Brand Licensing Europe Attendance up 28% with Record Retailer and European Visitor Numbers

Theme announced for BLE, Licensing Expo and License Global in 2024: Brands at Play. Licensing Expo 2024 will take place May 21-23 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas. BLE 2024 will take place Sept. 24-26 at ExCeL, London.

License Global

October 9, 2023

2 Min Read
Sonic The Hedgehog in The Arcade at Brand Licensing Europe
Sonic The Hedgehog in The Arcade at Brand Licensing EuropeLicense Global

9,649 licensing professionals attended Brand Licensing Europe (BLE), an increase of 19% over 2022’s total attendance, and an impressive 28% increase on visitor numbers. In fact, last year’s total attendance figure was surpassed by 1 p.m. on the show’s second day. 1,116 retailers from 57 countries were in attendance, the highest in the show’s history. 

Record number of retailers and visitors from France, Germany, Italy and Spain (FIGS) also attended this year’s BLE.

Brands at Play theme announced for BLE and Licensing Expo 2024 

In 2024, and for the first time ever, BLE, Licensing Expo and License Global will share a theme: Brands at Play.  

“To celebrate the concept of play, we are dedicating 2024 to Brands at Play, a theme that will run as an undercurrent across BLE and Licensing Expo to spotlight the incredible innovations in play, the power it holds in every stage of life and the creativity it allows when building brands,” says Anna Knight, senior vice president, Informa Markets.

“Immersive entertainment, storytelling and fan engagement are changing and the concept of play is changing with it. Today, brands are creating multi-generational, omnichannel play patterns that permeate video games, tabletop, board and card games, location-based experiences, immersive theatre, sports and esports, toys and kidult culture. Brands are also playing in new spaces, building ground breaking new extensions and bringing the brand licensing business to life in increasingly creative ways.” 

Related:Global Licensing Group Confirms Events and Dates Until End of 2025

Record Retail Numbers

1,166 retailers from 57 countries were in attendance, the highest in the show’s history. They included buyers from Uniqlo, Zara, Amazon, Benetton, The Entertainer, ASOS, C&A, H&M, Calzedonia, Carrefour, Fat Face, Galeries Lafayette, Harrods, Aldi, Decathlon, Diechmann, Next, El Corte Ingles, Forbidden Planet, Frasers Group, Primark, Poundland, Accessorize, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Card Factory, Hamley’s, Claire’s Accessories, HMV, Iceland, John Lewis & Partners, Legends, Lidl, Lipsy, Asda, Selfridges and many more.

“This year’s retail presence has been incredible, with really strong attendance from fashion and toys releases,” says Laura Freedman-Dagg, head of retail, Informa Markets. “We’ve also seen an increase in gift and novelty retailers as well as value retailers like Poundland, Matalan, Pepco and Primark. It’s brilliant seeing the retail strategy we introduced in 2021 really paying off to the benefit of the entire industry.”

Licensing professionals attended from 100 different countries, with a 28% increase in FIGS (France, Italy, Germany and Spain) territories, the highest on record, while 229 exhibiting companies, a 12% YOY increase, including 72 new exhibiting companies, was also the highest on record. Over 5,100 meetings were pre-arranged in the show’s Online Meetings Platform (a 17% increase on 2022) and many thousands more took place onsite. 

Watch: Anna Knight, senior vice president, Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets, chats with License Global about the Brands at Play theme for BLE and Licensing Expo 2024.

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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