The inaugural Licensing Expo Japan will be held in conjunction with IFF MAGIC Japan, April 26-28, at Tokyo Big Sight.
In order to create an international platform for both local and international companies, UBM's Global Licensing Group, organizers of Licensing Expo, in collaboration with the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association, will launch a new licensing and brand extension networking event, Licensing Expo Japan, in Tokyo this April.
Drawing on the industry expertise and networks of UBM and LIMA, the new trade show will be the first business-to-business event to be held for the industry, and by the industry, in the Japanese market. Licensing Expo Japan will aim to connect Japan with Asia and other global territories, as well as enable attendees to meet new partners and expand their business.
Licensing Expo Japan will be co-located with the fashion exhibition IFF MAGIC and will take place, April 26-28, at Tokyo Big Sight.
"We believe that Japan's licensing business has huge potential to grow because Japanese licensors own a large number of brands and characters that are suitable for the local and international market," says Jessica Blue, senior vice president, licensing, UBM. "At the same time, there are many high-quality Japanese manufacturers who can be great licensing partners for international properties. Those Japanese players, both licensors and licensees, who have never ventured out from the Japanese market, simply need to have more opportunities to develop their international network with players around the world.
"Therefore, I am pleased that many international and local agents have already decided to participate in the Japanese event. They will serve as a bridge for both local and international players, as well as help understand and support each other in order to develop their properties in both Japan and the international market."
More than 50 licensors, agents and brands have signed on for the inaugural show (check out some of the brands that will be in attendance).
"As the leading association for the industry, we are dedicated to providing education and support for licensing professionals around the world," says Charles Riotto, president, LIMA. "Our members have voiced their need for a high-quality event in Japan, and we are excited to deliver it with our long-standing partners at UBM."
Japan is the world's third largest market for licensed products, following the U.S. and the U.K., and generates $700 million in royalty revenues as well as nearly $12 billion in retail sales each year, according to LIMA's Global Licensing Survey. A wide range of both local and international brands and characters are present in the region across categories such as fashion, toys and stationery. Among local licensors, there are still a large number that have not debuted in the international market, particularly those from the entertainment industry such as animated films, cartoons and games.
Additionally, LIMA will host a three-day educational conference at the show, which will be available for both licensors and licensees.
"The program arranged by LIMA covers a wide range of topics that will be of interest not only to professionals in the licensing industry, but also manufacturers and retailers who have never been involved in the licensing business before, but are interested in starting," says Christopher Eve, managing director, UBM Japan. "UBM organizes 33 trade shows in Japan in a variety of industries such as health products, beauty, food and jewelry. We will make full use of those databases to promote Licensing Expo Japan, and we expect that the conference program will be a big reason for various types of manufacturers and retailers to visit the show and to start investigating their own business potential in the licensing market."
Licensing Expo Japan's co-location with IFF MAGIC Japan, an established fashion event organized by UBM Japan that features a slate of apparel brands and retailers from the region, will further boost the event.
"IFF MAGIC Japan is a well-established B2B fashion event and is organized in collaboration with the Senken Shinbun, the most influential daily newspaper in Japan's fashion industry," says Eve. "IFF MAGIC Japan is a must-attend event for all fashion brands and retailers in Japan."