BLE 2016 Breaks Records as Largest Show to Date


LONDON: This year’s Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) from October 11 to 13 surpassed targets with its record-breaking show, which, with an 8 percent increase in gross square meterage, was the event’s largest edition to date.

More than 250 exhibitors gathered at London’s Olympia, 63 of which were new to the market. Overall attendance of 7,500-plus visitors hailing from 81 different countries marked a 5-percent increase on last year’s numbers. There was also a 13-percent rise in attendance from retailers.

BLE 2016 saw the biggest-ever character parade featuring more than 80 famous faces. It held the largest Retail Mentoring Program to date, with participation from 50 retailers. Over 1,700 meetings took place as part of the inaugural Matchmaking Service, which resulted in 200,000 online user profile views and £1 million of business generated from one user alone. More than 2,500 properties were on display and available to license, and there was a guest appearance from David Hasselhoff to promote his deal with Prominent Brand+Talent.

Other highlights include a new Product Showcase walk-through installation; new format educational sessions; a sports licensing keynote with insights from Rugby Football Union, FIFA and the NBA; the launch of the Retail Licensing Club; and the final of the License This! competition, which was won by the property Let The Thoughts Be With You. In addition, BLE 2016 announced the launch of Licensing Expo China and an exclusive strategic collaboration between event organizer UBM, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and Alifish to conquer the Chinese licensing market.

Anna Knight, BLE’s brand director, commented: “We couldn’t be happier with the success of this year’s show. The show remained busy and buzzing throughout with a record number of European licensing professionals in attendance. We specifically set out to increase the number of retailers attending and have seen a significant jump this year with the help of our Retail Mentoring Program, new and improved Retail Lounge and Retail Licensing Club launch. We are also very excited by the results of the new Matchmaking Service and the increased footfall to our Brands & Lifestyle Zone, both of which have generated a significant amount of new business for visitors and exhibitors alike. The whole team is now looking forward to building on this success and planning next year’s event.”