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Licensing Expo Virtual Brings IP Discovery to the Forefront

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License Global talks with Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets, about all things Licensing Expo.

We are in the midst of a content boom. The appetite for content is enormous — somewhat driven by the pandemic, partly by the sheer magnitude of brands consumers engage with daily. Between the global streaming platforms pumping trillion-dollar investments into SVOD to the explosion of gaming and esports, there are endless hours of content and a wide assortment of intellectual property waiting to be turned into products and merchandise. Licensing is helping brands differentiate and delight consumers in creative ways that drive sales.

There has never been more need for the industry to connect and stay on top of the latest trends. Licensing Expo Virtual is a free-to-attend online event designed to meet this need, helping retailers and manufacturers search through thousands of IPs available for license and connect with brand owners. The all-virtual format, supported by an industry-leading platform, enables a broad cross-section of attendees from all corners of the globe to come together and network, discover new IPs, and ink deals. 

Registration is free for all. To find out more about the upcoming event, visit here.

With Licensing Expo Virtual quickly approaching, scheduled for August 24-26, License Global spoke with Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets, about the upcoming event and why it’s a must-attend.

License Global: IP discovery is essential to Licensing Expo. How will you facilitate this search process and deal-making in the virtual space?

Anna Knight: We designed the Licensing Expo Virtual program to reflect the needs of the industry right now and serve the same objectives as the in-person event. We focused on the core needs of Licensing Expo to bring together the wide range of licensing professionals for three days of trendspotting, deal-making, and meetings with new and existing partners, and want to guarantee we can deliver this in a digital environment. There is more content on the market than ever before; thus, there is vast opportunity for both licensors and licensees to leverage these engaged audiences and extend a brand’s life. Licensing Expo Virtual is purposely devised to help brand owners meet the right partners to represent their brand. Soon to be our third entirely virtual event, we’ve gathered and listened to feedback shared by attendees and partners that participated in Festival of Licensing, our latest month-long online event, and are expanding on the platform to maximize IP discovery and meeting functionality.

New and notable to this year’s content program is Digital Brand Roadshows, which consists of six 40-minute exhibitor live broadcasts. Each of the six themes focus on breakthrough trends and will highlight compelling brand IP through an exciting collection of exhibitor videos linked through a common theme:

    • Collaborations and Partnerships;
    • Heritage and Nostalgia;
    • The Live Experience;
    • New Exhibitors to the Event;
    • Licensing Around the World;
    • Animation and Anime.

Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to tune in to never-before-seen brand launches, content releases, upcoming slate, and even an entire licensing portfolio from the comfort of their home.

What type of education can attendees look forward to?

Education is a cornerstone of this industry and is especially important this year as we continue to navigate uncharted waters. Our seminar program mirrors and addresses the challenges and opportunities licensing professionals face today, focusing on trends and IPs, plus an all-new offering of sustainability clinics with renowned experts dedicated to helping companies adopt sustainability measures at a licensing level. Additionally, we’ve teamed up with industry trade association Licensing International to deliver Licensing University, a world-class educational series geared towards enlightening newcomers and mid-career professionals around the benefits of licensing and taking a deep-dive into key industry segments with “Spotlights.”

All seminars will be made available on-demand for three months following the event to allow attendees ample time to engage with all seminars of interest at their convenience and focus their time on meetings during the live event dates.

We are truly eager to share our keynote speaker lineup with the licensing community. Each day will begin with a live presentation from a world-renowned expert; we look forward to sharing more information soon. 

What about networking opportunities? 

The platform focuses on IP discovery and enabling meetings; attendees and exhibitors will be able to send meeting invites in the six weeks leading up to the event to plan out their calendar and make the most of the three-day event.

We are also thrilled to announce the prestigious Licensing International Excellence Awards will stream live on day one. All event participants will have the honor of joining us in celebration of the creative minds behind the most novel and innovative licensing campaigns to date.

We are also exploring the possibility of small in-person informal social meetups in select cities on the final day of the event if permitted by local and federal guidelines.

The licensing community can also reconnect at our first in-person event later in the year; the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit will take place October 27-28 in New York City and will feature a robust conference helping licensing professionals navigate the ever-changing retail, content, and consumer landscape.

There is also a tailored retail experience. What does this entail?

A large portion of our attendee base is comprised of big box and boutique retailers; as such, we designed an experience tailored to this community’s distinctive and ever-changing needs. All retailers will have free access to Licensing University, retail clinics lead by industry experts in order to uncover new learnings, and a VIP invitation to the all-new Digital Brand Roadshow to encourage: 

One final question, can you tell us which exhibitors are confirmed thus far?

Absolutely and the list is added to each day so make sure you check our website regularly. To date, we have several strong names on board including, Pokémon, Games Workshop, Crayola, NFLPA, The Smiley Company, Endemol Shine, MGM Studios, Spinmaster, IMG, The Joester Loria Group, Jazwares and many more. It’s still very early days, so watch this space.

To learn more about how to register and attend Licensing Expo Virtual and register to attend, please visit www.licensingexpo.com. To learn more about Licensing Expo's agenda and programming, please visit www.licensingexpo.com/en/agenda/whats-on.html

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