Gifts Today magazine

BLE on the move for 2019

Licensing show moving to London’s ExCel from 2019 after 20th anniversary event

BLE organisers UBM are moving the licensing show across London to ExCel from 2019, after celebrating their 20th anniversary at Olympia in October.

The relocation is part of the organisers’ ambitious strategy to evolve Brand Licensing Europe, attract even more European licensees, retailers and licensors and improve the customer experience for both visitors and exhibitors.

UBM said they were attracted by the accessibility and flexibility of space at ExCeL, as well as the thriving out-of-hours social scene the area offers following the 2012 Olympic regeneration programme, and they have the full support of show sponsors International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association.

BLE brand director Anna Knight says: 'Moving BLE to east London makes perfect business sense on all sides. Over one third of our visitors fly in from continental Europe and we have big plans to grow this.

'Let’s not forget, the show is called Brand Licensing Europe – and the Elizabeth Line, which opens on December 9 and will run every 2½ minutes is a total game changer, offering a direct link from ExCeL to Heathrow Airport in just 40 minutes. City Airport is also close by and there are three DLR stations on-site.'

The new transport connections plus the regeneration of the local area have wider implications for improving the customer experience at BLE, with thousands of hotel rooms accessible within 20 minutes as well as restaurants and bars – as well as 20 on-site.

Anna added: 'We’re very aware how sociable the licensing industry is and how important it is to our visitors and exhibitors to have access to great bars and restaurants to continue networking after a full day of meetings.'

UBM believe the flexibility of space will also support their future growth strategy for BLE, allowing the team to redraw the floorplan to make it fairer for all exhibitors, improve navigation and layout, and rethink the screenings programme, while allowing increased and improved activations and experiential installations, more interactive feature content and new branding and sponsorship opportunities for exhibitors.

'In addition to 100,000 sq. m. of pillar-free exhibition space, we’ll have access to over 40 purpose-built meeting rooms, the 600-person Platinum Suite, which will revolutionise the theatrical teasers and screenings, and the ICC – London’s largest conference centre – which means that all of our exhibitors will be able to host their entire BLE showcase in one venue on a single level,' Anna said.

Registration is open now at for the 2018 edition of BLE, the definitive event for the licensing industry in Europe, from October 9-11 at Olympia, with 7500 retailers, licensees and marketers expected to visit more than 280 exhibitors showcasing over 2500 brands, characters and images.

A free educational programme runs alongside the show featuring advice and sector-specific sessions, workshops and panel discussions along with keynotes from industry trailblazers, and the final of the License This! competition will be held.

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