Vegas switch still on?

Trade keen for decision on possible venue move for Licensing International 2009.
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With no announcement or decision from Advanstar yet over the venue for Licensing International 2009, the UK industry is urging the organiser to come up with a solution - and soon.

Rumours of a potential move from New York's Jacob Javits Centre to Las Vegas began circulating at Brand Licensing Europe last year. This was met with initial trepidation from readers, with many telling us that they would not be in favour of a move.

Now, a number have come forward to say that it would help to get a clearer understanding of Advanstar's plans for the show.

"As far as I'm concerned, they just need to make a decision and then stick to it," said Janet Woodward, head of licensing at Coolabi. "There was some talk about trying it in Vegas for a year, but I can't see how that's going to work because they will lose their slot at Javits, then have to either move the date or find a different venue.

"When I first started exhibiting at New York Licensing Show it was in the Hilton Hotel and pretty chaotic as it was on two different floors - I wouldn't like to go back to that kind of set up."

Ian Downes, boss of Start Licensing, added: "Given the important part Licensing International plays in the licensing calendar, not least the sense of focus it brings to the industry discussions, it would help to get a clearer understanding of the plans for the show.

"I imagine many exhibitors will be watching the decision making process keenly, as they have to make planning decisions in due course."

The jury is still out on whether the move to Las Vegas would be a good one, however.

Mary Vacher from Random House Publishing told us: "I feel it would exclude many European visitors who use the annual trip to New York to not only see the latest licences on offer, but to also visit other clients and check out the retail market.

"All this makes the current trip financially viable, but Las Vegas will add flying time, cost and loss of business opportunities in New York."


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