The increased emphasis on the art & design and brands & lifestyle categories is also reflected on the show floor where, for the first time, BLE will occupy both the Grand and National Halls to bring all of its exhibitors together on one level.
License This! launched back in 2009 to give unlicensed brand and image owners the opportunity to enter the licensing market. Shortlisted entrants have the chance to pitch their property in front of a live audience and a panel of expert judges at the show.
“It’s really important that BLE represents and supports the entire licensing industry and that we offer maximum discoverability, so all of our exhibitors and visitors can have their best show,” says Anna Knight, brand director, BLE. “We are confident this will be facilitated by having everyone on one level across the ground floor of the Grand and National Halls. We’re also excited about the reaction from expanding License This!, which will result in two winners this year. Our 2016 and 2017 winners are both exhibiting at this year’s BLE, which shows what a valuable leg up the competition provides for start-ups.”
More than 250 companies are expected to exhibit this year, with more than 200 already confirmed. Debuting at BLE 2018 are:
- Acamar Films (character and entertainment), which owns hit pre-school property Bing
- Spanish pre-school brand Loguis, winner of 2017’s License This!
- Larkshead Media, which represents May The Thoughts Be With You, winner of License This! In 2016
- Blues Clothing
- Infinity Lifestyle Brand
New art & design exhibitors at BLE include:
- ‘Ahh Inspiring’ Art
- Linda Wood Licensing
- Tiago Azevedo
- Helz Cuppleditch
- Joseph Sankar
- Art by Lis Goncalves
- Old School Art Studio
BLE estimates more than 7,500 retailers, licensees and marketers are expected to attend this year, with one-third of attendees traveling to London from overseas.
This year, visitor features at BLE will include:
- A brand-new food and beverage theme uniting licensees and licensors and creating immersive, interactive and fun experiences for visitors.
- The Licensing Academy, which will promote best practice and excellence in licensing via sessions focusing on key trends delivered by respected industry experts.
- Brands & Lifestyle program, with sessions featuring some of the biggest brands and names in the business.
- Product Showcase, first introduced in 2016, will shine a light on the variety and diversity of licensed products from brands & lifestyle and art & design providing inspiration for retailers and licensees.
- The Matchmaking Service, which allows users to pre-book meetings with prospective partners.
BLE, which takes place Oct. 9 to 11, at Olympia London, will also celebrate its 20thanniversary. To register for the show, please click here.