BLE Marks Record Attendance

More retailers attended this year’s Brand Licensing Europe than ever before, with a 19 percent increase over last year.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

October show was most well-attended event in BLE's history.

More retailers attended this year’s Brand Licensing Europe than ever before, with a 19 percent increase over last year.

A total of 7,203 visitors attended across the three days, with one-third attending from overseas, making the show the biggest in BLE's 17-year history.

The October event boasted 315 exhibitors, of which 90 were new, and floor space totaling 7,364-square-meters. Categories including automotive, sport, food & beverage, beauty, music, publishing and heritage experienced growth with the likes of Volkswagen, PGA Tour, Pepsi, Vimto International, Lee Stafford, Now! That’s What I Call Music, Stanfords and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust exhibiting for the first time.

This year’s Retail Mentoring Programme was the biggest yet since its launch six years ago. It included more than 35 individual buyers from 12 major U.K. retailers. In addition, the largest-ever character parade took place on the first day, with 80 characters making their way down the central aisle, generating press coverage in The Times and The Independent newspapers. In fact, Channel 4 will use the event to showcase the licensing industry for its forthcoming "Super Shoppers" series, which will hit the airwaves in spring 2016.

This year also saw more educational sessions on offer, with 25 to choose from split between the Licensing Academy and the Brands & Lifestyle Theatres. YouTube celebrity and Blogilates founder, Cassey Ho, held the first keynote discussing the impact of YouTube celebrities in licensing. In the second keynote, Moomin Characters’ Sophia Jansson took visitors on the brand’s 70-year journey from inception to its current footing in the market where it now has more than 600 licensees. The story was picked up by the BBC who interviewed Jansson about the licensing success of the much-loved property.

“This year’s show was the best yet, with more visitors, exhibitors and education than ever before," says Darren Brechin, event director, Brand Licensing Europe. "Increasing retail attendance is always a key priority for us, and we are therefore delighted with the end results. The Retail Buyers’ Lounge was packed during the show, demonstrating that BLE is now firmly established as a key date in the retail diary. We are now looking forward to developing next year’s show and will make some exciting announcements soon.”

Brand Licensing Europe 2016 will take place from October 11-13, 2016, at Olympia, London.

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