This year, UBM's Global Licensing Group will introduce Licensing Week, which will bring together a number of networking and educational events, deal-making opportunitites and more, with Licensing Expo serving as the pinnacle of the week.
Las Vegas is set to become the epicenter for the licensing industry next month as Licensing Week takes over the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
Kicking off May 22, the industry's largest and most influential event will bring together more than 16,200 retailers, licensees, manufacturers, distributors, brand owners and licensing agents from around the world, as well as a raft of educational and networking events, business-building opportunities and more.
"There is an abundance of quality events supporting the licensing industry during the week of Licensing Expo," says Jessica Blue, senior vice president, licensing, UBM Americas. "Recognizing that these are a crucial part of the trip to Las Vegas for our attendees and exhibitors, we've brought them all together under the Licensing Week umbrella in an easy-to-manage
Licensing Expo, sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association, will remain the centerpiece of the week. The show floor, which will boast more than 5,000 brands from all categories and dozens of countries around the world, will open May 23-25.
New exhibitors for the annual industry show include Atlantyca Entertainment, Coca-Cola Licensing, FAO Schwarz, French Bull, Hang Ten, San Diego Zoo, Caterpillar and Yale University, among others. These new exhibitors will join a raft of Licensing Expo veterans, including A+E Networks, Mattel, BBC Worldwide, Crayola, Ford, Kathy Ireland Worldwide, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Grumpy Cat and many others.
In addition to the pinnacle event, Licensing Week will also play host to a series of educational and networking events, which will kick off with a keynote address from Cole Gahagan, chief commercial officer, Fanatics. The keynote session will take place on Tuesday, May 23, from 8-9 a.m. and will highlight Fanatics' perspective as a brand and retail leader in the sports licensing industry as the company continues to expand its e-commerce, physical footprint and manufacturing capabilities.
The keynote address will also open LIMA's Licensing University program, which will target everything from the latest issues and trends in licensing to the fundamentals of how the business works. Key sessions from this year's agenda include "Basics of Sports Licensing," "Brand and Consumer Research: How to Do It, What's Out There and Doing It on a Budget," "Building an Entertainment Licensing Program from Scratch," "Case Studies in Food and Beverage Brand Licensing," "Managing an Overnight Sensation" and "What You Need to Know About Royalty Rates," among others.
Other industry events scheduled for Licensing Week include a series of invitation-only Entertainment Showcases begining Monday, May 22, with Hasbro Consumer Products, which will debut its upcoming projects and properties.
Other companies that will be hosting private Entertainment Showcases during Licensing Week include Cartoon Network Enterprises, Disney Consumer Products, Mattel, NBCUniversal Brand Development, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Additional components of Licensing Week include an orientation session for new attendees and exhibitors, which will see UBM's Blue introduce the Licensing Expo team, provide an overview of the Expo and Licensing Week and give tips for making the most of the show. An open Q&A session will also be included.
LIMA will also reveal the winners of its annual International Licensing Excellence Awards on Tuesday, May 23. The annual award ceremony recognizes outstanding creativity and performance in all major segments of licensing. During the awards, LIMA will also recognize this year's Hall of Fame inductees–Allan Feldman, chief executive officer and founder, LMCA; Dell Furano, chief executive officer and founder, Epic Rights; and Cyril Speijer, former chief executive officer, Wavery Productions, and current co-principal, BN Licensing.
The annual Opening Night Party, sponsored by LIMA, will take place Tuesday, May 23, at The Havana Room and Sky Beach Club at the Tropicana Las Vegas. A complimentary shuttle service will be provided from Mandalay Bay to the Tropicana.
The organization Women in Toys will host a breakfast on Wednesday, May 24; and exhibitors in the art and design category will also be exclusively invited to join the Licensing Expo team for drinks and appetizers during the Art & Design Mixer at the Border Grill after the day wraps up on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, delegates from the International Buyers' Program Select, U.S. Department of Commerce representatives, internationally-based attendees and U.S.-based brand owners and agents will be invited for complimentary drinks during the International Cocktail Hour, which will take place at the International Buyers Lounge in the Licensing Expo exhibition hall.
New for 2017, the International Buyers' Program Select enlists the U.S. Department of Commerce's global network to recruit pre-screened international manufacturers and retailers from China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea and Japan to attend the show and meet with exhibitors.
Finally, on the last day of the show, brand owners and agents exhibiting at Licensing Expo, as well as brand owners that are attending the show, will be able to attend a hour-long networking event, the Agent's Business Forum, at 11 a.m., Thursday, May 25.
The Licensing Expo Matchmaking Service, which was introduced last year, will also return. The exclusive networking service will allow pre-registered attendees and exhibitors to search, connect and schedule meetings with each other before the show. The service will be free to exhibitors and licensees, manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors, retailers and sales promotion representatives registered to attend. Brand owners and agents attending Licensing Expo can access the Matchmaking Service by purchasing the networking package.
To find out more about the range of events taking place during Licensing Week, visit
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