Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) organisers have announced that the annual show will shift to an all-virtual event for 2020. 

Following consultation with customers, attendees and industry partners, organisers Global Licensing Group (GLG) have announced that a four-week Festival of Licensing will take BLE's place. 

Running from 06 to 29 October 2020, the event will be a large-scale, international gathering, bringing together the licensing industry to connect, learn and make deals. 

The Festival of Licensing event builds off GLG's previous digital licensing event, Licensing Week Virtual, which took the place of the Vegas licensing show, Licensing Expo.

GLG VP Anna Knight said that the organisation is excited to bring this four-week event to the industry. 

"We are incredibly excited to announce Festival of Licensing and proud of the opportunities and experiences it offers to the global licensing industry.

"Although the decision to transition Brand Licensing Europe to an all-virtual event was a difficult one and we will miss seeing everyone at ExCeL this year, I’m proud that we have a comprehensive offering in its place and look forward to the European event kicking off Festival of Licensing. 

"We have had great feedback from June’s Licensing Week Virtual, so we know that there is huge potential and appetite for industry connection during this challenging time when meeting face-to-face is difficult.

"Our partners are telling us that driving domestic and international connections, discovering new IP and brands and learning how to navigate the new consumer landscape are paramount to the health of forward-planning for the business of brand licensing, and Festival of Licensing will support all of these needs," she said. 

The four weeks of the festival will comprise of four regionally tailored events in key licensing territories, beginning in Europe, then going to Asia, North and Latin America and finishing with a global c-suite virtual conference. 

  •         Week 1: October 6-8 - Europe, powered by Brand Licensing Europe
  •         Week 2: October 14-15 - Asia, powered by Licensing Expo China and Licensing Expo Japan
  •         Week 3: October 20-22 - North America and Latin America, powered by Licensing Expo
  •         Week 4: October 28-29 - Global C-suite virtual conference - Licensing Leadership Summit

The first three events will be time-zoned around the territories and will deliver attendees opportunities such as; IP discovery from up to 300 exhibitors; content from live keynote speakers as well as 100+ hours of on-demand content; networking opportunities to meet and do business through a matchmaking service; and, other experiences including a community and wellbeing celebration which will feature business mentoring and an industry fundraiser. 

Knight added that one of the advantages of a virtual event is the capability to deliver more experiences to attendees. 

"We want Festival of Licensing to offer amazing experiences for everyone who joins us.

"One of the joys of virtual is that it can make the previously impossible possible, and we plan to use the power of the platform to fuel the imagination, delight and inspire in a fitting celebration of this industry and the people within it," she said. 

Licensing International president Maura Regan said that the event helps to connect the industry while it has to stay separated.

"This global virtual event is an exciting platform to provide our members and the broader industry with the connections and tools to continue to move their business forward.

"Our industry is truly global, and this event promises to bring us all together (while apart) designed expressly to engage and facilitate smart business in real time, regardless of where in the world you may be," she said. 

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