Brand Licensing Europe broke all records this year, cementing its reputation as the leading European event for licensing. The reverberations from such a strong show are still being felt across the industry in new deals and partnerships. This year, BLE welcomed 5,634 visitors (up 16 percent) and total attendance, including exhibitors, reached 7,329. The number of overseas visitors was up 37 percent and retailer attendance grew by 15 percent. The extension to three days was well received and data reveals that many first-time visitors attended the event, and that one-in-seven attendees revisited the show on Day Three.
BLE broke into mainstream U.K. media this year in a significant way with coverage from BBC News and BBC Five Live, Sky News, The Guardian and BBC Business Breakfast.
The Licensing Academy keynote address was given by the creator of "In the Night Garden," Andrew Davenport. And the first License This! challenge took place for new creative concepts wanting to break into licensing. The finalists came from across Europe, but the challenge was won by British art and design property Animaru.
The dates for BLE 2011 have been confirmed as Oct. 18 to 20 at London's Grand Hall, Olympia and, to date, 150 exhibitors have signed up and 70 percent of the floor space has been sold.
Prior to BLE 2011 comes the second Brand Licensing Central & Eastern Europe, which takes place in Budapest on March 7 and 8. Nordic and Eastern European agency Kidz Entertainment is among the first exhibitors to sign up and the show is expected to build on last year's successful event with more exhibition space and another program of seminars tailored to working in this market.