A Letter from London: Welcome to Licensing Expo!

Anna Clarke (Knight), senior vice president, licensing, Global Licensing Group, looks ahead to Licensing Expo, Las Vegas.

4 Min Read
Anna Clarke (Knight), Global Licensing Group
Anna Clarke (Knight)Global Licensing Group

With over 300 exhibitors (including 110 first-timers), thousands of attendees, more than 30,000 invites shared through the meetings platform at the time of writing, three insightful keynotes, a new CMO panel and an all-new program for Day Three designed to strengthen the industry’s future, it’s no surprise the global licensing industry is geared up for Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.

Inspirational Keynotes

This year, there are daily inspiring keynotes, all spotlighting future growth areas within the industry: gaming, podcasts and AI. I recommend you carve out time in your calendar to check them out before it fills with meetings.

With 48% of the global population calling themselves gamers, gaming is cited as the next major category for consumer product growth, and that’s why our Day One keynote brings together a panel of esteemed speakers from Tetris, SEGA, Paramount and CD Projekt Red. On Day Two, we’re joined by Wondery’s chief brand officer, Nicole Blake, and Guy Raz of “How I Built This” to talk about how you can maximize franchise opportunities from podcast IPs. Day Three’s keynote invites AI futurist and former head of go to market for OpenAI (the home of ChatGPT), Zack Kass, to help you understand AI’s past so you can leverage its present and shape the future of your business and brands.

Related:CeeLo Green to Headline Licensing Expo Opening Night Party


Over the years, we’ve found visitors like to have more flexibility on Day Three and often leave time to catch up with people and products they may have missed during the first two days. So, this year’s Day Three will feature content, networking and mentoring opportunities focused on the future of the industry to maximize attendees’ time at the show.

In addition to our exciting AI keynote, we’re introducing a high-profile CMO Talk. Moderator Veronica Hart, founder and executive officer, HARTstring Entertainment, and vice chair, Licensing International, will bring together three people who truly have their finger on the pulse when it comes to the consumer – Spin Master’s Jeremy Tucker, ALDO’s Alison Neill and Toys “R” Us’s Kimberly Miller – for an insightful discussion on consumer trend predictions and buying behavior patterns for 2024, 2025

and beyond. This is one you cannot afford to miss. Day Three is also Women in Toys’ Empowerment Day, so if you have a great toy, game or product idea, even if it’s just on a sticky note, then this is for you.

Party Time

Don’t miss our Opening Night Party on Tuesday, May 21, at Daylight Beach Club, our brand-new Closing Night Party at Hakkasan Nightclub with a live DJ performance by Loud Luxury or our Brands at Play theme; you can immerse yourself in the Hasbro Gaming Experience, SEGA Bar, Pickleball Experience, Game Lounge and UVS Games Happy Hour (May 22 from 3-5 p.m.).

Five-time Grammy Award winner, CeeLo Green, is set to take the stage at the Opening Night Party

Next Stop, Europe!

And once the Nevada dust settles on Licensing Expo and the process of converting those initial meetings into long-term partnerships and much-desired consumer products gets underway, all eyes move to Brand Licensing Europe. Same great venue – ExCeL, London – slightly earlier timeframe – Sept. 24-26.

This year is a big one. We are celebrating 25 years of being the biggest meeting date in the European

licensing calendar, helping thousands of European retailers and manufacturers discover brands to partner with to create beloved, best-selling consumer products.

We already have over 160 exhibitors confirmed, bringing thousands of brands ready for license. But more importantly, my team – and our trusted event planner – are on hand to help you find the one, five or 50 brands perfect for your business to partner with. Not only can you plan your calendar, search the exhibitor list and seminars ahead of time and get general show updates, but most importantly, you can send meeting invites ahead of time.

At BLE, you’ll find sports stars like UEFA Club Competitions or Tour de France; character and animation gems like Wallace & Gromit, “Le Petit Prince,” “CoComelon” and Paul Frank; video game heroes like Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokémon; publishing stars like Miff y and The Gruffalo; and heritage/charity icons like Natural History Museum, V&A, Van Gogh Museum and many more.

BLE is quite simply the only place for European retailers, manufacturers and brand owners to meet, do business and sign deals that will decide what branded products consumers will be buying from December 2024 and beyond, so if you’re looking to kick-start or expand your licensing program in Europe and beyond, remember it starts here.

Register your interest at Brandlicensing.eu and we will automatically notify you when registration opens in June. Until then, I’ll see you in Vegas!

This story was taken from the May 2024 issue of License Global. Read the full issue here.

About the Author(s)

Anna Clarke (Knight)

Anna Clarke is the senior vice president, licensing Global Licensing Group. She has worked for Informa Markets (formerly UBM) for over 10 years, most recently holding the position of event director for Brand Licensing Europe, the continent’s leading brand licensing event

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