Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) recorded a 4-percent rise in total attendees last month, drawing more than 7,500 licensing industry professionals from across the globe.
With the increase in attendance, this year’s edition became the biggest BLE event yet. BLE 2017 saw an 11-percent bump in the number of online retailers in attendance, as well as significant growth in the volume of visitors from outside the U.K., specifically France, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. The show hosted 289 exhibitors that occupied 8 percent more floor space this year.
Organizer UBM confirmed that the event will return to Olympia London in 2018 and will run from October 9 to 11. The 2018 edition will expand into the National Hall, allowing exhibitors from all three licensing categories—character and entertainment, brands and lifestyle, and art and design—to be situated together on one floor.
“This year’s objectives were to attract more visitors and exhibitors from Europe, expand our European content, bring in more online retailers to meet exhibitors and celebrate and shine a light on two of the untapped areas of licensing—brands and lifestyle, and gaming,” said Anna Knight, BLE’s brand director.
She added: “We’re very happy to say we’ve ticked all of those boxes and are already brainstorming plans to build on this year’s successes next year. We’re hoping to announce a new theme for 2018 early in the new year, so watch this space.”