Licensing Expo 2016 Wrap-Up – What We #SpottedAtExpo
The LIMA marketing team is back from licensing’s biggest international event – an exciting week filled with meetings, learning, networking, celebrating and advancing the business of licensing!
Monday, June 20
For some, the show starts on Tuesday – but for the LIMA crew it kicked off on Monday with Licensing University and the Digital Media Licensing Summit. Stu Seltzer’s Basics of Licensing session is always a huge draw for anyone looking to get started in our exciting industry!
Monday is also a day of booth prep – not exactly the highlight of the week, but the anticipation makes it fun all the same.
Tuesday, June 21
The show officially begins on Tuesday at 8am with the Opening Keynote. This year’s session – From Toys to Content – was lead by three stellar executives: Susie Lecker of Mattel, Simon Waters of Hasbro, and Laura Zebersky of Jazwares. It was a packed house anxious to hear about the changing landscape of the toy industry, the new speed of retail, and the “phigital experience.” (If you’d like to listen to the full keynote session, click here)
The show floor opened at 9am with a flood of attendees ready to get Expo week going! This year’s show featured 450 exhibitors – 150 of which were new for 2016 – from 35 countries. There were also new International Pavilions from Malaysia, El Salvador, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as a significantly larger presence from China.
After a busy day of meetings, it was time for the 2016 LIMA International Licensing Awards! Winners in 20 categories were announced, with Disney Consumer Products’ Star Wars taking home four awards. Hot Topic was named Retailer of the Year for Doctor Who. And, on the global front, we had two winners from Australia while AMC/Striker Entertainment won the best Location-Based/Experiential Initiative Award for The Walking Dead attraction at Parque de Atracciones de Madrid.
Following the Awards, it was time to kick back poolside at the Opening Night Party at the Tropicana. For us – like many – it was our first time outside all day and we thoroughly enjoyed networking under the mist machines!
Wednesday, June 22
Wednesday morning it was back to the show floor – admittedly on a social media mission to find fun items for our #SpottedAtExpo campaign. And, once again, Licensing Expo delivered with a plethora of entertainment – from Care Bears to Playboy Bunnies – spread across 240,000 square feet. (is it any wonder we tried to borrow some wheels??)
Day #3 of Licensing University started with a series of roundtable discussions on topics from Public Relations to Food & Beverage Licensing. JJ Ahearn of Licensing Street and Woody Browne of Building Q lead a perennially favorite session “The Top Ten Most Important Do’s and Don’t’s of Licensing” – once again, it was standing room only!
Thursday, June 23
Before we knew it, it was Thursday morning. Our stack of business cards had dwindled, and not only because we had meetings scheduled throughout each day. You just never know who you’ll run into on the Starbucks line or in the hotel lobby – and that has to be one of our favorite things about Expo week. Mandalay Bay presents somewhat of a campus-like atmosphere where friends and colleagues and potential business partners are literally all around you.
Back to the show floor we go to see all of those fun things we’ve been hearing about all week, but never got around to visiting. The NFLPA at the Sports Activation Zone, for one. And who could help but fall in love with the puppies at Lococo Licensing or resist yet another picture with Tartar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat)?
And then, just like that, it was 3:30 and Licensing Expo 2016 drew to a close. We left the show floor with a great deal of follow-up to do this week, and a new hashtag to start working with: #NextStopBLE. It’s on to this fall’s Brand Licensing Europe for many – but for those not headed to London, we will see you next May at Licensing Expo 2017!
To see all our pictures from Licensing Expo 2016, click here (and be sure to like us for updates)!
Hillary Benton (coordinator) and Christina Jordan (director) are LIMA’s marketing duo.