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Licensing Expo 2023: What to Look Out For

With Licensing Expo just over two months away, License Global caught up with Ella Haynes, event director, Licensing Expo, to find out how plans are progressing for this year’s event.

Ian Hart

April 5, 2023

4 Min Read
Ella Haynes.
Ella Haynes.Global Licensing Group

Licensing Expo returns to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, June 13-15. The 2023 event will highlight Fashion as its core theme, spotlighting the creativity and innovation in the space and the opportunities it heralds for the wider licensing industry.

Currently, the event has over 200 exhibitors booked from several categories, including fashion and apparel, gaming and esports, TV, entertainment, publishing, animation, anime, corporate brands, automotive, sports, art and design, non-profits and museums.

Netflix, Amazon Studios, Thunderbird Entertainment, NFL Players, Los Angeles Apparel, Feld Entertainment, Earthbound Brands, Global Icons and NASCAR have all recently confirmed they will have a presence at the show in some capacity,” says Haynes. “We’re also really excited to welcome several first-time exhibitors, such as Minecraft, FIFA and Lion Forge.” 

Tapping into the Fashion theme, two aspirational keynotes from leading industry names will discuss the latest licensing and luxury fashion trends. License Global will release details of those sessions and speakers in the coming weeks. 

Sixteen Fashion Showrooms will take center stage on the show floor, displaying diverse ranges of cross-category licensed apparel, accessories and footwear. “The Smurfs” is the first IP to be confirmed within this feature, and more announcements will be made during the event’s run-up.

“This immersive feature will enable visitors to see what’s possible within licensing, from high-end couture to mass-market high-street fashion,” says Haynes. 

Watch: Licensing Expo Theme Highlight - Fashion ...

Following the huge success of last year, Licensing Expo’s Opening Night Party will return to the Daylight Beach Club on Tuesday, June 13, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale, and guests will be treated to complimentary food and drinks (while supplies last) and a secret musical guest, which will be announced soon.   

“It was a no-brainer to bring the Opening Night Party back this year after seeing and experiencing the buzz it created among those in attendance last year,” says Haynes. “We can’t wait to reveal the great talent we’ve got lined up for 2023.” 

Returning this year is the License This! competition, which is back in a slightly revised format, designed to reach a broader audience. The competition is designed to spotlight newcomers to the industry, inviting artists, illustrators, designers and creatives with no existing licensing experience to submit concepts for review by a panel of judges from the License Global editorial team.  

It has also been announced that Ignite Brand Pitches, a new concept aimed at Licensing Expo’s signed exhibitors to provide them a platform to generate buzz and brands about new launches or emerging brands, will launch at the event. 

First-time visitors can benefit from helpful information to maximize their time on the show floor, including orientation sessions, guided show floor tours and support from the dedicated Meetings Platform. 

With June being LGBT Pride Month, day three of the event will see a dedicated spotlight on driving purpose in a meaningful and authentic way with conversations about diversity and inclusion and sustainability. Licensing Expo will welcome university or college students with relevant degrees onto the show floor to enhance their licensing knowledge and inspire the future generation of licensing professionals. 

“Licensing Expo’s partnership with Products of Change is also back,” says Haynes. “It will highlight sustainable material innovation, coupled with educational content and 121 clinics, all emphasizing the importance of sustainability in fashion.”  

Visitors have registered from the likes of Mad Engine, Walmart, LEGO, Aldi, Royal Canadian Mint, Urban Outfitters, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Target within the last week, so don’t miss out on your chance to see the latest product, trends and insights and connect with peers from around the world. 

“We’re seeing some fantastic names register this year with some great retail names confirmed as they turn to brands to help drive footfall, create exciting stories at retail and a point of differentiation by tapping into the powerful fanbase that brands benefit from,” says Haynes. 

If you’re exhibiting, be sure to submit your news for the Show Dailies before April 21. 

 If you’re visiting, you can register for your ticket for Licensing Expo 2023 here

About the Author(s)

Ian Hart

Senior Digital Editor U.K. & EMEA, License Global

Ian joined the License Global editorial team in May 2022 as digital editor for the U.K. and EMEA, becoming Senior Digital Editor in April 2023.

Ian is a huge fan of sports and entertainment brands and, as a father, toys and kids' brands are a large part of his life!

He has been at Informa (formerly UBM) since 2018, where he was previously the editor of SHP, a B2B digital publication aimed at health & safety professionals.

Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in B2B trade print media, in the automotive sector, working on various publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.

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