September 26, 2023
The organizers of Brand Licensing Europe – which takes place Wednesday, Oct. 4 - Friday, Oct. 6 at ExCeL, London – have provided additional travel information following the news of industrial action by London Underground and Transport for London.
Impacting Strike Action
Last week, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) announced that a London Underground strike is planned to take place on Oct. 4 and Oct. 6. This industrial action is in addition to the U.K. National Rail strike already announced to take place on Oct. 4 only.
While it is unlikely that the National Rail strike will be called off, there is still a chance that an agreement could be reached to see the London Underground strike called off, up to 24 hours before the planned action.
The National Rail strike on Oct. 4 does not affect the Heathrow Express, while some lines will be running limited services, including Southern from Gatwick Airport to Victoria.
The Elizabeth Line, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, Cable Car and Tram Services are not included in the Underground strikes on Oct. 4 and Oct. 6. However, there may be some station closures if those stations are shared with London Underground.
Further information is expected to be shared by Transport for London on the days themselves, so organizers are advising attendees and exhibitors to check arrangements before they travel.
BLE 2023 Amended Opening Hours
As journeys could be disrupted, BLE organizers have updated the show hours to allow extra time to host or attend meetings.
Wednesday, Oct. 4: Show open from 9:00 - 18:00 - An optional hour for meetings has been added between 5pm and 6pm.
Thursday, Oct. 5: Show open from 8:00 - 19:00 - Optional additional hours have been added between 8am and 9am and between 5pm and 7pm for meetings.
Friday, Oct. 6: Show open from 9:00 - 15:00 - Due to expected travel disruption, the show will close an hour earlier than initially scheduled to allow attendees and exhibitors maximum time for their onward journeys.
In addition, there will now be two drinks receptions on the BLE show floor between 5pm and 7pm on both Oct. 4 and Oct. 5. The receptions are free for all attendees and exhibitors. Oct. 5 has been added in light of the expected disruption, to increase the networking opportunities.
The official meetings platform has also been updated to reflect these changes.
Getting to BLE
Domestic attendees are advised to use the Elizabeth Line, which should be largely unaffected, albeit with some potential station closures in central London, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) or London Overground services to access ExCeL. The venue is also accessible by Cable Car, from the O2 Arena – which has a large car park, and by riverboat service from South, Central and East London.
International visitors can access ExCeL via Heathrow Express and Elizabeth Line, from Heathrow, and access from London City Airport, with those services being largely unaffected.
As well as the on-site parking at ExCeL, which is expected to be busy due to other co-located events, car parking is available at the O2 Arena, via the cable car, or Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, accessible using Elizabeth Line or DLR.
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