Gifts Today magazine

BLE 2016 breaks all records

Brand Licensing Europe, which took place October 11-13, achieved a record-breaking show, including a 13 per cent increase in retail attendance

Brand Licensing Europe, which took place from 11 – 13 October 2016 at Olympia, London, has surpassed its targets with a record breaking show.

Now in its 18th year, BLE is the largest and most prestigious licensing event in Europe, and is organised by UBM and sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA).
 
BLE 2016 show stats at a glance: 

• 8% increase in gross square meterage, making it the largest show to date.
• Over 250 exhibitors, of which 63 were new.
• Overall visitor attendance of more than 7,500 - a 5% increase on 2015 visitor numbers.*
• 13% increase in attendance from retailers.
• Attendees from 81 countries.
• Biggest-ever character parade featuring more than 80 famous faces.
• Largest Retail Mentoring Programme to date with 50 retailers participating in the scheme, the only one of its kind in the UK, including The Entertainer, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s.
• Over 1,700 meetings took place as part of the inaugural Matchmaking Service.
Highlights during the three days included:
• Brand new Matchmaking Service, which resulted in 200,000 online user profile views and £1m of business generated from one user alone.
• Over 2,500 properties on display and available to license, plus a guest appearance from David Hasselhoff to promote his multi-year agreement with Prominent Brand+Talent to develop his brand across numerous categories.
• New Product Showcase walk-through installation, bringing licensing to life with a display of licensed products through the years.
• New format educational sessions, including roundtables hosted by LIMA and a standing room only panel debate hosted by Pink Key Consulting.
• Sports licensing keynote with insights from Rugby Football Union, FIFA and the NBA.
• The launch of the Retail Licensing Club which will bring retailers together at exclusive events throughout the year for networking and licensing industry updates.
• The final of the License This! competition which saw unlicensed property Let The Thoughts Be With You chosen as the winner by a panel of judges including senior licensing representatives from Marks & Spencer, The Natural History Museum, Nickelodeon and Jazwares.
• The launch of Licensing Expo China and the announcement of an exclusive strategic partnership between UBM, LIMA and Alifish to harness the potential of the Chinese licensing market.

Anna Knight, BLE Brand Director, says: “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 Programme, 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.”

Brand Licensing Europe 2017 takes place from 10 – 12 October 2017 at Olympia, London. Image from BLE 2016 attached.



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