Virtual Licensing Expo 2021 | Source: Licensing Expo/The Toy Book

Updated: 4/28/2021 5:28 p.m.

Informa Markets’ Global Licensing Group — organizers of Licensing Expo — have made the decision to cancel the in-person event this year.

Instead, Licensing Expo — the world’s largest licensing event — will take place in a free-to-attend, fully virtual format, Aug. 24-26 in an effort to “allow more people to connect, learn, strike deals and discover new intellectual property (IP).”

“We’ve heard from our industry, and the best way to serve the international market in 2021 is to provide in-person experiences later this year, as well as a rich online experience that everyone can be a part of this summer,” says Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets. “We’ve all felt the impact of not being able to gather in-person in 2020, and while the speed of recovery is promising, we serve a truly global market. Feedback from Licensing Expo customers and partners indicates that August is still too soon for the majority of the licensing community to properly plan and execute participation in an in-person event of this size and magnitude with continued restrictions on international and corporate travel. Our mission remains to create the most valuable platforms for our industry to connect and grow, and therefore we have decided to focus our efforts on our virtual experience in August, followed by in-person events in Q4 and beyond.”

Currently, Brand Licensing & Innovation Summit and Brand Licensing Europe are still slated to take place in-person this fall.

Licensing Expo was initially slated to take place Aug. 10-12, 2021 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The event is set to return to Mandalay Bay next year for Licensing Expo 2022, May 24-26.

Additional information about the event can be found on the Licensing Expo website.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.