Gifts Today magazine

BLE retailer numbers soar

The number of retailers visiting Brand Licensing Europe 2018 increased by 24 per cent as the show pulled in record visitor numbers

UBM has declared this year’s Brand Licensing Europe (BLE), which took place at Olympia London last month, as the 'best ever' in the show’s 20-year history.

Retailer visitor numbers shot up by 24 percent and overall attendee numbers rose by six per cent to a record high of 7862, including the highest ever number of overseas visitors at 40 percent.

There were 264 exhibitors in Olympia’s Grand and National halls, compared with 244 in 2017, an increase of eight per cent. This included 67 companies who were brand new to the show. All three areas of the event (character and entertainment, brands and lifestyle, and art, design and image licensing) experienced growth, and there was a significant uplift in brands and lifestyle exhibitor numbers, which rose by 28 percent to 73.

"This year’s BLE was extraordinary," says brand director Anna Knight. "We brought the show onto one level at Olympia for the first time, and every corner of it was busy from doors open to close (and beyond). There wasn’t a single lull in activity, attendance or buzz for the entire three days. Thousands of meetings were held, our seminar programme and Live Kitchen demos were extremely successful, and exhibitors proclaimed it 'their best BLE ever'.

"Over 85 per cent of next year’s floor plan is already full. The hard work has already started on developing live experiences that will meet our attendees’ high expectations following this year’s success and we are really excited about working with our customers to further elevate BLE at its new home in East London."

UBM confirms next year’s dates as 1-3 October, 2019, ExCeL London.

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