Art and Design Brands Draw Up Deals at Licensing Expo

For more than 30 years, Licensing Expo has connected the world's most influential brand owners with consumer goods manufacturers, licensees and retailers.

At June's show, more than 400 exhibitors converged in Las Vegas, Nev., touting over 5,000 brands that were showcased to the 15,000-plus attendees. The 2013 show was up in attendance both from licensing professionals (up 10 percent) and retailers (up 14 percent) over 2012's event.

Of the wide breadth of business sectors present, the art and design brands, which totaled more than 75 exhibitors occupying over 10,000-square-feet of show floor space, had a strong showing as they signed deals and generated new business.

"Of all the investments that we've made in our brand since its inception, exhibiting at the Licensing Expo was, by far, the best," says Jason Wheeler, principal partner, Lately Lily. "We will definitely be there again next year."

For many exhibitors, Licensing Expo is an opportunity to bring their brands to the global stage, as noted by Daryl Slaton, creator, Tails of Whimsy.

"This has been a wild ride, but it has fueled our liftoff with exceptional customer traffic that stopped at our booth, looked at our art, listened to our pitch and loved our stories," says Slaton. "We've had strong interest from major publishers, figurine and bowling manufacturers and pet food and backpack producers from the U.S., South America, Italy and Russia."

According to Slaton and business partner Louise Glickman, the interest from international decision makers was exceptionally strong for the company. They will be looking to make it a focus for their show in 2014, in fact.

Other successfully closed deals include for companies Muertoons, Kelli Roo and Christina Bynum-Breaux.

Muertoons locked a deal for representation by agency Surge Licensing, Kelli Roo signed a global deal with Fun Rugs and Christina Bynum-Breaux signed five deals.

"We saw more attendees than ever before and many have commented that the show was much easier to navigate and therefore more productive," says Jessica Blue, vice president, Licensing Expo. "The Expo team is so excited to begin building on this success for 2014."