With just days to go until Licensing Expo Virtual is live, License Global speaks with Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets, to learn more.

License Global

August 19, 2021

7 Min Read

License Global: Just two weeks to go, how is the event coming along?

Anna Knight: It’s going to be a fantastic show this year and I am so proud of how it is coming together. We have more than 2,500 meetings confirmed so far, and more being booked each day – the pace is really starting to pick up so people should start booking as diaries are filling fast!

In terms of attendees there are thousands of high-quality licensees and retailers registered already including Hot Topic, Hallmark, Amazon, Mad Engine, Alibaba, Jakks Pacific, Claire’s, Tomy International, Ravensburger and General Mills to name a few. We are also seeing international registrations from Abysse Corp, The Royal Mail, Primark, El Corte Ingles and more thanks to the convenient virtual format allowing the global licensing community to take part.

Who are some of the latest names to join the exhibitor list? What are other household names attendees can expect to meet?

I’m pleased to say that we have almost 200 exhibiting companies confirmed, with new ones still coming in each day so make sure to check the exhibitor list regularly for the latest additions. The Country Music Association, Global Icons, H3 Sportwear, Bridging Group Korea are some of the latest names added to the growing list and will be joining Beanstalk, Brand Central, Brandgenuity, Buzzfeed, Epic Rights, ITV Studios, Mattel, Penguin Random House, SEGA and many more.

Most importantly, our IP Directory contains well over 1,000 brands covering every category for attendees to discover and search through, including everything from NSYNC, Avatar, Garfield, “Call of Duty,” Minecraft, Peanuts, South Park, Crash Bandicoot, Sesame Street, Star Trek all the way through to 7UP, Banana Republic, Route 66, Harvard, Cheetos, Cap’n Crunch, Assaf Frank Photography, Girls Scouts of USA and thousands more ranging across entertainment, art, corporate and lifestyle brands. It’s never been more convenient to discover the widest range of brands for license all in one place, and our improved search function makes this so quick and easy!

What is new at this year’s event? What can attendees look forward to?

We have some amazing highlights for this year and an exciting agenda focused on the latest industry trends.

New to Licensing Expo includes the Digital Brand Roadshows that aim to highlight compelling brands and IP via a common theme, spotlighted in panel conversations broadcast live at the event. Categories for the 2021 event include:

  • Day 1 on Aug. 24 – Collaborations and partnerships at noon and New Exhibitors to the Event at 3 p.m.;

  • Day 2 on Aug. 25 – Heritage and Nostalgia at 11 a.m. and Licensing Around the World at 3 p.m.;

  • Day 3 on Aug. 26 – The Live Experience at 11 a.m. and Animation and Anime at 3 p.m.

Other live content offered at the event will include two exclusive keynotes on the first and third day from industry giants:

  • Day 1 – Aug. 24.  Join us at 8 a.m. to hear from Pam Lifford, president, Warner Media Global Brands and Experiences and Robert Oberschelp, senior vice president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products Global Franchise Management and Brand Product, as they discuss Unlocking the Fan Power of Global Franchises and how to create multiple consumer touchpoints – from content to commerce – to meet fans wherever they are.

  • Day 3 – Aug. 26 will welcome Mattel's president and chief operating officer, Richard Dickson, and global consumer products and franchise marketing head, Roz Nowicki, who will take the virtual stage in a fireside chat titled Mattel and Living its Brand Purpose, exploring how the IP-driven, high performing toy and entertainment company empowers the next generation by introducing purpose-driven products from their suite of iconic brands.

Additionally, attendees can join us live for the Licensing Awards, produced by Licensing International on Day 1 and License This! Finale on Day 2.  Both are a great way to celebrate the industry so invite everyone to watch! You need to be registered to access both so sign up today.

Finally, registered attendees can make the most from our live ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions with retail experts on Days 1 and 3. We look forward to welcoming speakers from Retail Monster, IT’SUGAR, Nogin, The Brand Liaison, Pocket.Watch, ACI Licensing and more.

On top of this exciting live content, we have plenty on content available on-demand to bring the industry all the latest trends in one place thanks to:

  • GLG on-demand sessions covering everything from The Evolution of Kids Content to How F&B is Feeding Limited Edition Dropssee the full list here

  • Exclusive retail sessions addressing Licensing as a Tool for Growth & Customer Engagement in Retail, The Experience Economy and Wayfair's Sustained Growth Powered by Customer Centric Vision and Focus on Execution

Keeping one of the best for last, our Licensing U program in partnership with Licensing International is the most comprehensive way for newcomers to the industry to learn everything they need to know with our 20+ sessions covering everything from the basics of licensing to spotlights on the latest topics, all the way through to more advanced tactics and strategies to really excel in this industry. Attendees are invited to buy their pass ahead of the event to secure it at the best rate.

All on-demand content will go live from Monday, Aug. 16 and be available on-demand for three months after the event ends to give everyone more time to prioritize meetings during the live three days and catch-up on the trends at the time that suits them; however, we encourage you to participate live to ask questions and interact live with speakers.

Can you share your top tips to get the most from the event?

Absolutely – we’ve done a lot of work over the past months to optimize the virtual platform to focus on IP discovery and connections, as our ultimate goal is to help to bring together brands and products in a seamless way and enable new partnerships. My top tips for the event would be:

  • Plan ahead! As I mentioned, there are thousands of brands to discover, and meetings already confirmed – the industry is preparing their time at the event so don’t get left behind. Our advanced filters can help you to find brands based on your specific needs, or you can search for a brand, person, or exhibitor if you know exactly what you are after. Either way, make the time to prepare as it will pay off!

  • Use the Favorites function – It’s a small star in the top right corner and allows you to shortlist your favorite brands to revisit them at any point.

  • Check-in regularly – More brands are added each day and meeting requests are really picking up the pace, so check your inbox regularly to make sure you’ve not missed an invitation that could lead to your next big deal!

  • Set up your profile – Upload a photo, set your preferences and filters and be specific in your description on what you are looking for – this will help us to recommend the right content for you and improve the quality of your meeting requests considerably.

  • Block the time in your diary – We know that day-to-day life can get in the way, especially with virtual events but this is three days for you to connect, find new IP, discover the latest trends and start conversations that will pave the rest of your year. Block out time in your diary – it’s still Licensing Expo, just virtual!

I hosted a webinar with Licensing International last week to give an overview of the event, a demo of the platform, top tips and more – you can watch it on-demand here for a more comprehensive overview: https://licensinginternational.wistia.com/medias/p6mrljvwlo

What else is in store for the rest of the year?

We have a busy calendar for the rest of the year, with our Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit coming to New York this October. We recently announced the first speakers and program overview so check out the news here if you missed it. Don’t miss out on reconnecting in-person this fall – the Early Bird rate ends Sept. 10, so secure your place today at the best rate.

And of course, November will see the return of Brand Licensing Europe – plans are in full swing, and we can’t wait to welcome the European industry in-person later this year.

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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