Licensing Expo Japan 2017: interview of Jessica Blue, Senior Vice President, Licensing, UBM

Licensing Expo Japan took place in Tokyo from April 26th till 28th, 2017 and is organized by UBM (Las Vegas Licensing Expo organizer) in cooperation with the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), the world’s leading trade organization for the global licensing industry.

Licensing Italia, LIMA Representative in Italy, interviewed Jessica Blue, Senior Vice President, Licensing, UBM about Licensing Expo Japan.


L.I. UBM, with the partnership of LIMA, organized Licensing Expo Japan in Tokyo this year for the first time and it turned out to be a success: please, can you explain what are the most important features of LEJ?

J.B. Licensing Expo Japan brings together an exciting mix of licensees and retailers, from range of categories and we had 400 international and Japanese brands represented at the show including Astro Boy, B.Duck, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Capsubeans, Caterpillar, Corvette, Dwell Studios, Kangol, Popeye, Paddington Bear, Hoppechan, Maisy, Maui and Sons, Nissan, Panda no Tapu Tapu, Pokopan, Poppy Cat, Cynthia Rowley and Sesame Street, among others. Right now, apparel is the largest licensed product category in Japan and globally, and this year, IFF MAGIC was adjacent to LEJ, which increased the cross-over of attendees between the shows. The UBM team is already hard working on the next edition of the show and looking to make 2018 bigger and better!

L.I. What’s the main goal that LEJ reached through this event?

L.I. Licensing Expo Japan went the extra mile to provide brands, licensees and retailers with the best atmosphere to bring creative licensing opportunities to life and make the connections they need to drive their business forward. We were able to do just that by hosting 400 international and Japanese brands and more than 13,200 visitors, all coming together for three days of networking and deal-making.

L.I. What are the most important directions/indications emerged from this edition of Licensing Expo Japan?

J.B. With each show we learn something new and different, as each event is unique. We know it’s important for this event to attract the right mix of licensees and retailers across all product categories because it makes networking, learning and conducting business more efficient. Attendees also appreciated that IFF Magic was co-located with LEJ and we are definitely taking that into consideration as we work on LEJ 2018.

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

J.B. I would say that character, art, home decor and automotive were incredibly active this year!

L.I. Is the partnership of LIMA important for the Licensing Expo Japan?

J.B. Our global relationship with the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers association is very important to us! LIMA supports our educational efforts across UBM’s licensing portfolio and we were thrilled that the 25 LIMA seminars at Licensing Expo Japan were very well attended!

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