BLC&EE 2010: The Start of Something Big

Two days, four seminars, 20 exhibitors and 292 visitors helped make the first brand licensing event in Central and Eastern Europe a success and laid a strong foundation for the future.Central and Eastern Europe is a complex a

April 6, 2018

4 Min Read

Two days, four seminars, 20 exhibitors and 292 visitors helped make the first brand licensing event in Central and Eastern Europe a success and laid a strong foundation for the future.

Central and Eastern Europe is a complex and fascinating region, comprising nearly two dozen independent states and 400 million consumers, rapid economic growth and a lively, growing licensing industry. It would be impossible to understand the specifics of the region without a presence on the ground and that is why Advanstar launched an event for the Central and Eastern European licensing community in Budapest, Hungary, at the Corinthia Grand Hotel. The two-day event delivered key retailers and licensees from the region, as well as a program of seminars and a successful networking event.

Highlights from the show floor included the presence of the three leading agencies in the region: European Licensing Company, which launched Pucca for Warner Bros., as well as Manchester United and other top football brands; Kidz Entertainment/EEMC, whose strong stable of children's brands include Beyblade, Miffy, Thomas, Fifi and Twilight; and Plus Licens, which hosted Sanrio and CopCorp, as well as its wide portfolio of local and international brands. i1_723.jpg

Authentic Hendrix made its debut in the region, intending to build strong partnerships with local manufacturers and distributors. FremantleMedia Enterprises exhibited H2O and Merlin, both already known in the region, as well as Rebecca Bonbon and Bang on the Door. Turner CN Enterprises announced its deal to represent the Total Drama franchise, a show already very popular in C&EE. Fun Game Media's Kikoriki, AT New Media's Gummy Bear and Vipoland's Vipo the Flying Dog provided strong examples of European-born brands building on existing success in the region. Jane Evans Licensing Consultancy highlighted the Withit brand to new partners and Fitzroy Media enjoyed an excellent response to its Secret Wings brand.

Retailers and manufacturers attended from 26 countries, including Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, Hungary, Greece and Spain. They included C&A, Tesco, Avon, Egmont, Lizzy Card, TV Mania, Sahliner SAS, Setino Hungary KFT, PeekaBoo Toys BV, Cartamundi, Portico, Cardex Europe, Pro Video, Ars Una Studio KFT and Budmil International Group. i2_387.jpg

"We were interested in apparel and stationery retailers and licensees, and that's exactly who we saw here. It has created some very interesting opportunities," says JELC's Jane Evans.

At the seminars, retail analyst Milos Ryba from Planet Retail gave his insight into retail trends and dynamics in the Central and Eastern European region, as well as predictions for growth up to 2014. He explained how the domination of Western retailers (including discounters) will increase, to the detriment of traditional retail channels, and concluded that licensors would be best served by teaming up with leading hypermarket or discounter groups in the long term. i3_251.jpg

Christian Fortmann of 24IP explained how to negotiate a successful licensing contract. Lizzy Card's David Boszan and Cartamundi's Adam Solyon highlighted the opportunities of licensing from the manufacturer's perspective. The two companies provided highly contrasting case studies and each speaker expertly weighed the advantages of going into licensing against the considerable efforts required, particularly for new licensees unfamiliar with contracts, approvals and issues of timing.

A number of exhibitors described the excitement of working in new markets. And although some visitors to the show were new to licensing, a level of knowledge is now a given and the appetite for doing deals is strong. i4_189.jpg

"It used to be all about education, but now visitors are very open to ideas and it's all about action," says Withit's Dolph Zahid.

Diana Dieckmann, vice president of licensing for Germany and Eastern, Central and Southern Europe at FME, says one of the attractions of working in this region is building new relationships and growing new markets. "We had 30 meetings and 40 percent of those were with new contacts," she says. i5_147.jpg

It's tempting to think that TV and film properties drive emerging markets like this, but Dieckmann was typical in reporting a very positive response to brands such as Rebecca Bonbon and Bang on the Door, neither of which is supported by TV programming.

"The quality of exhibitors and visitors has demonstrated the clear demand for a focused event that serves the licensing community in this region," says Jessica Blue, event director. "We know that Central and Eastern Europe is a growing opportunity for our customers and we look forward to helping them build their businesses in this market in the long term. Thank you to all our founding partners."

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry Article
Join 62,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like