What to Expect at Licensing Expo 2024

Alongside great keynotes and show activities, Licensing Expo will debut fun new ways to network.

Alex Markovich, Sponsored Content Editor

May 17, 2024

5 Min Read
The Magic Wheelchair team at Licensing Expo 2023, License Global
The Magic Wheelchair team at Licensing Expo 2023License Global

At a Glance

  • Learn About Licensing Expo
  • Get a Deeper Understanding of Brand Licensing
  • A Different Way to Network

For over 40 years, Licensing Expo has connected the world’s most influential brands and licensors with retailers, manufacturers and services providers. This year, the event’s theme will be “Brands at Play” to spotlight the incredible innovations at play, the power play holds and the creativity it allows when building brands.

Licensing Expo, taking place May 21-23 in Las Vegas, Nev., will celebrate the concept through fun networking events, hyper-relevant keynotes, informative panels, immersive brand experiences and activations. There will also be over 5,000 brands showcased at Licensing Expo. Attendees can connect with brands such as Hasbro, Paramount and Crayola, and new exhibitors like Liquid Death, Fandom and LEGO.

Learn About Licensing Expo

Licensing Expo always provides extra support to new attendees. This year, Licensing Expo has planned show floor tours, orientation meetings, seminars about Licensing 101 and networking events for newcomers to ensure they make the most of the show. There will be two show floor tours – the first one will be held at 11 a.m. on the first day and begin at the License Global Theater.

Need some help with the basics of licensing or advice on where to start your journey? Licensing Unlocked is on hand to offer guidance and simple training to help you figure out the world of brand licensing. Drop by booth C122 to learn the licensing essentials.

The Licensing Expo team also encourages people to stop by the SEGA Bar for happy hour at 3 p.m. on day one and 3:30 p.m. on day two. Attendees can enjoy a retro-style bar featuring a nostalgic arcade as they connect with the licensing community.

“I am excited to see the hard work of the Global Licensing Group team come to fruition at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas,” says Ella Haynes, event director, Global Licensing Group. “Licensing Expo is engineered to bring the brand licensing community together to network, sign deals and further the brand licensing industry, so I’m also excited to see what comes from this year’s show.”

Get a Deeper Understanding of Brand Licensing

Along with networking opportunities, attendees will have the chance to learn from some of the top industry executives at Licensing Expo.

On the first day, Maura Regan, president, Licensing International, shares insights on what has been driving the business over the past year that will inform the brand licensing landscape moving forward.

Following Regan’s presentation is the first keynote, “Video Games: Driving Billions to Play.” Moderated by Ben Roberts, content director, License Global, and speakers, Nick McWhorter, director, global licensing, CD Projekt Red; Doug Rosen, senior vice president, games and emerging media, Paramount; Ivo Gerscovich, chief business and brand officer, “Sonic the Hedgehog,” SEGA of America and Maya Rogers, chief executive officer, Tetris. The keynote will explore the growth in gaming and what the category’s future holds.

On day two, Guy Raz, host, “Wow in the World,” “How I Built This” and “The Great Creators” will be joined by Nicole Blake, chief brand officer, Wondery, to discuss how applied insights have built the podcast into a lifestyle brand, in a keynote that asks the question: are podcasts where the next hit franchises will come from? Closing out the keynotes on day three is Zack Kass, former head of go-to-market for OpenAI, will offer a practical guide that demystifies the complexities of artificial intelligence.

Licensing Expo Character Parade

A Different Way to Network

One of the most anticipated networking events at Licensing Expo is the annual Opening Night Party at Daylight Beach Club. Held at the close of day one, this year’s performers include country music vocal group, Chapel Hart, and R&B/hip-hop musician, CeeLo Green.  

As the sun sets outside of Daylight Beach Club, Licensing Expo will debut a 500 light drone show at 8:45 p.m. created by Pixis Drones. This display will also showcase more ways to highlight a brand’s story to exhibitors and attendees and bring brand awareness to IPs and consumer products.

Another event Licensing Expo has added to the agenda this year is the debut of the Closing Night Party, held at the close of day three, at MGM Grand’s Hakkasan nightclub. Attendees will get complimentary admission into the club with EDM Canadian duo, Loud Luxury.

Empowerment in Licensing

Licensing Expo is partnering with Women in Toys (WiT) on day three for Empowerment Day, open to women in the licensing industry. The event will be held on day three at South Seas ballroom E-J on the third level from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and attendees will be able to listen to female executives share trends and what they have done to establish a successful career.

Walmart buyers will also attend the activation, which will give female inventors, creators, licensors, licensees, entrepreneurs and brand owners the opportunity to pitch innovative and authentic ideas.

“Hosting Empowerment Day at Licensing Expo adds an exciting dimension to the show, giving participants the chance to connect with the wider licensing community and discover exciting new opportunities for growth and collaboration,” says Ehi Oviasu-Kahn, board chairwoman, WiT.

Empowerment Day highlights the importance of progressing companies and careers forward, lifting people and opening doors to new collaborations, partnerships and brand experiences.

Licensing Expo, taking place May 21-23 in Las Vegas, Nev.

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

About the Author(s)

Alex Markovich

Sponsored Content Editor, License Global

Alex Markovich is the Sponsored Content Editor for License Global and currently resides in Denver, Colorado, USA. She has written across a variety of publications, such as SDxCentral, Housing Wire, Clear Admit and The US Sun. This experience has given her the ability to gain expertise in tech, energy, real estate, education, non-profits and news. Not only does she have a diverse writing portfolio, but Alex also has mastery in advertising, brand awareness, brand identity and content strategy. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University and is professionally certified in editing from the University of Chicago.

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