21 Things to See and Do at Brand Licensing Europe

Check out a list of BLE essentials.

License Global

September 29, 2023

8 Min Read
The dates for Brand Licensing Europe 2023.
The dates for Brand Licensing Europe 2023.Global Licensing Group

Five days to go until Brand Licensing Europe 2023 opens its doors, so we’re celebrating with a list of 21 wonderful things not to be missed at BLE. 

This year’s event runs from Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 4-6 at ExCeL, London. Attendees can still register for a free ticket at Brandlicensing.eu and immediately start requesting meetings with over 260 exhibiting companies, including 60 first-timers, bringing a whole host of brands never seen at the show. 

“BLE is a three-day whirlwind of meetings, content, spontaneous hellos, networking and show floor shopping,” says Ella Haynes, event director, Brand Licensing Europe. “It’s exhilarating and rewarding and the place to be if you’re in the business of brands or hoping to learn more about it. This show is where future releases are teased, licensing deals are made and retailers and manufacturers come to collaborate with leading brands to transform their product range. This year won’t disappoint; we’ve picked out 21 highlights to help you get excited for next week and make sure you don’t miss anything from your visit! “ 

  1. Passing GO: Bringing the World’s Biggest Board Game to Life – Wednesday, Oct. 4, 12:30 p.m. (C101) – Hasbro and The Path Entertainment Group spill the beans on how they turned the world’s favorite family board game into an LBE smash hit. 

  2. The Green Pavilion (D120) – The BLE sustainability-focused pavilion is back in partnership with Products of Change, and packed with exhibitors and product showcases to help drive your sustainability strategy forward.

  3. 260+ exhibitors and thousands of brands – including over 60 companies appearing for the first time, which can only mean one thing – loads more brands for visitors to do business with! View the final exhibitor list and brand directory to see the full range of IP available for license across entertainment, sports, gaming, art, food and beverage, heritage, publishing, TV, celebrity, music and much more.

    1. There will be thousands upon thousands of brands that are actively looking for licensing partners – brands like Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Nadiya Hussain, Sarah & Duck, Gigantosaurus, Ed Hardy, Beryl Cook, International Space Archives, Moomin, The Little Prince, Farah, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Febreze, The Smurfs, Frida Kahlo, Bentley Motors and English Heritage to name a few.

    2. Get your meetings booked in now and don’t forget you are welcome to use the Matchmaking Lounge (D121). 

  4. The Elizabeth line – Warmly welcomed by everyone visiting ExCeL, the “Lizzie” line will bring you to BLE quicker and in 21st century comfort and style. Please note that some stations in central London may not be open on Oct. 4 and 6 should the planned London Underground strikes go ahead. Plan your journey here

  5. The BLE Location-Based Experiences trail – There is so much to experience across the show floor this year on the BLE LBE trail – don’t miss Peppa Pig’s Afternoon Bus Tour, a retro gaming activation, “The Arcade,” Mattel’s Tiger Shark Hot Wheels Monster Truck and more. 

  6. Day Two keynote: Thea Green MBE, founder of Nails.INC, Thursday, Oct. 5, 12:30 p.m. (C101) – Beauty industry and health and beauty licensing are growing markets, with the latter valued at $12.34 billion in 2022, up 7% year on year and accounting for 4% of the entire global licensing industry.  

  7. The Retail Lounge (A101) – an exclusive lounge for retailers to meet, relax and recharge as well as talk to the BLE’s head of retail, Laura Freedman-Dagg, about taking part in next year’s popular Retail Mentoring Programme. Applications are already open.  

  8. Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition (C101) – Meet this year’s finalists and winner ahead of the Day One Keynote at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4. 

  9. NEW! Ignite Brand pitches – (License Global Theatre) Five up-and-coming unlicensed brands ready to make their mark in the licensing industry will take to the stage in a thrilling, fast-paced session of live speed-pitches at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Watch out for Bibi’s World, CwaZyLeigh CreaTions with CwaZyBean Aliens, Nine Mile Babies, Travel Sentry with Travel Sentry Red Diamond and Wendy Morrison Design.

