Brand Licensing Europe will not be taking place in its physical form this year, but has transitioned to an all-virtual, four-week long global event called Festival of Licensing.
Running from October 6th to 29th this year, the large scale virtual gathering promises to be ‘the most inclusive global licensing event to date,’ and a ‘never-before-seen celebration of the business of brand licensing,’ that will be held in partnership with the industry trade association Licensing International.
Festival of Licensing builds off of the momentum of the Global Licensing Group’s Licensing Week Virtual event which took place in June this year in place of the Las Vegas Licensing Expo. The Festival of Licensing will comprise of four regionally tailored events in key licensing territories.
Week one will run 6th to 8th of October with its focus on the European market, powered by Brand Licensing Europe. Week two will be Asia focused running from 14th to 15th October and powered by Licensing Expo China and Licensing Expo Japan. Week three will be powered by Licensing Expo and will place its focus on the North America and Latin America markets, running from October 20th to 22nd. The fourth week will be a Global C-suite virtual conference, powered by the Licensing Leadership Summit and will be held on October 28th to 29th.
- Week 1: 6-8 October – Europe, powered by Brand Licensing Europe
- Week 2: 14-15 October – Asia, powered by Licensing Expo China and Licensing Expo Japan
- Week 3: 20-22 October – North America and Latin America, powered by Licensing Expo
- Week 4: 28-29 October – Global C-suite virtual conference – Licensing Leadership Summit
The first three events will be time-zoned around the respective territories they serve and deliver visitors and exhibitors the chance for IP discovery with exclusive brand and property showcases from up to 200 exhibitors and the virtual take on the annual License This! and Pitch the Brands competition finals.
Content wise, Festival of Licensing will host live keynote headliners from the world’s most influential brands that address the most pressing topics of the current and changing business environment, more than 100 hours of live and on-demand, territory and category specific content to guide businesses through the new consumer landscape, and a retailer only space with exclusive content and expert Q&A sessions.
While it won’t entertain the usual Hand and Flower networking sessions, the virtual event will offer ‘thousands of opportunities to meet, do business and strike deals’ through the Festival Matchmaking Service, enabling both pre-planned online video meetings and impromptu exhibitor booth drop ins.
Ticking the Experiences box, while the planned theme of fashion will be postponed until Brand Licensing Europe comes back in its physical form next year, the Festival will host Fully Licensed! a programme of special live daily evening entertainment and experiences in each region. It will also host Community & Wellbeing, a celebration of the global licensing industry, a wide range of career/business advice and mentoring, an industry fundraiser and wellbeing workshops focused on our physical, nutritional, creative, psychological and social needs.
The festival will conclude with Licensing Leadership Summit taking place 28th to 29th October. Originally scheduled as an in-person, senior-level, global gathering of the industry’s C-Suite and thought-leaders from brands, agents, manufacturing and retail, the new virtual offering will draw on key learnings from the previous three weeks and future-looking topics that will facilitate debate and shape the future of the global licensing industry.
Informa Markets’ Global Licensing Group Vice President, Anna Knight, said: “We are incredibly excited to announce Festival of Licensing and proud of the opportunities and experiences it offers to the global licensing industry. Although the decision to transition Brand Licensing Europe to an all-virtual event was a difficult one and we will miss seeing everyone at ExCeL this year, I’m proud that we have a comprehensive offering in its place and look forward to the European event kicking off Festival of Licensing.
“We have had great feedback from June’s Licensing Week Virtual, so we know that there is huge potential and appetite for industry connection during this challenging time when meeting face-to-face is difficult. Our partners are telling us that driving domestic and international connections, discovering new IP and brands and learning how to navigate the new consumer landscape are paramount to the health of forward-planning for the business of brand licensing, and Festival of Licensing will support all of these needs.
“We also want Festival of Licensing to offer amazing experiences for everyone who joins us. One of the joys of virtual is that it can make the previously impossible possible, and we plan to use the power of the platform to fuel the imagination, delight and inspire in a fitting celebration of this industry and the people within it.”
Maura Regan, President, Licensing International, added: “This global virtual event is an exciting platform to provide our members and the broader industry with the connections and tools to continue to move their business forward. Our industry is truly global, and this event promises to bring us all together (while apart) designed expressly to engage and facilitate smart business in real time, regardless of where in the world you may be.”
Brands who are interested in exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities should visit www.festivaloflicensing.com