A consumer shift towards cultural activities is boosting licensing opportunities in Hong Kong, with the city continuing to develop as a hub for intellectual property (IP)-related businesses.
The 11th Asian Licensing Conference (ALC), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), ran successfully from 27 to 29 July. The three-day online event featured 22 thematic sessions where 34 industry experts from different sectors addressed participants.
More than 25,000 viewers from 42 countries and regions joined the discussions alongside physical participation at five satellite conferences in four cities in Mainland China – Chongqing, Dalian, Hangzhou and Shenzhen – as well as Jakarta in Indonesia. The three-day event generated nearly 140 one-on-one business matching meetings online, connecting global licensing players with potential partners to help them explore business opportunities.
Hong Kong is maintaining its position as an international IP and licensing hub that links international licensors and licensing agents. The ALC provides a one-stop platform where leading global brands and licensors can explore cross-sectoral cooperation and keep abreast of the latest market trends and opportunities.
This year the conference addressed topical issues in such areas as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the metaverse, brand crossovers, arts and culture licensing, art technology, blockchain gaming, location-based entertainment (LBE) experiences, environmental, social and governance (ESG) in licensing and more.
Speaking at the conference, Maura Regan, President of Licensing International, said the COVID-19 pandemic brought two years of unparalleled change, leading consumers to put greater focus on life and cultural experiences. The global licensing community should capture opportunities arising from this consumer behaviour shift, she said, expressing confidence that the licensing industry will continue to grow in line with consumer market trends over the next two years.
The inaugural Brand Forum took place alongside the conference, featuring established Asian brands such as BANDAI NAMCO, CAPCOM, DNP (main picture), Fuji Television, TV TOKYO Communication, Minto, San-Byte, Sony Creative, Poplar Publishing and Tsuburaya.
Brand representatives shared their stories at the forum and were connected with other participants to explore potential partnerships. In addition, 45 Hong Kong homegrown brands under the DLAB banner presented their creative characters, animations, products and gaming designs. The online exhibition showcased more than 100 instances of IPs, fully demonstrating the power of licensing and creativity in the region.
TV TOKYO Communication said the event enabled them to connect with potential partners worldwide and explore business opportunities together. Yellow White Stone said that taking part in ALC helped them gain more experience and exposure.
At the China Opportunity session, one of the conference highlights, Gao Zheng, Director General, Bureau of International Exchange and Cooperation (Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs) of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said Hong Kong had played an important role in the development of the country's cultural industry. The conference would further promote business collaboration between international and mainland enterprises, he said, and at the same time cement Hong Kong's unique role as an international licensing hub.
Jacky Chung, HKTDC Director, Mainland, said the National 14th Five-Year Plan supported Hong Kong's development into an arts and cultural exchange hub that connects the mainland to the rest of the world. This will further enhance the city’s function as a trade centre for international IP and a globally recognised licensing hub.
He Yizan, Founder and CEO of ARTiSTORY, said technology would have a profound impact on people's lives, and many cultural and art institutions were now actively embracing the latest developments. He believed the convergence of art and technology would become a new trend for cultural and art licensing in the future.
Over three event-packed days, the ALC addressed numerous topical issues, offered fruitful content to participants and generated business opportunities for industry players. The event served as a prelude to the 20th HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS) and the 12th ALC to be held from 27 to 29 April 2023. More details of these events will be announced in due course.
All ALC sessions were broadcast via the event’s online platform. Complimentary playback is available for registered participants until 29 August through the conference website link, while subscription for video-on-demand is available for those who did not register for this year’s event. Please email: email@example.com for details of the subscription.
ALC [Asian Licensing Conference]