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BLE Looks to New Growth

UBM’s Jessica Blue and Anna Knight outline new initiatives.

Jessica Blue, senior vice president, licensing, UBM

Now under the corporate umbrella of UBM, the second largest event producer in the world, Brand Licensing Europe is poised to gain more access, resources and innovation than ever before, offering exhibitors and attendees new business growth potential.

Over the past decade, Brand Licensing Europe has experienced significant growth. In 2006, the show topped at 2,383-square-meters, showcasing 144 exhibitors to its 2,800 attendees. This year’s show, which is set to take place Oct. 11-13 at London’s Olympia, is projected to significantly eclipse those statistics with 7,000 attendees and 315 exhibitors, which will occupy approximately 8,000-square-meters of show floor space. 

These growth projections are on par with the show’s trajectory and will be further bolstered by the alignment of BLE and the U.S. event Licensing Expo (taking place in Las Vegas, Nev., June 21-23) under the UBM global banner, which is overseen by Jessica Blue, senior vice president, UBM, and is supported by Anna Knight, brand director, customer technology and licensing, UBM EMEA.

Blue is responsible for the strategic management, growth and international development of UBM’s licensing portfolio, which includes BLE, Licensing Expo and License! Global; while Knight will manage the brands under her remit, which include BLE and three customer- and marketing-centric events–Technology for Marketing, eCommerce Expo and Customer Contact Expo, each taking place in September at London’s Olympia.

“In my management role on both BLE and Licensing Expo, it is my primary goal to bring a global perspective to both shows, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of a localized approach,” says Blue. 

Anna Knight, brand director, customer technology and licensing, UBM EMEA

Knight will work hand-in-hand with UBM EMEA’s sales, operations and marketing teams to utilize company best practices. She also plans to add a brand manager to her team, specifically to nurture the development of BLE.

“My role is a new focus for UBM and one that will look deeply at customers’ needs and wants,” says Knight. “We have a team in place whose sole focus is the customer experience. We are also looking for places to innovate, to where the market is heading and to international opportunities. And all this can be achieved with a global approach to other UBM brands, such as licensing.”

The ultimate result will give exhibitors and attendees of BLE more access to retailers and end-user customers, particularly in the e-commerce/online retailing and brand marketing segments, which are audiences already served by Technology for Marketing and eCommerce Expo, providing huge potential for a unified “customer first” approach to audience development for BLE.

“The alignment of BLE under UBM will present our customers with more opportunities, more marketing support and more access to retailers,” says Blue. “For example, we’ve recently partnered with CBME China to develop and grow its Licensing Zone, which is a real opportunity for BLE and Licensing Expo’s customers to enter the Asian market through a proven China-based show.”

Blue says there are even more customer experience and marketing initiatives in the pipeline for BLE that will be announced in coming months.

“Through UBM, BLE gains additional resources and a team of really smart people who will drive the growth of our customers’ businesses,” says Blue. “It’s a solid win for all.” 

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