Toy World readers are invited to secure their place at the only pan-European event dedicated to licensing and brand extension.
Probably the most colourful event in the European licensing calendar, Brand Licensing Europe returns with a new multi-platform format taking place in-person from 17th-19th November at ExCeL London, followed by an online event on 30th November-1st December.
With less than a month to go till the in-person show kicks off, there are over 180 exhibiting companies already confirmed, covering a wide range of countries and categories with the potential to influence toys, from TV production and movie studios to publishing, art and animation, sports brands, heritage, gaming and more. Exhibitors include Hasbro, Viacom, Aardman Animations, Acamar Films, Crunchyroll, Eejits, Mondo TV, Moomin, SEGA, Penguin Ventures and many more. The full exhibitor list can be found here.
This year’s theme is ‘What’s Next’. Weaving throughout the show, the theme aims to support the industry as it collectively looks to a post-pandemic future, by giving a platform to the people, ideas and practices set to change the face of brand licensing in 2022 and beyond.
The BLE Sustainability Activation in partnership with Products of Change will inspire visitors on their journey towards a more sustainable future by showing them how pioneering businesses from inside and outside of the licensing community are addressing the challenge of moving forward in a more ethical way. There will be six unique zones showcasing innovative sustainable actions displayed by companies such as Teemill, Asda, The Eden Project and The Light Fund.
‘What’s Next at Retail’ will show how brand licensing is leading the way in the production of the unique, creative and entertaining consumer experiences critical to the much-needed transformation of retail. Listen in to five sessions covering a range of topics about the future of brands and innovation from companies such as Hasbro, The Insights Family, Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement, Buyers Eye and Kids Industries, whose CEO Gary Pope will deliver brand new data about how the toy category has the potential to really engage families and children at retail.
Via ‘Who’s next’, BLE attendees are invited to discover and celebrate licensing change makers in the all-new Agents of Change gallery; the disruptors, the rising stars, the professionals and the trailblazers who are brave and savvy enough to go back to the drawing board and affect real change.
Another plus for returning in person is getting to hang out with the much-loved character parade once again, when visitors will be able to have their photo taken with some of the biggest, fluffiest, iconic and ‘awww’-inducing characters from the world’s biggest brand owners. Over 1,000 characters have taken part in the parade over the years, including The Gruffalo, Paw Patrol, The Hungry Caterpillar, Sonic the Hedgehog, Peppa Pig, Hello Kitty, Minions, Paddington Bear, The Cookie Monster, The Simpsons, Dennis the Menace, Asterix and many more.
As a special ‘welcome back’ to BLE, there will be a drinks reception on the show-floor at the end of Day 1 from 5-7pm. All attendees and exhibitors are encouraged to gather together to celebrate as the industry finally reunites in person.
Yesterday, Brand Licensing Europe announced a partnership with ExpressTest by CignPost to facilitate all testing needs for international attendees, and at the same time outlined its robust health and safety plan including a new mask requirement.
Anna Knight, VP of Licensing at Informa Markets, which organises BLE, said: “Identifying new trends, changemakers and upcoming challenges is what makes an industry gathering like BLE unmissable for retailers, manufacturers and brand owners. This past year and a half has shown how adaptable we are as an industry and, as we move into a post-Covid world, that pace shows no sign of slowing down. Looking towards the future has never been more vital and this is precisely what BLE is designed to support. Our hope is that this year’s What’s Next theme, and all the amazing content it envelops, will help to take the guesswork out of strategic planning and support our attendees to drive forward their visions for the future.”
Attendees can register for Brand Licensing Europe for free by clicking here.