Licensing Expo Japan 2018: Steven Ekstract interview

Licensing Expo Japan, organized by UBM, the world’s leading trade organization for the global licensing industry, and sponsored by International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), will take place on April 25-27, 2018 in Tokyo.


Licensing Italia, LIMA Representative in Italy, interviewed Mr. Steven Ekstract, Brand Director, Global Licensing Group, UBM on the upcoming event.

L.I.  UBM, with the partnership of LIMA, organised Licensing Expo Japan in Tokyo this year for the second time after the success of last year:  please, can you explain what are the most important features of LEJ?

S.E.  We lauched Licensing Expo Japan last year and co located it with IFF MAGIC, our global fashion and apparel event. Our number one reason for launching Licensing Expo Japan came as a result of listening to our customers. Japan is the third largest market in the world for licensed merchandise. Our customers asked us to create a world class event that they could be proud of and provide a marketplace for all of the Japanese licensing industry to come together and do business. What UBM Global Licensing Group brings to Licensing Expo Japan is our 38 years of expertise producing the number one licensing trade show in the World, Licensing Expo, and our 20 years of producing the leading information product, License Global as well as our 20 years of producing Brand Licensing Europe. Our knowledge and expertise in the licensing business enables us to understand our customers needs and deliver on those needs. For example, our state of the art Matchmaking service that we use at Licensing Expo is also availabe at Licensing Expo Japan, taking the guess work out of setting up meetings and showing exhibitors and attendees immediate ROI. In addition, Global Licensing Group’s in-house magazine, License Global, is an instrumental part in Licensing Expo Japan – reporting on the current state of the Japan market, in addition to providing global exposure to Japanese and international brands. We now publish a Japanese edition of License Global specifically for distribution to our Licensing Expo Japan attendees.

L.I.  What’s new for LEJ 2018?

S.E.  There are many new exciting things to experience at Licensing Expo Japan this year! Due to the popularity of our exclusive Matchmaking Service at Licensing Expo and Brand Licensing Europe shows, the Matchmaking Service has been introduced to Licensing Expo Japan exhibitors and visitors this year. New exciting exhibitors such as: TOHO (Godzilla), Sony Creative Products, Prefetti Van Melle (Chupa Chups), and Tsuburaya Productions (Ultraman) will be represented on the show floor. The robust seminar program, supported by LIMA Japan, offer a keynote session from Dan Siegel of Blizzard Entertainment speaking about the eSports phenomenom, and other sessions covering topics such as co-cafe branding and retail co-branding with a presentation by retailer Isetan Department Store. The day before the Expo opens, LIMA Japan is hosting a newly formatted retail tour, and you can learn more about it here:

L.I.  What are the main goals of LEJ this year? 

S.E.  To continue to connect, support and grow the licensing market in Japan.

L.I.  Could you explain what are the most important features of Licensing industry in Japan and which categories are nowadays particularly active?

S.E.  The value of longterm relationships in business and the embrace of cultures are very important features of the licensing industry of Japan. In terms of product categories, Apparel is the strongest category in Japan for licensing which is why we co-located Licensing Expo Japan with IFF MAGIC. Toys and Video Games/Software/Apps are next in line for leading product categories*.

*LIMA Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey Report 2017


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