7,244 retailers, licensees and sales promotion professionals from 69 countries attended the show, making it the biggest and most successful in its 15-year history. Total attendance reached 9,537. Brand Licensing Europe attendance figures are BPA audited (the only AEO-approved audit system).
Retail attendance increased again this year by 5%. BLE welcomed retail buyers from leading retailers such as Auchan, Asda, BHS, ASOS, Carrefour, Debenhams, CORTEFIEL SA, Fenwicks, Harrods, H&M, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Tesco, Wilkinsons, Waterstones and more.
Overseas attendance also increased again. One in three visitors came from outside the UK, confirming anecdotal evidence that this was the most international BLE to date and confirming the show’s position as the definitive event for the European licensing industry.
BLE’s new layout, which created three distinct areas – Art, Design & Image, Brands and Character & Entertainment – served visitors and exhibitors very well and created three unique environments in which to do business. The new features, including the Brands Bar, Art & Design Gallery Cafe and Brand Experience Seminar Theatre, created a great buzz and enabled people to make the most of their networking time at BLE.
BLE 2013 was also the subject of high profile media coverage on Sky, BBC Radio Five Live and in The Telegraph, The Independent and other business titles. The keynote address: “Angry Birds: How Rovio Disrupted the Entertainment Industry” drove much of this PR and over 230 people attended the keynote in person to hear Rovio announce the launch of its first free-to-play game, Angry Birds Go!.
Darren Brechin, event director, said: “To think that there were 29% more visitors to BLE this year than in 2011 is startling. It’s indicative of two great strengths of the licensing industry: first that there are always people coming to the industry afresh with new ideas, new brands, new products and new retail space. Second, that licensing across Europe is holding up in a very challenging economic climate. We worked very hard this year to make the new layout a success and will continue to dig deep into the three vertical categories to bring new companies and new people to BLE, and to ensure we give our visitors and exhibitors what they need and want from the show.
Plans for BLE 2014 are well under way with the show floor already over 70% sold.
Brand Licensing Europe 2014 takes place from 14-16th October at Olympia, London, www.brandlicensing.eu; follow BLE on Twitter @bleurope for show updates.
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