BLE 2019 welcomed record number of visitors

Visitor levels rose 3% to an all-time high and exhibitor numbers also grew – as organisers confirm next year’s theme of fashion, reported last week by LTW.MEDIA

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 11.10.2019 | Events

BLE 2019 welcomed record number of visitors thumbnail

Visitor levels at Brand Licensing Europe hit an all-time high this year, with a three per cent increase in traffic.

More than 8,050 licensing professionals visited the show and the number of exhibiting companies also grew from 264 to 268.

The numbers bode well for the show's future, located for the first time this year at London’s ExCel. 

Next year, BLE returns to the venue with a show-wide theme of fashion, as reported by LTW.MEDIA last week.

Ambitious early stage plans include a live catwalk, with dramatic themed shows beamed onto every digital screen throughout the venue. 

“BLE has become infamous for its themes and we are so excited about next year’s, we’ve been planning it for months. What I love about fashion in licensing is how inclusive it is. It’s accessible to every BLE exhibitor and its appeal is universal: it’s relevant to every demographic and is gender, race, age and generation neutral,” says Anna Knight VP of Licensing at show organiser Informa Markets.

Anna says that while toys have for years been the gateway products for brands, apparel is “now helping to drive experiences and build brands, especially for categories like eSports, which have an older, hardcore, merch-driven fanbase”.

“At BLE 2020, we will be exploring fast fashion, haute couture collabs, sustainability, the economy and more,” she adds. “One of the reasons we moved BLE to ExCeL was the potential it offered to create a more experiential show. We proved that this year with our activations and Fresh off the Runway showcase. But, next year, our fashion theme will really highlight what ExCeL can offer BLE and our exhibitors and visitors.”

This year’s activations were widely hailed as a success, bringing to life some of the industry’s biggest and most important up-and-coming categories. They included Beyond the Book (publishing), Arcade (gaming and esports) and Heritage X Interiors.

“They were a huge hit with visitors: interactive, inspirational, bold and beautiful, a real testament to the impact creative, successful licensing programmes can have at retail,” Anna says.

Coolabi marks Clangers’ 50th with new eps, Alexa skill, and rave thumbnail

Coolabi marks Clangers’ 50th with new eps, Alexa skill, and rave

Limited edition prints by late co-creator Peter Firmin will also launch in celebration of the milestone, with activity kicking off ...

Friday Lunch Bites #12 thumbnail

Friday Lunch Bites #12

Star Wars comes to Fortnite, PopJam advert banned by ASA, Nike cuts ties with Amazon, and Hong Kong protests hit ...

Barbie fashion line hits UK retailer River Island thumbnail

Barbie fashion line hits UK retailer River Island

Mattel launches Barbie 60th Anniversary Barbie kids’ clothing line in first fashion collab with the high street fashion chain

Press Releases

Energizer spotlights Masha the Bear thumbnail

Energizer spotlights Masha the Bear

Animaccord and Energizer partner on Masha and the Bear licensed torches, heading to retail across EMEA in 2020

Elmo’s World comes to UK’s Tiny Pop in 2020 thumbnail

Elmo’s World comes to UK’s Tiny Pop in 2020

Kids’ TV channel expands its Sesame Street content with new series of short-form, interactive episodes

Milkshake picks up Pirata & Capitan S2 thumbnail

Milkshake picks up Pirata & Capitan S2

UK kids’ block acquires second series of the Millimages pre-school animation after successful first run

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice thumbnail

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice

Moorcroft and RHS present the limited-edition vase Chelsea’s Choice, celebrating Chelsea Flower Show 18 Plant of the Year