The event opened with a keynote address from Nicholas Denissen, vice president, Amazon. During the keynote, Denissen revealed that Amazon believes the licensing industry will grow to $1 trillion in the next ten years.
Licensing Expo 2018 saw significant growth in critical areas among its attendee base, including a 10% increase in retailers and 16% increase in first-time attendees, including Japanese retailer UNIQLO, Mexican department store Coppel, and online retailer Dolls Kill. Attendees from key licensing markets in Brazil, China, Japan and the U.K. also increased.
Licensing Expo’s continued success points to growth in the global licensing business, which rose 3.3 percent to $271.6 billion, according to results from the 4th Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey released by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA).
“Licensing Expo is where you need to be if you’re in this industry. It’s where our licensing program began,” says Christopher Hayes, director, business development, Open Road Brands. “This is the place to develop relationships with licensors and brands from all over the world and find out what’s coming next in the market.”
Core exhibitor categories experienced significant gains, including a 51% increase in associations and non-profits, a 34 percent increase in music, a 20 percent increase in gaming and apps, and a 17 percent increase in sports that welcomed the MLB Players Association and Learfield Licensing Partners for the first time.
“Licensing Expo has been the anchor for sports licensing the past few years,” says John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager, NFLPA. “It’s one of the best business development opportunities for us where we identify categories to meet strategic goals and find the latest trends and products in the market.”
For the third consecutive year, Licensing Expo provided Matchmaking, an exclusive networking tool designed to connect exhibitors and attendees . More than 4,600 meetings were scheduled before the show, up from 3,800 last year.
Produced by the Global Licensing Group at UBM, Licensing Expo is the culmination of Licensing Week, a week-long program of networking and business development events catered to the growing licensing industry.
The Global Licensing Group will host several additional events throughout the year, including Licensing Expo China July 25- 28, 2018 in Shanghai; the 20th annual Brand Licensing Europe Oct. 9-11 at the Olympia Grand in London; Licensing Expo Japan March 13-15, 2019 in Tokyo; and Licensing Expo 2019 June 4 - 6, 2019 in Las Vegas. Stay up-to-date with the latest news coming from the event by visiting licensingexpo.com.