The event, which was hosted by Charles Riotto, LIMA president, and Georgiann Decenzo, executive vice president of Advanstar Communications, addressed key topics of the Licensing International Expo including the concerns about exhibitor participation and attendance.
"I want to set the record straight about the show floor in Las Vegas," Decenzo says. "All of the major companies have a presence on the show floor and remain committed to the show. The current square footage of almost 200,000 is as big as the entire New York show ended up to be in 2008. And square footage sales are pacing 15% ahead of last year."
In addition, the television and entertainment companies including Sesame Workshop, BBC Worldwide, Cartoon Network, CBS Consumer Products, Nickelodeon/Viacom, HIT, 4Kids, Chorion, United Media, Fremantle, Mattel and Hasbro are all exhibiting.
"Some companies are having to make hard choices, and we hope we'll be able to find a way to accommodate them," Decenzo says. "We are here to help our exhibitors in this tough economic environment and have had discussions with many exhibitors to assist them in saving money on their show expenses."
To enhance attendee development, says Decenzo, Advanstar is spending three times as much money, as well as offering an automated online system for exhibitors to send out invites to key customer and prospects, new categories of exhibitors to draw interest, the addition of a VIP program for retail development and international outreach via the Brand Licensing Europe team.
"All trade shows this year have reported lower attendance and we realize that in these tough economic times that our attendee number will be affected," Decenzo continues. "But we are expecting that the people who attend will be there to do serious business and this year, more than ever, quality will be more important than quantity."
Among the initiatives, a new interactive area will debut and feature companies such as Electronic Arts, Nintendo, CAPCOM and Konami. Some other new additions, Decenzo says, include screening suites, a fashion show, the Global Partners Program, integrated marketing solutions and an expanded interactive Web site, along with an attendee e-newsletter.
Additional show meetings are being planned for New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London.
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