By Monica Gorghetto

There were mixed results at the recently concluded third edition of the Kids Licensing Forum, which coincided with the 47th annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
Held in Bologna, Italy, March 23-26, with 1,200 exhibitors from 60 countries and some 4,600 participants, the much larger Book Fair once again housed the Kids Forum, which in addition to licensing and merchandising, included sales of children’s TV programs.

More than 30 companies exhibited with stands in Hall 31, a dedicated area within the Book Fair premises. Among them: France’s Marathon; Italy’s Mediaset, RaiTrade and Atlantyca; Canada’s E1 and Nickelodeon from the U.S.

There were also six “showcases” of companies without a booth, such as that of Disney Italia. Some of the participating companies were also able to screen their products in a general screening room.

The Forum is the only Italian trade event organized in cooperation with LIMA, the worldwide organization for the licensing industry, and president Charles Riotto was in attendence.

On the conference side, 20 well-attended seminars dealt with an array of subjects, including copyrights and subsidiary rights, licensing contracts, and the videogame market.

Overall, workshops and seminars held during the three day event focused on the legal aspects of international licensing and the role of sports brands and licensing in the fashion business, in addition to several properties previews.

Among the most significant news conferences, executives from Italian animation festival, Cartoons on the Bay announced a new award in this year’s competition (to be held in Rapallo, Italy April 15-18) — the Arlecchino Award  –– to be bestowed on the best animation production based on a literary work.

Although some attendees complained of low attendance, the Kids Forum took off on the second day, and participants VideoAge contacted reported good business.

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