As it heads into its 34th year, Licensing Expo is set to continue on the momentum of last year's show (which saw a 10 percent increase in attendance) with what is sure to be another headline-making keynote, a host of new and expanded feature areas and even new show hours.
For the first time this year, Licensing Expo has teamed with three other trade events–MAGIC Market Week, the American International Toy Fair and the International Home + Housewares Show–to promote attendance in a range of related industries.
"This year's show is shaping up to be the best yet," says Jessica Blue, vice president, Licensing Expo. "The show floor will be alive with deal-making and networking, and anyone who's serious about the business of licensing will be here. With all the new show initiatives we
Licensing Expo 2014, which is sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association, will take place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev., June 17-19.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer and director, DreamWorks Animation
Katzenberg to Keynote
DreamWorks Animation's chief executive officer and director, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who co-founded the studio with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen in 1994, is slated to give the opening keynote address on the first day of the show. The keynote is part of Licensing University, which is hosted by LIMA.
Under Katzenberg's leadership, DreamWorks has become one of the largest animation studios in the world. Its 27 animated films have earned the company nine Academy Award nominations and two Oscar wins for Best Animated Picture.
"The keynote address is always a highlight of the show, and this year will be no exception," says Chris DeMoulin, president of licensing, Advanstar, which organizes the show. "Having a media visionary of Jeffrey's caliber share his insights will be a once-in-a lifetime opportunity that shouldn't be missed."
The show floor this year will be home to an all-new, high octane feature–the Motorsports Café, which will serve as a focal point for the Brands & Agents area, complete with a jumbotron airing race footage and road-themed carpeting.
In addition to food and drink, the area will highlight the arena of motorsports licensing with the help of some of the biggest sanctioning bodies in the industry, whose vehicles and drivers will also be on site.
Motorsports experts Race Motorsports Marketing and Hot Import Nights will help to organize and promote the new area, and global energy company and licensor Shell will be the headline sponsor of the new feature area.
"Shell has had an unparalleled link to motorsports since its inception. In fact, Shell lubricants have been used in more winning vehicles than any other brand, with many iconic sponsorships and partnerships," says Jack Stokes, licensing manager, TSBA, which represents the Shell brand. "Shell will sponsor the Motorsports Café to share that rich motorsports history and transmit some of the great emotions so typical of motorsports."
Licensing agency TSBA will also present both the classic and present-day Shell brand at two booths on the show floor, one of which will be designed as a replica auto garage. For the modern Shell brand, Stokes says the company is primarily targeting the car care and energy categories, while the classic brand is available for opportunities in toys, apparel, art and memorabilia based around the company's more than 7,000-piece commercial art collection.
Other big name brands in the motorsports world that are slated to exhibit at Licensing Expo include Lamborghini, Goodyear, the ATV and snowmobile brand Polaris, ESPN and Dorna Sports, which will present its MotoGP brand (the grand prix championship of motorcycle road racing).
The Sourcing & Production area, which debuted in 2013, will expand this year with the help of media partner Manufacturer.com, which will host a resource center complete with translators.
This year, the area will feature an expanded number of exhibitors offering a diverse range of products and will also be home to a series of seminars and networking events to help attendees tap into sourcing and production resources.
New and Noteworthy
Another one of the newer parts of the show, the Fashion & Lifestyle zone, will also grow this year, with returning exhibitors such as Kathy Ireland, Authentic Brands Group (Juicy Couture, Elvis Presley) and Sequential (Heelys, Ellen Tracy, William Rast) expanding their presence, alongside the addition of new lifestyle brands.
"One of the big trends we see happening in fashion right now is the growth of niche brands," say Stacey Campot, sales manager, fashion, Licensing Expo. "We are seeking out brands for this space that have a really unique voice and authenticity in the market, and at the same time we'll also have well-known global brand leaders."
In addition to fashion, the 2014 show floor will be home to huge brands in all segments with Nickelodeon, Mattel, Coca-Cola, ITV Studios (which plans to fete Thunderbirds' 50th), IMG Worldwide and
magazine among just a few of the companies already committed to exhibit this year.
And with so much to see, Advanstar has extended the hours for the first two days of the show to give attendees and exhibitors alike plenty of time for deal-making, networking and discovery. The show will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on June 17 and 18, with a slightly shortened final day, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., June 19.
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