3 Aug - 2019

From heritage and fashion to the future of retail, influencers and sustainability, BLE announces most inclusive educational programme to date

With presentations, interviews, demonstrations and panel discussions bringing the world of character, entertainment, brand, lifestyle and art and design licensing to life, this year’s Brand Licensing Europe educational programme is the most inclusive in the event’s 21-year history.

BLE’s License Global Theatre will feature 25 sessions across the show’s three days on sustainability, publishing, animation, gaming, eSports, food and beverage, heritage, fashion, influencers, digitalisation, retail, Brexit and more. Keynotes are scheduled for Wednesday 2 nd and Thursday 3 rd October and will be announced in September.

BLE takes place from 1-3 October at ExCeL London and visitors can register for free at www.brandlicensing.eu/register-now.

The current programme is as follows:


  • Introduction to licensing

Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, Licensing International UK

  • Panel discussion: Why you can’t afford to ignore the impact of sustainability on licensing

Panellists include Trudi Bishop, director, Bee Licensing Consultancy

  • Panel discussion: Innovations in food and drinks – how licensing is helping deliver excitement in consumables

Moderated by Louise French, Beanstalk VP business development and marketing

Panellists include Richard Benjamin, director, Manchester Drinks and James Rae, co-founder, Pops

  • Opportunities in kids licensing

Melissa Symonds, director UK toys, EuroToys

  • Panel discussion: How can toy licensing recover its sparkle?

Moderator: John Baulch, publisher and managing editor, Toy World

Panellists TBC

  • 1+1=3: Strategies for Creating Effective Collaborations

Brought to you by Licensing International with Roz Nowicki, executive VP, Peanuts Worldwide and Christine Cool, international brand licensing manager, Perfetti van Melle Group

  • Accessible luxury: How can fashion boost the different categories of licensing

Maurizio Distefano, president & owner, Maurizio Distefano the Evolution of Licensing


  • Preparing for Brexit

Brought to you by Licensing International and featuring Victor Caddy, partner, Wynne-Jones

  • UK book brands: Trends and bestsellers in the children’s and food and drink genres

Hazel Kenyon, book research director UK & Ireland, Nielsen Book

  • Heritage brands: How they evolve to stay relevant while seamlessly weaving stories of the past into the present

Helen Webster, licensing director, and Ellie Walton, licensing designer – brands, Style Library

  • Panel discussion: Successfully navigating the changing retail environment

Moderated by Richard Pink, managing director, Pink Key Licensing

Panellists include:

    • Ruth Golightly, senior buying manager, George Childrenswear – girlswear and babywear, Asda
    • Gabrielle Sims, head of licensing, Fat Face
    • Will Stewart, founder and managing director, The Point. 1888
    • Rachel Wakley, general manager consumer products, UK & Ireland, Warner Bros.
    • Holly Oldham, managing director, Rubie’s UK
  • How brands can succeed in location-based entertainment

Ella Baskerville, business development manager, Blooloop

  • The increased digitalisation of the kids’ ecosystem and the opportunities and challenges INXP (in-experience purchasing) offers the licensing industry

Nick Richardson, CEO, Insights People

  • Influencers 2.0: What You Need to Know

Delivered by Licensing International with Katie Bohm, head of EMEA, HYPR and

Ian Shepherd, founder, The Social Store

  • Panel discussion: From page to product

Panellists include Susan Bolsover, licensing and consumer products director, Penguin Random House UK


  • Introduction to Licensing

Kelvyn Gardner, Managing Director, Licensing International UK

  • Panel discussion: From console to consumer – retail activation in the gaming world

Moderated by Ian Joynson, VP brand development, Tinderbox

Panellists TBC

  • The Theatre of Gaming in 2019 – An Industry Pauses for Breath

Dorian Bloch, Senior Client Insight Director, GfK

  • License This! Finale

Watch the six finalists battle it to win one of two License This! Awards in front of a panel of widely-respected judges from all areas of licensing and manufacturing.

Pink Key Licensing managing director Richard Pink explained: “I wanted to host a session that is totally relevant to retail as it’s changed so much in the last 12 months: it’s such a pressurised industry, so many big bricks and mortar names have lost their way and online is massively more important these days. This means retailers need to be so much savvier about licensing and I have a retailer, agent, licensee and licensor on the panel. By bringing together experts from each side of the licensing equation, I intend to show how they are adapting to the changing environment to maximise the opportunities and will be encouraging them to share valuable nuggets of wisdom with the audience.”

Louise French, Beanstalk VP business development and marketing, added: “Licensing in the food and beverage area has become increasingly complex and competitive as multiple brands look to broaden their appeal through new brand extensions. The session will explore how leading brands in the sector are employing innovations to create a broader brand experience. With participation from leading licensees on behalf of Pimm’s and TGIFridays, the panel will provide insight into how these much-loved restaurant and beverage brands are leading the charge in product development and marketing, leading to joyful discovery for consumers.”

BLE event director Anna Knight: We are incredibly proud of this year’s conference programme – it’s comprehensive and cohesive and considerate of everyone visiting BLE. With sessions on gaming, publishing and heritage licensing, we have tied the educational content to this year’s themes, delivering rich, deep content that’s of real value to retailers and licensees. We cannot wait to announce this year’s two keynotes – one focusing on animation and the second on eSports – we just know they are going to be packed out. All BLE sessions are free to attend – just the like the show itself – and space will be available on a first come first served basis. When it comes to the keynotes, we recommend that visitors arrive at least 10 minutes before they start to avoid disappointment.”

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