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The Secret World of Licensing

      So last year the guys and I started looking into licensing our graphics to open new opportunities for our business. Unfortunately, like most people, we had no idea how to approach the topic so we went ahead and started looking online for anything that would guide us in the right direction and sure enough we stumbled upon a trade show specifically for licensing that takes place twice a year in Vegas. So we pulled the trigger and decided to make a road trip out of it. Myself and Buddy Bravado went down for 3 days to see the show and learn as much as we could from their seminars. Here's the photo recap of our trip....enjoy!

So we started the journey on a Sunday night and of course on the way there we had to make a stop at In N Out. (It's tradition people)

 After fueling our bellies and my truck, we hit the pitch black desert road for 3 hours till we arrived at "Fabulous Las Vegas" !
 We arrived at our hotel at around 2:30am and it was lucky for us that we did. I guess the check in clerk was bored out of her mind and coupling that with the my super polite behavior triggered her to give us an upgrade. We ended up staying in the Hard Rock Suites for $30 a night! I felt like they were gonna arrest us for robbery
 The room was awesome, it had a separate lounge area with a TV and bar (not pictured).
 And a bedroom with 2 beds on the other side of the wall. I know what you're thinking...why didn't I share a bed with Buddy Bravado? I've known Buddy for 30 years. When you have a friend for that long, and you work with him, you basically hate him and love him at the same time. So ya, I'd rather sleep in the bathtub...lol
 Anyways, seeing as how it was still only 3am we decided to go buy a case of beer.
 We returned with a modest case of Modelo Especial... and we just chilled that night in the room drinking and farting and making fun of each other....you know, typical guy stuff.

Research road trip right?! My ASS!!
 So the next morning we went down, picked up our badges from the registration desk and attended the first lecture.
 It wasn't as full as I thought it would be, but the lecture itself was pretty entertaining.
 Between lectures we found ourselves at the cantina bar eating chips and salsa and drinking more Modelo.
 Followed by more lectures which pretty much took all day.
 At night we found ourselves watching soccer games at a German beer house right across the street from Hard Rock. They had set up this cool indoor patio for people to sit around and cheer for their favorite teams.

Oh, I should mention that I'm a crazy procrastinator and that these soccer games were actually world cup games. So ya, this blog should have gone up in June, but I suck so here it is now. I hope you forgive me.
 So we drank even more beer (YAY US!).
 And ate a giant sampler tower of sausagy goodness.
 Not wanting to go back to the hotel, we found ourselves shopping for shoes. (DON'T JUDGE...It's a sickness).

I don't know about you guys but I pretty much buy the shoes no other human would want to wear and rock the living shit out of them. On this trip, I found myself face to face with a pair of Nike Poncho All Stars. They were beautiful in the ugliest sense of the word. But the price didn't agree with my wallet. As much as I love to rock weird shoes, I also have trouble paying top dollar for weird. I'm pretty sure these will be there the next time I go back and I can grab em at next to nothing.
 I also found these majestic copper and white high tops but again the price didn't work. I should mention also that I abuse my shoes. I wish I was the guy to take care of his kicks but I'm just not that person. So knowing that, I feel bad buying shoes that will probably be ruined by the 5th time I wear them.
 So ya, that day ended and we found ourselves at yet more lectures the following day.
 Finally after all the lectures were done we took the opportunity to actually walk the show.
 It's mind blowing how much money these companies throw at their booths. The build-outs are larger then life and they kind of need to be because everyone is competing to get attention.
 I would say the biggest booths were probably on the entertainment side of the show.
 Sony even had the Ecto-1 in their booth. I'm a huge ghostbusters fan so I got a kick out of this.
 So we walked the floor for a few hours and called it a day.
 We winded down that night at a hookah bar (again it was located across the Hard Rock). As you can see we wanted to keep most of our activities walking distance.
 It started pretty normal, but ended kind of weird.

Let me elaborate... So when we got there, we were greeted by a hostess who was very nice and hospitable. From just a 2 minute interaction with her, both Buddy and I got the sense she was an intelligent girl and we liked the way she carried herself. So we thought we'd ask to see if she would be interested in working a trade show booth for us in the future. We're always looking for fun and intelligent people who have good people skills to work at our booth.... But we didn't know that she was a part owner of the hookah bar. So when we asked, it kind of offended her. All I remember is leaving that place feeling like we hit on her and got rejected in a brutal fashion.
 Anyways, a few more hours of sleep later we ended up at the show again. This time we had no lectures and just browsed the aisles looking for anyone that would possible license our graphics.
 What we found is that most of the booths are looking to license out, and not acquire licenses. So if we wanted to license out, we'd have to get a booth. But then again no one there was licensing out graphics like ours. Everyone was either doing animal or scenery paintings....or licensing characters that they've built a following for. Basically not our scene. Not yet anyways.
 On the drive home we discussed what direction to take the licensing of our graphics now that we had a better grasp of how it all worked. And the conclusion was....International Licensing! Lets see if we can take ARKA global!

Till next time!







Charles DarWizard