Gifts Today magazine

Record numbers for BLE 2015

Brand Licensing Europe 2015 achieved a 19 per cent rise in retailer visitation on the year before

More retailers attended this year’s Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) than ever before, with a 19% rise on last year. A total of 7,203 visitors (BPA Audited) attended across the three days, with one third from overseas.

Officially the biggest yet in its 17 year history, BLE took place from October 13-15 at London’s Olympia. It boasted over 300 exhibitors, of which 90 were new, and floor space totalling 7,364 square meters. Categories including automotive, sport, food & beverage, beauty, music, publishing and heritage experienced growth with the likes of Volkswagen, PGA Tour, PEPSI, Vimto International, Lee Stafford, NOW! That’s What I Call Music, Stanfords and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust exhibiting for the first time. 

This year’s Retail Mentoring Programme was the biggest yet since its launch six years ago. It included over 35 individual buyers from 12 major UK retailers. In addition, the largest ever character parade took place on the first day, with an eye-catching 80 characters making their way down the central aisle, generating press coverage in The Times and The Independent newspapers and showcasing the industry to the wider world. Channel 4 used the event to showcase the licensing industry for its forthcoming Super Shoppers series (to be aired in spring 2016). 

There were more educational sessions on offer, with 25 to choose from split between the Licensing Academy and the Brands & Lifestyle Theatres. YouTube celebrity and Blogilates founder, Cassey Ho, held the first keynote discussing the impact of YouTube celebrities in licensing. In the second keynote, Moomin Characters’ Sophia Jansson took visitors on the brand’s 70 year journey from inception to its current footing in the market where it now has more than 600 licensees. The story was picked up by the BBC who interviewed Jansson about the licensing success of the much-loved property. 

Darren Brechin, BLE Event Director, said: “This year’s show was the best yet, with more visitors, exhibitors and education than ever before. Increasing retail attendance is always a key priority for us, and we are therefore delighted with the end results. The Retail Buyers’ Lounge was packed during the show, demonstrating that BLE is now firmly established as a key date in the retail diary. We are now looking forward to developing next year’s show and will make some exciting announcements soon.”
Brand Licensing Europe 2016 takes place from 11 – 13th October 2016 at Olympia, London. 

For more information please visit or follow us on Twitter using @bleurope or via The BLE Blog at
About Brand Licensing Europe 

Brand Licensing Europe 2016 ( takes place from 11 – 13th October 2016 at Olympia, London. It is the only pan-European event dedicated to licensing and brand extension. Now in its 18th successful year, Brand Licensing Europe 2015 was the biggest event to date; hosting 315 exhibitors and 7,203 visitors from 63 countries.

Social Links