Show Floor

The Countdown Begins

This year's Brand Licensing Europe will once again provide retailers, licensees, and marketers with a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the biggest range of licenses on display anywhere in Europe. Exhibitor numbers are already up 40 percent over this time last year, and there are more than 50 first-timers signed up, including Aardman Animations, Chapman Entertainment, LEGO, Pokemon, Royal Horticultural Society Enterprises, and The Licensing Company. Visitors can expect to see better than 180 exhibitors; the full list is available online at www.brandlicensingeurope.com.

As well as enjoying two days of deal making and networking, new for 2007 is The Licensing Academy, a complimentary, high-level, 10-session seminar program that will run alongside the exhibition. The full program is available on the Web site, where visitors can also register for their free visitor badge.

Show attendees come from a wide variety of sectors. To celebrate the diversity of its visitors, Brand Licensing Europe will report on three very different markets over the next few issues of License! Global, and interview a key player from each sector. This issue's focus is housewares.

Many of the event's exhibitors display characters, brands, artwork, images, and designs that lend themselves perfectly to the housewares market. The Art, Design and Image Licensing Zone is home to many of these licenses. Featuring both well-established and new companies, it's the place for visitors to spot new design trends.

"In 2006, Brand Licensing was responsible for opening up the housewares market for me," says Kate Knight, a Scottish designer who produces contemporary artwork. "Zap, a licensee focusing on licensed bedding and bedroom accessories, visited my stand, viewed my portfolio, and immediately commissioned me to produce some work for its bedding range. This led to a highly successful ongoing working relationship. I'm very excited at the prospect of exhibiting in 2007 and fully expect, once again, to increase my client base as a result."

Next month's issue will contain the Brand Licensing Europe Show Preview, including a complete exhibitor line up and news on other exciting visitor attractions.

Q & A

This month Brand Licensing Europe spoke to Andy Downie, licensing and marketing director for Zap:

Q. Why do you attend Brand Licensing Europe?

A. Downie: It's a hugely important show for us. Not only a great place to buy licenses, it gives us a huge insight into what's going to be 'the next big thing,' and it's a great place to catch the latest industry gossip!

Q. What licenses have you picked up at Brand Licensing?

A. Downie: Over the years we've picked up many successful licenses, including Teletubbies and Pokemon. Last year we signed Charlie & Lola, In The Night Garden, and Backyardigans.

Q. How do you think the role of licensing in housewares will change over the next year?

A. Downie: Licensed housewares will play a more significant role at retail as retailers become more reliant on licensed product to drive sales. We'll also see a greater degree of coordination, with retailers adding more products and accessories to already successful licensed ranges.

Q. Why should housewares manufacturers attend the event?

A. Downie: There's no other show like it in Europe. If you're serious about licensing, then you need to be there!

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