6,875 retailers, licensees and sales promotion professionals attended over three days, 1,265 more than last year. Combined visitor and exhibitor attendance reached 9,108. Brand Licensing Europe attendance figures are always audited by an independent body, the AEO, and the audit will be confirmed in the next few weeks.
Attendance from retailers has continued to grow over the past three years with the introduction of retail initiatives including the Retail Mentoring Programme; improved content from Knowledge Partners (GfK, NPD Group and Planet Retail); and the Retail Buyers’ Lounge. This year saw a 14% increase in retail attendance with buying professionals from major retailers including Avon Products, Auchan, Asda Stores, Boots, Carrefour, Debenhams, El Corte Inglés, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, New Look Retailers, Tesco Stores, Top Shop and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets amongst others.
The number of overseas visitors also increased, with 17% more European visitors in attendance, cementing the show’s place as the must-attend event for the European licensing industry.
Jessica Blue, event director for Brand Licensing Europe, said: “We are thrilled with the results of this year’s show, and have worked hard to ensure the event reflects the needs of our visitors and exhibitors. We have really focused on increasing attendance from retail and from across Europe. The feedback from exhibitors and visitors has indicated that we have achieved this and we look forward to making the event even bigger and better in 2013.”
Plans for BLE 2013 are already in place with 74% of floor space already sold. Next year’s event will be merchandised into three key segments: Art, Design & Image; Entertainment & Character; and Brands, to create the ultimate ‘shopping experience’ for retailers, licensees, and sales promotion professionals.