Entertainment magazine

Licensing & LBE experts talk about storytelling and brand attractions

Warren Schorr of Crayola, Matt Proulx of Hasbro and George Wade of Bay Laurel Advisors share their experience, perspective and tips for success

This timely and relevant webinar, “Location Based Events and Experiences,” explored a rapidly growing trend that we have been reporting at InPark for several years, with some of the top players in the business: Matt Proulx, George Wade and Warren Schorr . I was honored to work with all of them at various times and was delighted to be invited to moderate the webinar.

The December 2, 2021 webinar was produced by License Global to help start the discussion around 2022 Licensing Expo (Las Vegas May 24-26) which will focus on branding and LBE (location based entertainment). LIce cream parlor had gone to virtual gatherings, but returned in person.

InPark’s Judith Rubin meets Crayola friends at the IAAPA 2021 exhibit.

On December 2, we all (Wade, Proulx, Schorr and I) were among the tens of thousands of people present at the IAAPA Fair in Orlando, which takes place in November and took place in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Licensing Expo is to the global licensing industry what IAAPA is to the global attractions industry, and License Global adopts LBE topic at an ideal time, as branded attractions experience increased success and open up new creative avenues to revenue and customer satisfaction. The worlds of licenses and attractions collide in a big way. This leads to new kinds of storytelling and immersive experiences that will enrich the space of attractions and events.

The webinar discussion was lively and informative. The post-IAAPA mood was upbeat, encouraged by promising conversations, news and presentations. During the show, there were plenty of visible markers for the growth of branded attractions, including a panel discussion on the making of the Spider-Man’s Revolutionary Dark Ride at Universal Studios and one significant presence of Crayola as good as PEANUTS. (Hasbro was also quite visible at IAAPA in various ways.) It was also reported that a lot of other activity took place in the behind-the-scenes meetings and in making deals. Operators and developers talk to trademark and IP owners.

Speakers were upbeat and outspoken during the webinar on what it takes to bring a brand to life in an out-of-home experience such as a museum exhibit, family entertainment center (FEC), theme park attraction, hospitality or any other form of entertainment-based venue (LBE). Almost 400 people attended the webinar and there was an engaging question-and-answer session as a final segment.

Peppa Pig drives a train around her land in Gardaland, Italy
Peppa Pig Land, Gardaland, Italy. Courtesy of Gardaland / Merlin Entertainments

If you missed it I hope you will check out the full discussion but here are a few things to remember:

  • To be successful in the LBE industry, it takes a long-term commitment and process supported by a broad and dedicated team effort (internal and external).

  • Authenticity and quality control are essential to meet the expectations of customers and fans.
  • Brands have stories to tell.
  • The LBE experience needs to be differentiated from the home experience (while remaining true to the brand or PI) in order to bring something new and new to the customer’s interaction with the brand, and to motivate repeat visits.
Young wizards try their wands at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando Resort
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade ,. Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort.

The full webinar is available on request, free with registration on this link.


InPark Tracks Podcast: “The art of brand experience“- Interview with George Wade from Bay Laurel Advisors.

Tweet live from PEANUTS Spotlight session at IAAPA Expo 2021.

Live tweets from the “Legends” panel exploring Spider-Man at Universal Studios, at IAAPA Expo 2021.

Tags : long term
Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes