“We have a reputation for being open to new opportunities”: Clare Piggott on her role as judge at License This! 2019

The judging panel for this year’s License This! competition has been revealed as Brand Licensing Europe once again prepares to host the annual event that has cemented its status as an industry must-attend.

Making up the panel of judges at this year’s competition will be Licensing International’s Kelvyn Gardner and Giftware Association’s CEO, Sarah Ward.

The pair will be joined on in the Character and Entertainment track by Dan Grant, director of licensing at Danilo Promotions, Nikki Samuels, licensing director at Sambro, Clare Piggott, director of Larkshead Media, and Julia Redman, head of buying at M&Co.

Meanwhile, the Brand and Design award track will feature Stuart Cox of I Like Birds, Vicki Thomas of Vicki Thomas Associates, Sarah Lawrence from This is Iris, Jehane Boden Spiers of Jehane and Will Stewart, managing director of The Point. 1888.

Now in its 11th year, License This! has grown into what is regarded by many as ‘highly-respected and genuinely valuable showcase for new licensing talent.’

As such, Licensing.biz talks to the Character and Entertainment panel, and director of Larkshead Media, Clare Piggott about her role as judge at this year’s showdown.

Why is License This so important for licensees, retailers and the industry as a whole?
As an industry we have a reputation for being open to new opportunities.  License This! presents such an opportunity. It’s important for everyone in the industry to understand how the creative process works and License This! give a taste of this process. Plus, it’s genuinely exciting to come along and watch the final at BLE.
What did you think of last year’s entrants and winners?
The field was very broad last year in terms of entries and the finalists all deserved their shortlisting.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how far the winners have come over the last 12 months.
What are you looking for from entrants this year?
The entries are so varied it is best not to have a fixed idea of what you are looking for and just approach the initial submissions with an open mind. Some entries are more advanced in their development than others, but the initial concept has got to be commercially and creatively compelling. You just have to take your licensing experience of developing brands and seeing them come to market and see if a particular entry stands up to that scrutiny.
Why do you love being a License This! judge? 
The judging process is exciting and collaborative, so I really enjoy the whole process from first reviewing all the entries to being involved in the final on the last day of BLE. It’s a challenge for the finalists to present their creations in front of a live audience and I am very admiring of those that make it through. The main difference for me about the live event is that you get to meet the finalists and listen to the journey they are on – that’s a very engaging moment.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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