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Highlights | Interviews

BLE IS BACK FOR REAL!

4 Oct - 2021

Tags from the story: Brand Licensing Europe 2021.

Brand Licensing Europe 2021 will be back in person this November, from 17 through 19 November, in London, at the ExCel. All the industry people can’t wait to be there once again to have business, networking and meet friends. LM met Anna Knight, VP Licensing at Informa Markets

How will BLE be back in presence? Will you still consider a digital edition too?

BLE is back in person this year, which is wonderful news. The event will take place at ExCeL London from 17-19 November, and this will be the first time many people in the industry will have had the chance to meet face to face.

For those who can’t attend BLE in person, we are running BLE virtual on 30 November and 1 December. This new multi-platform format means exhibitors and visitors will have access before, during and after the events to schedule and host meetings, watch on-demand content and search and discover the widest range of properties available for license anywhere in Europe through the online platform.

There will be any special features and news you would love to share with us?

We have lots going on at BLE for 2021 and there are many new features, including:

  • The BLE Sustainability Activation in partnership with Products of Change: a huge showcase at the front of the hall to inspire everyone towards a more sustainable future, which will focus on innovation across products, materials and at retail and feature really inspirational product and process showcases, as well as free drop-in Sustainability Clinics with Products of Change. The zones will highlight the inroads brands, retailers and manufacturers are already making in fashion, product, material and retail innovation, as well as the impact this can have on the global licensing industry, consumers, and beyond.
  • Two amazing keynotes – one from ViacomCBS, who will unveil brand new insight from Shades of Us, a two- year-long diversity and inclusion research study carried out by the global entertainment corporation, and a second keynote that’s still to be announced. I can tell you it will be sport-related, but that’s all for now.
  • The Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition has a new name in tribute to Kelvyn who was a licensing industry legend and former UK MD of Licensing International and a new award category, which will ask entrants to design a desktop accessory inspired by Aardman Animation’s Morph. Day two of BLE is themed around Colour for Kelvyn, and we’re asking people to wear bright colours and make a donation to The Light Fund in his memory.
  • Licensing U, produced by Licensing International, will feature 20 sessions offering everything there is to know about the licensing industry. The content will be accessible on-demand following BLE and will be available to view and download for one month.
  • We’re so excited to welcome back the character parade that we’re doing two at 1130 on Wednesday AND Thursday. Selfies are encouraged – please tag them #paradeyourself

What is your expectation in terms of exhibitors and visitors’ attendance? (if they will be mainly from UK or from Europe in general, expectations on some figures)

The recent news from the UK Government that our travel system will be simplified means it will be much easier for Italian – and other European – attendees to come to BLE in November, which is great news. We appreciate that some people will still not be able to travel this year, but we are still expecting a very strong turnout at the show from all over Europe.

Visitor registration has recently opened and we’re seeing registrations from across the UK, Europe and the US including Vue International, The Entertainer, Grupo Erik, Dohe Asda, Bandai UK, Hallmark, Stradivarius, Bioworld, Hornby Hobbies, Character.com, Royal Mail, CIJEP, Clementoni SPA, , Grani & Partners, Kinnerton Confectionery, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Pull & Bear, La Liga, Nutmeg Morrisons, Panini France & Italy, Claire’s Accessories, PEZ, Educa Borras, Extended Play, Rubies, Egmont, Funko, and more to follow soon.

The exhibitor list is looking really healthy and includes FC Internazionale Milano, Rainbow, Panini, ViacomCBS, Hasbro, SEGA, Vivendi, Warhammer, The Smurfs, Penguin Ventures, Banijay Brands, Crunchyroll, Aardman, Manchester City, MGA Entertainment, Acamar, WWE, Fashion UK, Global Trademark Licensing, ETS Studios, Kate Mawdsley, Withit Studios, Olympique de Marseille, Tactic Games, Start Licensing, Imperial War Museum, Sinigaglia, SCRIBOS, Asmodee, ZSL (London Zoo), FOO Entertainment and Toncar.

In a year like 2021, we are confirming exhibitors later than ever and we will have a full floorplan over the next few weeks. In the last week alone, we signed 10 exhibitors!

Which will be the main theme/topic of the show this year?

This year’s theme is What’s Next, which will weave throughout the show and aims to support the industry as it collectively looks to a post-pandemic future. The What’s Next theme will give a platform to the people, ideas and practices set to change the face of brand licensing, while focusing on three distinct areas to give attendees an overview of the most important considerations for doing business in 2022 and beyond.

To learn more go to BLE website

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