Licensing Expo Ends on High Note

The licensing industry’s biggest event reports strong growth in international attendees, among other categories.

Licensing Expo, organized by UBM Americas, saw its most successful show to date with the June 2016 trade show.

Over the three-day Expo, 16,209 licensing professionals attended the show, which includes a rise in international attendance over three consecutive years. The countries with the greatest increase in representation were Argentina (+95 percent), Colombia (+153 percent), Italy (+47 percent), New Zealand (+78 percent), China (+60 percent) and India (+34 percent).

Retailer buyers and executives from around the world also attended Licensing Expo, with representation from leading companies such as Walgreens, McDonald’s, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Walmart, Kohl’s, Toys ‘R’ Us, Alibaba Group and Coach, among others.

The new Licensing Expo Matchmaking Service helped book 2,569 meetings between brand owners and licensees and retailers at the show, with 37 percent of attendees and exhibitors participating in the service. This pioneering online platform connects exhibitors and attendees to arrange meetings in advance of and during the show.

“One of the many reasons brands and licensing professionals come to the Expo is to make quality connections and hold productive, deal-making meetings,” says Jessica Blue, senior vice president, licensing, UBM Americas. “We are thrilled to offer this groundbreaking Matchmaking Service to effectively fulfill that need, and to have so many exhibitors and attendees take advantage of the service in its first year.”

The show also featured more than 5,000 brands and 489 exhibiting companies across 240,000-sq feet, an increase of 3 percent from 2015. The Expo hosted 218 new exhibitors (31 percent increase from 2015) that included: Bandai Namco Entertainment, Capital One Spark Business, Dekel Brands, Edge Americas Sports, Equity Management, GoldieBlox and Iconix Brand Group, among many others.

This year’s Expo concluded on a strong note with more than 74 percent of the 2016 floor space rebooked for 2017.

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association sponsored the show.

Additional highlights from Licensing Expo 2016 also included the opening keynote, which brought together executives from Hasbro, Jazwares and Mattel; the second annual Digital Media Licensing Summit; the Opening Night Party, an after-hours networking event hosting more than 1,400 licensing professionals; and the Sports Activation Zone presented by the NFL Players Association that featured challenges with top athletes Kevin Beachum (Jacksonville Jaguars) and DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans). Additional celebrity appearances at the Expo included Shaquille O’Neal and Justin Timberlake, among many others.

UBM Licensing events will continue with Brand Licensing Europe, which is set to take place Oct. 11-13, in London, England. BLE is the only trade show dedicated to the European licensing industry, worth $32 billion, showcasing some of the hottest properties on the continent. This year’s BLE will also feature the new Matchmaking Service.

Licensing Expo 2017 will take place May 23-25, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

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