I just spent two days jostling with costumed characters and lots of people at the Las Vegas Licensing Expo. It is a very busy, upbeat show. This is a surprising and pleasing development when considered against a backdrop of threatened tariffs both with China and Mexico.
The lines to pick up badges were extremely long (but moved fast) and the aisles of the show were busy. The exhibitor presentations are robust and booth staff is constantly tied up in meetings with attendees. The lounges are full as are the many bars outside the convention floor. Conversations heard and overheard are positive.
What was missing, at least for me, was a presence on the show floor for Disney and Marvel. I think this was a missed opportunity for Marvel. The company has just come off a historic win at the box office. It would have been nice to have had Marvel celebrate that win with their licensing industry associates. As it turned out, the absence of the Avengers and Marvel provided an anticlimax for what should have been an industry-wide celebration.
What did impress me, however, was attendance at Licensing U, the licensing industry's educational program.
Licensing U offers classes and seminars during the three days of the show. There were literally hundreds of people attending courses like "Amazon Tips from an 8-Figure Seller", Controlling the Brand Message: A Legal Roadmap for Licensors and Licensees, and User Generated Products: How Brand Loyalists Inform Product Development.
In all, attendees had their choice of 23 seminars over the three days at a cost of $295. Good for the show for offering these courses and good for the audience members for getting educated.
Bottom line, congratulations to all involved with this excellent show.
—– Article written by Richard Gottlieb, Global Toy Experts