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REVIEW BRAND LICENSING EUROPE Brand “ We are


thrilled with the results of this year’s show, and have worked hard to ensure the event refl ects the needs of our visitors and exhibitors


Jessica Blue Event Director for Brand Licensing Europe


Licensing Europe


O


Bigger, better and brighter – Europe's premier brand licensing show saw increased attendance and a positive buzz from exhibitors and visitors alike...


ver for another year, BLE was busy as ever with 6,875 retailers, licensees and sales promotion


professionals attending over the three days –1,265 more than last year. Combined visitor and exhibitor attendance reached 9,108 with 15% of this year’s exhibitors entering the Kensington Olympia Brand Licensing arena for the fi rst time. Attendance from retailers has continued to grow over the past three years with the introduction of retail initiatives including the Retail Mentoring Programme; improved content from Knowledge Partners (GfK, NPD Group and Planet Retail), and the Retail Buyers’ Lounge. This year saw a 14% increase in retail attendance with buying professionals from major retailers including Avon Products Inc, Auchan, Asda Stores Limited, Boots PLC, Carrefour, Debenhams, El Corte Inglés, John Lewis PLC, Marks and Spencer plc, New Look Retailers Ltd, Tesco Stores Ltd, Top Shop and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, among others. The number of overseas visitors also increased, with 17% more European visitors in attendance, cementing the show’s place as the must-attend event for the European licensing industry. With meetings back to back, Toys


‘n’ Playthings’ editor, Belinda Wanis, assistant editor, Caroline Simpson and advertising managers, Ryan Horwood and Julian Richings spent three days meeting with clients and establishing


12 BLEreview


new relationships with companies from the UK, Europe and the US. Having utilised the hall to cover a bigger space, it felt a lot more spacious this year - although, busy as ever, there was still only just about enough time to get around to see nearly everyone that was there! Most people we spoke found this


year’s BLE to be a roaring success for them.


“Hasbro had a fantastic show,”


Katherine Buckland, UK Licensing Director for Hasbro told us. “We continued the message we started at last year’s show to be the world’s most responsive, innovative and collaborative licensor of products and stories. The stand embodied what Hasbro is all about, our focus and commitment to our core brands, My Little Pony, Transformers, Nerf, LPS and Furby across all categories and we had a great response from our licensees and retail partners over the three days. Developing best-in-class partnerships with our licensees and strong retail relationships is what Hasbro is all about. BLE is a great show that enables us to do just that.” This was echoed by fi rst time


exhibitor, toy company Aurora. “At BLE this year we showcased Aurora World for the fi rst time as both licensor for YooHoo & Friends, and our increasing profi le as a leading plush licensee,” said Nigel Layton-Hill, Sales Director. “It worked very well for us with three full days of pre-arranged meetings and new faces from TV broadcasting, retail, brand owners





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