BLE 2022 announces agenda and new sessions for first timers

Published on: 18th July 2022

BLE 2022 will feature daily keynotes, forward-looking panel sessions, retail focused education, 10 catwalk shows, two License This! finals and exclusive content for first timers.

Europe’s leading event for licensing and brand extension, Brand Licensing Europe, has revealed a vibrant and inspiring yet practical content programme. There's something for everyone, with the line-up having been developed to further attendee knowledge about the opportunity that brand licensing presents.

Day one and two keynotes have now been unveiled. Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson takes centre stage on Tuesday 20th September with ‘Barbie x Fashion’, followed by ‘Leaders panel: building a post-pandemic retail & licensing strategy’ on Wednesday 21st September. In this session, industry leaders will air expectations, hopes and fears for the future of retail, and give insight into long-term opportunities for licensing. Moderated by  Ben Roberts (EMEA content director, License Global), panellists confirmed for the second keynote include Marianne James (VP EMEA and Asia, Licensed Consumer Products, Hasbro), Daniel Avener, (CEO, MDR Brand Management) and Jalil Rahman (director of Brand Partnerships & Licensing, Liberty). The third keynote will be announced imminently.

Also highlighting what’s in store for licensing at retail is ‘Forecasting the future of retail through consumer trends’. Participants include Francesca Lisle (Lisle Licensing), Hannah Craggs (TrendBible) and Abi Wilson (Buying & Design manager- Celebrations, Sainsbury’s).

New for 2022: The BLE team will hold orientation sessions and show tours at 9:30am on the first two days to help attendees navigate the show floor and make sure they don’t miss any content specifically relevant to them.

New for 2022: This year, the Kelvyn Gardner License This! final pitching will take place over two days. The Product Design category will be decided at 11am on Tuesday 20th September, while the Character & Animation and Brand & Design trophies will be awarded at 10:30am on Thursday 22nd September.

“BLE exists to support everyone working in and with the European licensing industry in doing better business and identifying new opportunities, and that means providing retailers, manufacturers and brand owners with meaningful content, introductions and meetings to drive their businesses forward,” said Anna Knight, SVP Licensing, Informa Markets. “It’s brilliant to be able offer so much new and diverse content to this year’s visitors, in person or online, from our new orientation sessions for first timers, inspiring daily keynotes, and category-specific educational panels on sports and LBE to hosting 10 fantastic catwalk sessions.”

Content programme to date – all seminar sessions and keynotes are free to attend and take place in the License Global theatre on the show floor. More sessions and speakers to follow.

Tuesday 20th September

  • 9.30-10am: Brand Licensing Europe 2022 Orientation - Tips on how to navigate the show floor for new attendees flying solo or previous attendees eager to see what’s new at BLE this year.
  • 10-11am: Brand Licensing Europe 2022 Show Tour - A guided tour of BLE 22 including the different exhibit zones, activations and where to grab a coffee or take a well-earned break.
  • 10.30-10.30am: Brand Designs

Marking the launch of the first Brands Untapped 100, co-founder Billy Langsworthy chairs a panel exploring the creative strategies and design thinking that goes into crafting authentic, successful brand extensions.

  • 11-11:40am: Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition Finale – Product Design Category

Two months after applications opened, one winner will be selected from the finalists live in London.

  • 1-1.45pm: Day One Keynote - Barbie x Fashion - Speaker: Richard Dickson, President and COO, Mattel
  • 3.15-4.00pm: Sports Panel - Moderated by SGLP MD Simon Gresswell
  • 4.15-5pm: Can the Licensing Process be Rebuilt?

From supply chain challenges to the need for faster speed to market, does the licensing process need to be reviewed?

Panellists include Susan Bolsover (MD/founder, Lightbulb Licensing), Emily Fawcett (head of Global Licensing, Abysse Corp), Steve Manners (head of Marketing, Licensing International)

Wednesday 21st September

  • 9.30-10.15am: Forecasting the Future of Retail through Consumer Trends

A discussion on emerging and future consumer behaviours and how they influence the retail space.

Participants: Francesca Lisle (director, Lisle Licensing), Hannah Craggs (head of Subscription, TrendBible), Abi Wilson (Buying & Design manager- Celebrations, Sainsbury’s)

  • 9.30-10am: Brand Licensing Europe 2022 Orientation
  • 10.00-11am: Brand Licensing Europe 2022 Show Tour
  • 1-1.45pm: Day Two Keynote - Leaders Panel: Building a Post-Pandemic Retail & Licensing Strategy

Industry leaders will air expectations, hopes and fears for a post-Covid future for retail, giving insight into long-term opportunities for licensing.

Participants include Ben Roberts (EMEA Content director, License Global), Marianne James (VP EMEA and Asia Licensed Consumer Products, Hasbro), Daniel Avener, (CEO, MDR Brand Management)  and Jalil Rahman (director of Brand Partnerships & Licensing, Liberty)

  • 2.30-3.15pm: Location Based Experiences Panel
  • 4.15-5pm: Following the Money: How the New Age of Consumers Spends 

This discussion on Gen Z and Millennials - where you can find them, what they want - will provide an understanding on how they engage with brands in new and more meaningful ways.

Participants include Gary Pope (CEO and co-founder at Kids Industries), Sian Rider (strategy director, KidsKnowBest) and Allana Holmes (Brand & Sales director, Hunter Price).

Thursday 22nd September

  • 9.30-10.00am: Sustainability Case Study – Hasbro

Catrina O’Brien (head of Retail EurAsia - Licensing Consumer Products, Hasbro) and Helena Mansell-Stopher (founder & CEO, Products of Change)

  • 10.30 – 12pm: Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition Finale – Character & Animation and Brand & Design Categories

Be part of the exciting conclusion to the License This! competition as the finalists battle it out to win the last two category trophies.

  • 1-1.45pm: Day 3 Keynote to be announced soon


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