Events Licensing News

Brand Licensing Europe Transitions to All-Virtual Event as Informa Markets Introduces Festival of Licensing

Festival of Licensing

After much deliberation and consultation with customers, attendees and industry partners, Brand Licensing Europe 2020 will transition to an all-virtual event. In its place, the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets, the organizers behind BLE, are introducing Festival of Licensing, a never-before-seen celebration of the business of brand licensing, in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International. 

Running from October 6-29, 2020, Festival of Licensing is a four-week, large-scale virtual gathering bringing together the licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. It will be the most inclusive global licensing event to-date and builds off of the momentum of the Global Licensing Group’s Licensing Week Virtual event, which exceeded expectations in its inaugural launch in June.

Festival of Licensing will comprise of four regionally tailored events in key licensing territories, each powered by the Global Licensing Group’s world-leading event brands:

  • 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 they serve and deliver the following:

IP discovery: 

  • Exclusive brand and property showcases from up to 300 exhibitors 
  • Untapped talent with live License This! and Pitch the Brands competition finals


  • Live keynote headliners from the world’s most influential brands, addressing the most pressing topics of the current and ever-changing business environment 
  • 100+ hours of live and on-demand, territory and category specific content to guide businesses through the new consumer landscape 
  • Retailer-only space with exclusive educational content and expert Q&A sessions


  • Thousands of opportunities to meet, do business and strike deals through the Festival Matchmaking Service, enabling both pre-planned online video meetings and impromptu exhibitor booth drop-ins 


  • Fully Licensed!, an unmissable program of very special live daily evening entertainment and experiences in each region 
  • Community & Wellbeing featuring a celebration of the global licensing industry, a wide range of business/career advice and mentoring, a huge industry fundraiser and wellbeing workshops focused on our physical, nutritional, creative, psychological and social needs 

The festival will conclude with Licensing Leadership Summit taking place October 28-29. Originally scheduled as an in-person, senior-level, global gathering of the industry’s C-Suite and thought-leaders from brands, agents, manufacturing and retail, the new virtual offering will draw on key learnings from the previous three weeks and future-looking topics that will facilitate debate and shape the future of the global licensing industry. 

Informa Markets’ Global Licensing Group Vice President, Anna Knight, says: “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.” 

Continues Knight: “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. We also 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.” 

Maura Regan, President, Licensing International, says: “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.”

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