Licensees give thumbs up to Vegas

Well organised, well attended and a very worthwhile trip is verdict on this year?s Licensing International.
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A wide range of licensees have praised last week’s Licensing International in Las Vegas, with the majority’s overall impression being that it was well organised, well attended by the relevant people and a great venue.

In fact, the only negatives mentioned were the extended flight time from the UK and the jetlag, plus some confusing signage on the show floor.

The reaction from licensees bodes well for Advanstar’s hopes of establishing Las Vegas as the new home for the expo, with all those spoke to saying they would be returning in 2010.

“We thought the show was excellent – well organised and well attended with a lot more new properties than we normally see,” commented Tim Dawson, chief executive of TDP Textiles.

Sarah-Jane Porter, licensing manager for the Tigerprint division of Hallmark Cards, was in agreement about the amount of properties. “On the whole, I thought the trip was very positive and the licence company attendance was great,” she said. “The property coverage and news that the licensors were promoting seemed to me to be more exciting than the last two years and most really had something to shout about it. I felt that it was a very worthwhile trip based on content.”

“Despite the initial reservations about the change from NY, we felt it was actually a good move,” added Max Arguile, licensing manager at GB Eye. “It was definitely smaller than last year, but we had some great meetings with people who don’t always attend the show and we hope next year is as good.”

While it was agreed that everything being within the one venue was a major plus point, a number of licensees mentioned the confusing signing and seemingly random booth arrangement – including Blueprint Collections, Wesco and Kinnerton – however, the extra seating provided around the showfloor, and the free wi-fi access, was widely praised.

“Overall the running of the show oozed efficiency, though attendance did seem down on previous years, but that could be attributed to losing people in the extra space,” offered Martin Lowe, boss of Roy Lowe & Sons.

Wesco MD, Rob Hughes, said his overall impression was of a “top class event”, while Kinnerton’s director of marketing Rachel Wyatt summed it up by saying “I will be going back; it’s a once a year trip that is as much about networking as it is about seeing new licences – to our business it’s very important”.

A full report on what licensors, licensees and retailers thought of Licensing International 2009 will appear on next week.


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