Las Vegas Licensing Expo 2023: interview with Ella Haynes

Licensing Italia, Licensing International Representative in Italy, interviewed Ella Haynes, Event Director, Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets

Ella Hayne

L.I. What are the basic elements of the enduring success of Las Vegas Licensing Expo?          

Ella Haynes: The success of Licensing Expo is spearheaded by the amount of networking opportunities and companies available under one-roof. Everyone is there. It’s the best place to find inspiration, discover new brands to work with, be the ones to see it first, get the deal first. For example, a few years ago when Fortnite boomed, the only way to get the license was to be at Licensing Expo – all deals for the IP were made on the show floor. You never know which brand will be the next big thing but the best way to find out is by being there.

There are over 200 exhibitors booked for this year, across multiple categories, including fashion and apparel, gaming, TV, entertainment, toys, food and beverage, sports, animation and so much more, with many launching new products or collaborations right from the expo floor. Attendees are able to book meetings with exhibitors prior to and plan their schedule through our meeting platform, so they are able to get the most out of their time at the event.

L.I. Which are the most important novelties that distinguished the 2023 Las Vegas Licensing Expo? 

E.H.: Licensing Expo is the world’s largest and most influential event dedicated to licensing and brand extension. There is no other central hub to see this many brands available for license all at once. Exhibitors come from all corners of the world and span every consumer industry.

We have brands from all across the globe set to showcase their IPs for the first time at the 2023 event. With changes now in travel ease, there is also increasing interest from Asian, South American and European companies looking to participate, with some markets represented twice more than in 2022. Featured international exhibitors include the likes of Santoro Licensing, Blanca Pictures, Foo Entertainment, Van Gogh Museum, KOCCA, ADK Emotions, Bandai Namco, Tezuka Productions, Toei Animation, Frida Kahlo, Exodo Animation Studios, Zuzubaland, Seoul Business Agency, Vhina Television Industry Group, Kodansha Ltd, YuMe Toys, among many more.

L.I. Which growing categories are nowadays particularly active in the Licensing industry?

E.H.: Our core theme at Expo for 2023 is Fashion which is booming with new brand collaborations and proven retail success.

Fashion pushes the boundaries and allows brands to extend to creative consumer identity. We are thrilled to set the fashion-forward tone with our Opening keynote presentation from footwear icon Sam Edelman, followed by the Day 2 keynote from Microsoft and Crocs, as well as launching our first Fashion Showroom feature in the heart of the show. The feature will host multiple interactive fashion displays, highlighting new upcoming brand collaborations to watch in this industry from brands such as Mattel, WildBrain CPLG, Hasbro, The Smurfs, Cronus Global and TALON INTERNATIONAL.

There has also been growth in  in sports, especially within the European market looking to expand internationally. This year we are welcoming exhibitors such as FIFA, FC Porto, Kings League and FC Bayern Munich.

Nostalgia brands continue to trend in licensing, specifically in the music industry where we see key agents including Epic Rights, CAA, Bravado and more. Famous pop-culture artists in fashion and apparel is something to watch. This year will feature two newcomers to the show floor, Airstream and Retrobrands, both flourishing in reviving ‘abandoned’ iconic brands.

Lastly, interest continues to expand from retailers who are looking for ways to differentiate offerings. Globally-renowned retailers signed on for the 2023 show include Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Hot Topic, Abercrombie & Fitch, C&A, Pandora, Williams Sonoma, Lush Cosmetics, Shein, Barnes & Noble, Aldi, GameStop, Five Below and countless more.

Don’t miss out on your chance to see the latest product, trends and insights and connect with peers from around the world. Visit for more information.



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