BLE, which attracts Europe's brand managers, licensing agencies, retailers and manufacturers, set record attendance levels in 2009. Last year's show was up 13.5 percent on 2008 at nearly 5,000 visitors. In addition, international attendance was up 33 percent on 2008 with 58 countries represented.
"After the success of 2009's event, the demand from exhibitors and visitors to increase the show to three days increased dramatically," says Jessica Blue, event director of Brand Licensing Europe. "Exhibitors will benefit from 35 percent more exhibit time and visitors will have more time to see everything and meet everyone they want to meet. We're confident that Brand Licensing Europe is going to be even bigger and better than before and we are thrilled to extend the exhibition
BLE 2009 exhibitor, Alan Fenwick, vice president of Turner CN Enterprises, says last year's event was the entertainment company's best BLE show to date and is optimistic by the addition of a third day for the 2010 event.
"It was evident by walking the aisles and the continuous traffic on our stand that numbers were up and we were encouraged to see such a significant turnout of retailers and overseas visitors," says Fenwick. "We would welcome a move to three days, as with back-to-back meetings we found the two-day format just isn't enough to fit in everyone we'd like to see. We very much look forward to returning to the show in 2010."
Meanwhile, Emma Baker, a senior buyer for Mothercare, who attended BLE 2009, also agrees with the third day addition.
"Last year, we came as a Mothercare team which worked well, with both clothing and toys buyers attending key meetings together," says Baker. "It is very difficult to fit everything into two days, I believe that three days or two and a half would be better. The show seemed very busy, especially on the first day. The Retail Lounge proved very useful and provided somewhere for the team to catch up on information and prepare for meetings."
BLE 2010 will take place Sept. 28 to 30 at London's Grand Hall, Olympia. The 2010 event is already expected to be 40 percent bigger than last year. Thousands of major businesses will be represented at the exhibition with a high level of senior management in attendance. In 2009, 87 percent of visitors were key decision makers.
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