Event & Content Director Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets
How does licensing help a brand?
Consumers develop a connection toward their beloved brands; and as competition for space in stores and online attention grows tight, brands can harness licensing to stand out and specifically target and drive consumers towards their brand. The potential to unlock powerful brands with in-demand products that drive real value to both parties of the licensor and licensee. What's also great is that small to large businesses can benefit and profit from brand licensing, generating billions of dollars each year in retail sales of licensed merchandise.
What are the key licensing events related to the textile/apparel industry that you organise every year?
The Global Licensing Group hosts several global events that textile/apparel industry professionals worldwide can attend to make new business connections. Licensing Expo Shanghai and Licensing Expo Japan cater to the Asian-Pacific market. We also host Brand Licensing Europe which is based in London and is geared toward the European market. In the United States we host our flagship event, Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, as well as Licensing Leadership Summit in New York City.
Given the current pandemic situation, do you think virtual events will be the norm going forward? What are their advantages/disadvantages vis-a-vis physical events?
For the fashion/textile industry which operates through a seasonal pattern and is constantly evolving, virtual events are great supplements to live trade events that occur once a year. The added flexibility with the market timing gives businesses more chances to continue to network and seek new business opportunities year-round. We can expect more virtual events to only add to the live trade show experience moving forward.
How can virtual trade shows be leveraged even better to offer efficient, impressive, and state-of-the art digital solutions in the future?
Virtual trade shows are another great way to connect professionals with other professionals in a B2B setting or with businesses directly to an engaged customer base (B2C). Through the online interactions we're seeing in real-time from customers, the data can reveal consumer behaviours and trends that help us organise a stronger event that fits their needs.
Two years down the line, how has the acquisition of UBM helped you consolidate your business?
Informa has afforded a deeper pool of resources and ability to cross-collaborate between its expansive portfolio of shows and brands. We've enjoyed continuing to find and harness new ways of supporting the licensing community through the opportunities Informa has afforded.
Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning - these technologies are rapidly transforming businesses today. How will trade shows be impacted by this in 10 years from now and what will organisers need to do to keep up with these changes?
The business of licensing is built on connections; through these new technologies, we are only finding more ways to continue to connect professionals in a meaningful and productive way. The events industry has already begun embracing several of these technologies to assist with prospective lead scoring, predicting churn in attendees, and even personalising an online experience to fit the attendee's preference. To keep up with these changes, event organisers need to adopt the right technology that aligns with their event's goals from attaining a new attendee base to even predicting the next trends and brands that should exhibit on the show floor.
This article was first published in the August 2020 edition of the print magazine.
Fibre2Fashion has a diverse global readership, and delivers unique, authoritative and relevant content. Drawing on the expertise and credibility that we have built over the years and contextualising them with our in-depth research studies, we produce authentic news, articles, reports, interviews and interactive explainers through the F2F Magazine and compendiums, among others, which help readers stay abreast with the industry trends.