Licensing Week Virtual 2020 Event Summary and Q&A Programme

Event: Licensing Week Virtual, organised by the Global Licensing Group

Location: Online

Date: June 15-19, 2020

Driven by experiences, emotion, and an active marketplace, the licensing industry, a $292.8 billion global business, is experiencing a temporary disruption as a result of the current pandemic. For the time being, consumption is shifting to digital platforms such as Instagram, gaming, and streaming—in fact, the animation category of streaming alone increased by 22 percent during coronavirus, according to Reelgood.

This agile industry, now more than ever, is forced to adapt to the new normal and work together and pool resources. The demand for connections has never been greater. In response, the Global Licensing Group organized Licensing Week Virtual, a five-day, online-only programme, in partnership with Licensing International, that aims to bring together the global licensing community at a time when physical networking and deal-making is unfeasible.

Backed by 30+ sponsors including Brainbase, Beanstalk, Bioworld Merchandising, Easyriders, Jewel Branding & Licensing, NFLPA, OpSec, Sagoo, The Smurfs, Ubisoft, ViacomCBS, and more, the digital event combines virtual keynotes at the start of each day, followed by educational and topical seminars, matchmaking, networking, and a digital exhibition. Taking place June 15-19, Licensing Week Virtual offers the best aspects of a Global Licensing Group event in a safe, remote manner.


A Q&A with Anna Knight, VP of the Global Licensing Group:

How will Licensing Week Virtual offer the same kind of support and results as a live event?

AK: Whilst we can never fully replicate the live event experience, Licensing Week Virtual will certainly provide the two most important elements of our traditional Global Licensing Group events—connections & learning. From the popular Matchmaking Service that allow attendees to search for, connect, and secure meetings before the show begins, to an interactive and colorful expo floor featuring 30+ exhibitors spanning entertainment, gaming, lifestyle brands, and more, what makes this inaugural virtual event unique is its timeliness. We’ve folded in support measures not historically seen at a live event—on-demand educational seminars and sessions dedicated to navigating the current pandemic which attendees can view at a time that suits them.  

The licensing community, like many other industries at this time, is looking for direction. We are in a unique position to facilitate these conversations, as well as deliver the much-needed connections this industry needs to advance.

What are the main focus areas and topics that will be discussed?

AK: We designed the five-day programme to reflect each corner of the industry—Brands & Lifestyle, Characters & Entertainment, Art, Design & Emerging Categories, and Licensing University. Each day spotlights themes, topics, and conversations that are top-of-mind for anyone in the business of brand licensing. Excitingly, topical seminars explore how television and video games will drive a global economy that beats to the drum of pop culture, especially in light of television consumption skyrocketing as a result of the stay-at-home mandate.

We’ve also dedicated a handful of sessions to navigating the current pandemic. Now more than ever our community needs to work together and pool learnings in order to adapt to the new normal. Session topics include consumer and marketing trends post-COVID-19, marketing in the new normal, and how the landscape has changed with regard to negotiating license agreements.   

Speakers include Beanstalk, CAA-GBG, Kraft Heinz, NFLPA, Peanuts, Sesame Workshop, The Brand Liaison, ViacomCBS, and many more. You can find the full agenda here.

Any advice for attendees navigating a virtual event?

AK: Do your prep work in advance of the event. It’s so important to leverage the Matchmaking Service to discover new opportunities and to set up those critical business meetings before potential business partners’ time is booked up. Secondly, a virtual event is a new experience for most of us. Take the time to review the agenda and create a game plan for the week. The keynotes will be streamed live so we do advise you to watch this as they occur. The rest of the sessions are on-demand so you can watch them at the most convenient time for you during the week. Make sure you also plan time to visit the virtual show floor and useful information available in the resource center.
During the week itself, we’re on hand to help so contact us using the “help” areas or chat functions and we’ll be there to answer your questions.

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