The Licensing Expo came to a close on June 14th and some feedback is beginning to hit the web. I’ve heard mixed results – some saying they had a good show and were optimistic, others less satisfied with the traffic, location and changes to the show floor that occurred between when the paid their deposit and when they arrived at the show.
Two straight-talking posts from industry veterans you should definitely read include Jim Marcotte’s Licensing Expo – Out of the Desert and Maria Brophy’s Licensing Expo Recap – How Much it Costs and Should you Exhibit.
The Licensing Expo is a key show for the art licensing industry as a whole but before an artist gets a booth in the Art & Design section, I believe it’s important to understand what you up against. Warner Bros, CNN and Nickelodeon have much bigger booth budgets than we do – shocking, huh? With those bigger budgets and larger floor space comes greater negotiating power and again, I believe this is why the Art & Design section seems to get tucked away in odd corners in spite of the best intentions of the show staff when they begin selling booths for the following year.
I found this video on YouTube that is a 4 minute walk through the show – so if you can’t attend in real time and see what is going on, this will give you an idea of what it looks like. DON’T think you need to do what these big players are doing as far as your booth, but simply understand that the manufacturers attending the show are there to see these big players as well (we hope) as artists.
It’s never to early to decide if you (a) are ready to exhibit at an art licensing trade show and (b) researching your options to make the most informed decision for you.
Here’s to your creative success!
– Tara Reed