail tangent?). At the end of the day, isn't retail "entertainment." a large-scale marketing space? I'd say Licensing Show was a good source of inspiration.
To further aid our loyal readership, we held open this issue to provide our Licensing Show Wrap-Up. Curious which properties to watch? Turn to p. 44, as our editorial team "got around" the show-and around the parties.
You may have already heard of some changes in the License! masthead this month. Officially with this issue, Steven Ekstract has been named publisher of License!. A founding member of the License! team more than four years ago, Steven has guided and managed the License! sales team, as well as contributed to the editorial direction. Over the last couple of months, I have had the pleasure of traveling with Steven to international shows and to scheduled appointments both in New York and other areas of the country. His vast knowledge and developed relationships with members of the licensing business prove there is no better man for the job! We, the publishing team of License!, congratulate Steven on his well-deserved appointment, as do other members of this industry on the pages to follow.
In other masthead news, our managing editor, Lorri Grube, married Robert Freifeld on the thankfully sunny day of May 11. Therefore, Lorri has a new name, that of Lorri Freifeld. Her phone number remains (212) 951-6695; e-mail has been changed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to a printer error in our June 2002 issue, the last sentence at the top of p. 150 (Kid Stuff/Stepping Into Dora's Shoes) was inadvertently omitted. It should have read: "Likewise, in spring Nickelodeon will feature Dora's Egg Hunt Adventure special."