BLE releases list of 21 things to look out for at 21st show

Published on: 12th November 2021

Readers still have time to register for a free ticket to Brand Licensing Europe in person (17th-19th November, Excel London) and online (30th November – 1st December).

Brand Licensing Europe kicks off in less than a week. This year marks the 21st edition of BLE, and to celebrate Informa Markets has released a list of 21 things to see, do and enjoy as this year’s event returns in person from 17th-19th November at Excel London. Attendees can register now for a free ticket, start requesting meetings and planning their diary.

“There is so much happening at BLE 2021, it was hard to stop at 21,” said Anna Knight, VP Licensing, Informa Markets. “We can’t wait to be at Excel this weekend, preparing to welcome everyone back next week and reconnect the European licensing industry for the first time in over two years.”

1.       Going for Gold: Don’t miss the Team GB keynote, with live conversation from Olympic gold medallists Tom Daley and Charlotte Worthington, alongside Tim Ellerton (Team GB) and Will Stewart (The Point.1888). Visitors will hear the athletes talk about their journeys to Tokyo and enjoy a panel debate on building the Team GB brand, as well as its unique approach to brand licensing with sports fans and communities in mind.

2.       Colour for Kelvyn: Join other attendees wearing bright clothes to create a rainbow of colour for Kelvyn Gardner on Day 2 – Thursday 18th. His family will join Anna Knight at 9am to officially open the show. Donations to The Light Fund will be gratefully accepted on stand #C155.

3.       Paws for thought: Meet and cuddle some of the Battersea dogs, who will be on hand to help visitors relax and smile. They can be found alongside ice-cream treats on the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home stand #C201. Two puppies and two adult dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind will also be on site on Wednesday 18th November. Visit Bulldog Licensing on #A182.

4.       Sports illustrated: The cool astro-turfed Sports Zone features UEFA Club Competitions, Manchester City FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Olympique de Marseille, Tour de France and Dakar, NBA, Federation Francaise de Football, England Football, FC Porto, Federacâo Portuguesa de Futebol, RFEF, Dependable Solutions Inc, Rugby World Cup 2023, Scribos and Superclub game.

5.       ‘What’s next’ in retail: Six brilliant retail-only sessions in the Retail Trends Lounge will challenge and inspire retail brains from Buyers Eye and Nextail Labs, Kids Industries, Hasbro, George @ Asda, The Style Sisters, The Insights Family and the Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement.

6.       Get a selfie with the ‘fluffs’: The BLE character parade, featuring the likes of The Snowman, Smurfs, Minions and Gruffalo, will be back in style at 11.30am on Wednesday and Thursday, and can be followed as they wander through the halls for their annual photo opp.

7.       Celebrate the licensing next gen: The final of this year’s Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition takes place on Friday at 12pm in the Retail Trends Lounge. Everyone is welcome to join the nine finalists as they battle it out to win one of three trophies – Brand & Design, Character & Animation, and Product Design.

8.       And breathe: Take five in the Health & Wellbeing Lounge in BLE’s Sustainability Activation or Health & Wellbeing Café on stand #E131, where peace, quiet and healthy drinks and snacks can all be found.

9.       Go green in the BLE Sustainability Activation on stand #A131 in partnership with Products of Change. Be inspired by the brands in the showcase, including the Natural History Museum, Tesco and Dreamtex. See dedicated spaces from Eden Project and George @ Asda, discover more from Teemill and its commitment to the circular economy, material innovation inspiration from Wastebuster and Ecoalf, and sign up for a 1-2-1 clinic with Products of Change.

10.   Swap shop: Bring a preloved piece of licensed clothing and a donation for The Light Fund and swap it for something new in the Newlife Charity Branded Clothes Swap.

11.   Walk the floor: There are close to 200 exhibitors taking part in BLE 21, so take time to walk the vibrant, colourful show floor and visit the likes of Hasbro, CAA-GBG, Crunchyroll, Magic Light Pictures, The National Gallery, Moomin, NBA, Chupa Chups, Sega, Perry Ellis International, Sophie La Girafe, V&A, ViacomCBS, WWE, Banijay Brands, Bandai Namco Europe, Crunchyroll, Rights & Brands, Wildbrain CPLG and many more.

12.   Drinks are on us: Join BLE and Licensing International for Welcome Back drinks between 5pm-7pm on Wednesday in the Crunchyroll Bar, BLE Bar, and Motul Café on the show floor.

13.   Style Sisters: Come and meet celebrities’ most trusted duo, Style Sisters, to hear their story, grab one of 40 giveaway copies of their book and be in with a chance to win a wardrobe detox on Day 2, Thursday 18th. Their session can be heard in the Retail Lounge at 2.15pm and they can also be joined for a meet & greet at the BLE Bar at 2.45pm.

14.   D&I in toys and licensing: ViacomCBS will present BLE’s second day keynote at 1pm in the Platinum Suite, where it will be referencing new Diversity & Inclusion research carried out across the toy category. Access to both keynotes this year is on a first come, first served basis.

15.   ‘Who’s next’ in licensing: Don’t miss the Agents of Change gallery featured in entrances S2 and S4.

16.   Art attack: Meet the winners of last year’s License This! and exciting artists and illustrators in the BLE Art & Design Zone, including eejits, Ginger Betty, Kate Mawdlsey, Vicki Thomas Associates, Ideas & Inks, Siobhan at April Rose, and Scatterbrain Studios.

17.   Roll cameras, action: License Global TV is making its BLE debut and is looking to speak to retailers, brand owners and licensees about what’s next in licensing. Keep an eye out for roving reporters.

18.   Licensing newbie? Upgrade your BLE registration to include Licensing U, an essential course to understanding the licensing industry. Take a trip to the Licensing International stand #B121: the industry trade association will be able to provide more information.

19.   Sustainability launch: Obki on Sky Kids will be a leading force in driving the sustainability agenda on a global platform through a series of worldwide licensing deals via newly signed licensing agency the Radius Group. Launching on day one, Obki will bring together the most sustainable companies out there to curate a range of branded lifestyle products, including apparel, plush, toys, food, and publishing for children. See the launch at the Sustainability Activation on #A131.

20.   Arrive in style: visit BLE’s online travel centre to find out everything you need to travel to BLE smoothly and safely. If you need to book a Day 2 test to enter England, you can find the details here.

21.   Be Covid-safe: Don’t forget to bring your face mask and Covid pass or negative lateral flow test result to enjoy a safe show.


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