  10. What’s new: 60 of our exhibitors, including Rebellion Studios, Afro Unicorn, Sarah & Duck (don’t miss the daily puppeteer displays), Boofle, Guinness World Records, Ceremony of Roses and many more.

  11. NEW! Licensee Pavilion (C171) – Packed with brilliant licensees including Play Management Company, Smash Industries Global Limited, Best of Both Worlds, KONIX Interactive, E Plus M and Park Agencies Ltd. 

  12. NEW! Advice Centre (C230) full of supportive suppliers offering free guidance, including Redpoints and Axencis, who specialize in counterfeit solutions, IP tokenization with NFT verification to remotely sign license agreements from iLicensing Works and PWC. 

  13.  Sports Zone (head for E235, the Sports Bar) – Don’t miss this year’s array of sport brands, including AC Milan, Sport Lisboa e Benfica, FC Barcelona, UEFA Club Competitions, Fondazione Milano Cortina 2026, FC Porto, Tour de France, RFEF, G2 Esports, Federation Francaise Football, Federacao Portuguesa de Futebol, FC Internazionale Milano, TOPPS Europe, Manchester City FC and Fanatics

  14. Brands & Lifestyle Zone – Van Gogh Museum, Castrol, Kodak, Lewis Capaldi, Motorhead, Arm & Hammer, Yale, blur, Playmobil, Volvo, The Met and RSPB are just some of the amazing brands to discover in our Brands & Lifestyle zone. Make sure to look at the Brand Directory or take a look at which brands are represented by agents – some have over 100 available for license! 

  15. Cafes and Bars – There are four bars on the show floor this year and they will be hosting – among other things – Show Welcome Drinks 5-7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, in the Terminator Skynet Bar. Everyone is welcome!  

  16. Content, content, content – License Global Theatre (C101) – This year’s educational programme goes way beyond our daily keynotes to touch on sector-specific trends and insights into fashion, gaming, animé, animation, food and beverage, sports and more. Arrive early to claim a seat – access is first-come-first served and free to attend. Check out the agenda here

  17. License Global, BLE & Products of Change present Day of Purpose. This year, BLE is partnering with Diversity Org, which educates low-income students on how to obtain corporate and high-income careers and helps them obtain internships. BLE will bring 60 school students to the show this year, where they will enjoy a show tour, career exposure panel and networking workshop; 20 students will be attending from UAL – University of the Arts London – where they are studying fashion management/buying/merchandising and are likely to be future retail buyers. 

  18. The Brands Untapped 100 second edition (E174) will be released at the show with a foreword from BLE event director, Ella Haynes. Plus, co-founder, Billy Langsworthy, will be hosting a special licensed footwear collab display, featuring The Met x Dr Martens, “Minecraft” x Crocs, Transformers x Sketchers, “Sesame Street” x Vans, Playboy x KOI and many more. 

  19. Ain’t no party, like an LI party – Licensing International’s industry party is back. Soho Nights takes place from 7:30 till late on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 100 Wardour Street in Central London. Tickets can be purchased online from LI’s website.   

  20. The BLE Character Parade – Everybody's favorite, the parade will start at D101 then snake its way through the show toward the Pyramid entrance at the West of ExCeL. Make sure to get a selfie with your favorite characters and tag #BLE2023.

  21. Free orientation sessions and show tours (C101) – New to BLE and/or licensing? Join the BLE team for free orientation sessions and show tours to help get the most from your visit. 9:15 a.m Wednesday and Thursday from the License Global Theatre.

PLEASE NOTE NEW SHOW TIMES: Should the planned train and London Underground strikes go ahead on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and Friday, Oct. 6, there could be some disruption to travel to BLE. As a result, the BLE team has updated the show hours to allow extra time to host or attend meetings. The official meetings platform has also been updated to reflect these changes.

Register for your free ticket for Brand Licensing Europe 2023.

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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