Licensing Expo, held in Las Vegas from May 22 to 24, 2018, saw significant growth in key areas among the expo’s attendee base, including a 10 percent increase in retailers and 16 percent increase in first-time attendees.

New retailers included Japanese retailer UNIQLO, Mexican department store Coppel and online retailer Dolls Kill. Attendees from key licensing markets Brazil, China, Japan and the United Kingdom also increased.

Licensing Expo’s continued success mirrors the growth of the global licensing business, which rose 3.3 percent to $271.6 billion, according to results from the 4th Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey released by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA). During the keynote address, Nicholas Denissen, vice president at Amazon, revealed that Amazon believes the licensing industry will grow to $1 trillion in the next ten years.

“Licensing Expo is where you need to be if you’re in this industry. It’s where our licensing program began,” said licensee Christopher Hayes, director of business development, Open Road Brands. “This is the place to develop relationships with licensors and brands from all over the world and find out what’s coming next in the market.”

Core exhibitor categories also realized significant gains, including a 51 percent increase in associations and non-profits, a 34 percent increase in music, a 20 percent increase in gaming & apps and a 17 percent increase in sports that welcomed the MLB Players Association and Learfield Licensing Partners for the first time.

“Licensing Expo has been the anchor for sports licensing the past few years,” explained John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager, NFLPA. “It’s one of the best business development opportunities for us where we identify categories to meet strategic goals and find the latest trends and products in the market.”

For the third consecutive year, Licensing Expo provided Matchmaking, an exclusive networking tool designed to connect exhibtors and attendees. The service saw more than 4,600 meetings scheduled before the show began, an increase from 3,800 meetings in 2017.

Produced by the Global Licensing Group at UBM, Licensing Expo is the culmination of Licensing Week, a week-long program of networking and business development events catered to the growing licensing industry. The Global Licensing Group will host several additional events throughout the year, including: Licensing Expo China July 25-28, 2018 in Shanghai; the 20th annual Brand Licensing Europe October 9-11, 2018 in Olympia Grand, London; Licensing Expo Japan March 13-15, 2019 in Tokyo and Licensing Expo 2019 June 4-6, 2019 in Las Vegas.