Licensing Expo, Live and In-Person! The Recap.

Licensing Expo, the world’s largest licensing trade show, was back live and in-person for the first time in three years and the Dependable Solutions team was excited to be back in Las Vegas for the show. Not only was Licensing Expo back, but it was also more vibrant and buzzing than ever.

Drawing thousands of attendees from globally recognized brands, licensees, and retailers,  Retailer attendance grew 42% from 2019’s Licensing Expo, scoring a record growth for the trade show.

Licensors, licensees, licensing agents, retailers, and many more descended upon the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from May 24th through May 26th to reconnect with the people, brands, and industry they love. Over 250 exhibitors (from the most recognizable global brands to the hottest up-and-comers) shared their brands including Buzzfeed, Coca-Cola, Crayola, NFL, Paramount Global, and Death Row Records x Snoop Dogg.

According to Licensing Expo, “historically, Entertainment and Characters dominated the $292 billion global licensing industry, emergent categories increasingly harness the power of brand extension strategies to reach new audiences and build a loyal fan base. This cross-category investment in licensing is reflected by the wide range of brands confirmed for the upcoming event, ranging from Art & Design, Gaming and eSports, Fashion and Apparel, Toys and Kids, Sports, Technology, to Location-Based Entertainment.

The Dependable Solutions team, exhibiting from booth A204, was thrilled to return to their home ground.

Rhys Fleming from the DSI team enthusiastically shared, “It was great to be back at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, live and in-person. Digital events have been a great backup, but they’re no replacement for the real thing. Walking the show, seeing each other outside of a small window, the chance encounters – you can’t replicate that.

The Dependable Solutions booth was packed, which was amazing to see. So many companies are looking for ways to better support their licensing teams; systems to help them work more efficiently and effectively. It was amazing to see our clients at the show too and hear more about their plans for the future. I feel the energy from the show has helped with that shift in mindset. People are now talking more about the future than the problems of the past few years, and it’s really exciting.”

It wasn’t just the Dependable Solutions booth that was packed. There were approximately 5,500 meetings held on the show floor throughout the Expo.

As Anna Knight, SVP of the Global Licensing Group, organizers of Licensing Expo, told, “We’re still reeling from what was a truly remarkable event – everything from the engagement, education, to the dazzling booths surpassed everyone’s expectations. All we heard for three days was the incredible quality of attendees, underscoring the pent-up demand for an in-person event after three years apart.”

From The Power of Possibilities keynote addresses by Pam Kaufman, president, consumer products and experiences, Paramount, and Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman, VaynerX, chief executive officer, VaynerMedia, and creator and chief executive officer, VeeFriends to the Power of Brand Licensing for Location-Based Entertainment, the excitement for the licensing industry’s future was bright.

Maria Janis, who has recently joined the Dependable Solutions team as their Sales Director for East Coast, USA, happily shared, “after 2 years of meeting virtually, Licensing Show ’22 was an amazing opportunity for the licensing community to come together again the excitement was palpable. The DSI team was thrilled to spend time with our friends and clients both old and new including Feld Entertainment, Chelsea, Brandgenuity, and many more. We’re already looking forward to Licensing Show ’23!”

Finally, Marty Malysz, Dependable Solutions president stated, “Licensing International Expo 2022 was the busiest trade show we have ever had in 17 years of exhibiting at the show.  Positive attitudes and serious meetings were happening everywhere. The excitement from Feld Entertainment’s monster truck simulator was invigorating and made for a wonderfully immersive experience at the show. There were many excitable people just ten feet from our booth.”  

The winning attitude wasn’t just on the show floor.

Licensing Expo also held a License This! competition for select illustrators, designers, and animators, the opportunity to pitch their unlicensed concepts to a panel of expert judges. Kieche Meleson O’Connell’s Catoms: Atoms with Attitude and Stef “Sharky” Schultz’s Hunnie Bumble and Friends won a free booth at Licensing Expo 2023, free membership to Licensing International and Products of Change, and mentoring from the judges.

Licensing International Excellence Awards were given to 25 winners including the Virtual Brand Group’s Forever 21 Shop City metaverse fashion experience for Best Licensed Product Digital, Balenciaga X The Simpsons for Best Collaboration, and BoxLunch for McDonald’s for Best Retailer.

A rewarding Licensing Expo for all who attended. And the Dependable Solutions team is looking forward to seeing everyone back and in-person May 23-25, 2023, for Licensing Expo 2023.

For licensing teams who are looking for systems to better support their processes and want to meet Dependable Solutions licensing experts, they can meet the team at Brand Licensing Europe in 2022. The UK team will be available at Stand E256 on 20-22 September in ExCel London.


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