Events News

Date of Women in Toys Empowerment Day 2024 Announced, Along with Speakers

Women in Toys Empowerment Day 2024

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) has announced that WiT Empowerment Day, the organization’s annual event that helps women who are looking to take their business, brand, or product ideas to new heights, will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2024 during Licensing Expo at Mandalay Bay Convention Center.


Imagine you have a groundbreaking idea for a toy, game or consumer product. You’re passionate and driven, but navigating the complexities of the toy and consumer products industry feels like an insurmountable challenge. That’s where Empowerment Day steps in. Through access, mentorship and education, you will find yourself sitting across from top toy companies, retail buyers, and industry executives, pitching your idea with confidence. Our network opens doors, connecting you with experts who are not only willing to listen but eager to help you succeed. With Empowerment Day, your goal of seeing your product on store shelves is closer than ever before. Many have called Empowerment Day an industry MBA-in-a- day.


“Today, it’s rare to have a chance to sit down and talk with decision makers invested in women’s success,” said Gena Lavallee and Leila Nosrati, WiT board members and Empowerment Day Co-Chairs. “Our toy company partners and the Walmart buying team are deeply aligned with our mission of helping women thrive, and their participation in this event underscores their commitment to a more inclusive and equitable industry.”


This year’s lineup of speakers levels up the day with powerful insights and inspiration.


Keynote—Lisa Whitaker: Licensing Unlocked! Keys to Success in the Licensing Business by Leveraging Trends in Toys and Entertainment. Expert advice from kids’ business veteran, Lisa Whitaker, including exclusive access to insights from industry luminary Tom McGrath’s coveted “Kids’ Toys and Entertainment Trends” presentation. Note: Guests who attend the WiT Breakfast at Licensing Expo on Wednesday, May 22 are invited to attend this keynote.


Fireside Chat—Michele Martell and Stephanie Pottick: Licensing In & Out: Key Legal Insights. Experienced entertainment and licensing attorneys, Michele Martell and Stephanie Pottick, will present a practical overview of key legal issues in licensing agreements. Whether one is looking to license their IP out, or license another brand in for their product, topics covered will include typical scenarios, key deal points and important concerns.


Masterclass—Sharon Weisman: Commercializing Creativity. Creative Capital isn’t an oxymoron. Your artistic vision can be combined with market savviness for commercial success. This conversation will illuminate the pathway from creative concept to commercial success, providing the tools to translate your innovative ideas into marketable assets. Dive into the essentials of branding, licensing, and the power of creative storytelling as you monetize your muse.


Inventor-tainment—Barry & Jason: Sparking Ideas, Powering-Up Pitches, and Having Fun with Failure. Barry McLaughlin and Jason Lautenschleger, the team behind Barry & Jason Games & Entertainment, will share their 3-step process and what happens when it’s met with creativity, flexibility, active listening, and a great sense of humor!


Held in partnership with Informa’s Global Licensing Group, the organizers of Licensing Expo, WiT Empowerment Day event offers women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs unrivaled access, education, inspiration, and opportunities for career growth. The day features exclusive pitch meetings with leading toy and game companies and Walmart buyers, personalized mentorship from dozens of seasoned industry experts, and inspiring keynote and masterclass presentations.


Licensing Expo, the world’s largest trade event for brand licensing and collaborations, provides a valuable backdrop for WiT Empowerment Day 2024 participants, especially those unfamiliar with licensing. It serves as a pivotal platform for inventors and entrepreneurs, introducing them to a world of opportunities and offering a broader landscape of potential partnerships and collaborations to propel their innovations to new heights of success.


“Hosting Empowerment Day at Licensing Expo adds an exciting dimension to our event, giving participants the chance to connect with the wider licensing community and discover exciting new opportunities for growth and collaboration,” said Ehi Oviasu-Kahn, WiT Chairwoman of the Board. “Our partnership with Informa aligns perfectly with their commitment to our shared values of empowering women, promoting diversity, and championing industry growth.”


For the Empowerment Day agenda and participating speakers, mentors, and toy company and retail executives, please click here.


Registration for WiT Empowerment Day 2024 is open through April 30, 2024. For more information and to register, visit