Brand Licensing Europe, Olympia-London, September 10th-12th

On September, 10th-12th 2017, Brand Licensing Europe will take place at Olympia, London. It has been organized by UBM (Las Vegas Licensing Expo organizer) in cooperation with the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), the world’s leading trade organization for the global licensing industry.

Anna Knight_ BLE
Anna Knight

Licensing Italia, LIMA Representative in Italy, interviewed Anna Knight, Brand Director of Brand Licensing Europe, on upcoming event.

L.I. What are the basic elements of the enduring success of Brand Licensing Europe?

A.K. Brand Licensing Europe is now in its 19th year, which is an impressive age for any trade show. We are successful and our success has endured nearly two decades because we never lose sight of our number one purpose, and that’s to provide a relevant platform for everyone in Europe who is involved in licensing to come together and learn, do business and network.

We have always listened to our audiences – suppliers and visitors – to ensure the content we provide them each year is up to date, on trend and will help them do business better and smarter. We must be doing something right because last year was our biggest show to date with over 7,200 visitors (including 33% from outside the UK) and 315 exhibitors. We fully expect this year to be even better.

L.I. What are the most important features of Brand Licensing Europe?

A.K. The three pillars of any great industry event are the sourcing, learning and networking opportunities we provide to visitors.

With over 300 suppliers exhibiting at BLE each year from character & entertainment, brands & lifestyle and art & design we provide the most comprehensive, diverse and exciting sourcing opportunity for licensees and retailers anywhere in Europe. 

There will also be more than 50 new exhibitors across many different areas from gaming to sport, toys to heritage, including some brands we’re welcoming back after a few years away. Our new exhibitors include: 24H Le Mans, Admiral Sportswear, by Hartwig Braun, Ashcroft Designs, BroadTeck Co., Ltd, Country Colour, Crazy Bell Agency, DIC 2 Srl, Dicentium Films / Meteoric Entertainment, Ducati, Emoji, Endemol Shine, Hampshire Cultural Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, IHL | INHOLLYWOODLAND, Juventus, Kitkase, KOOKHAK SAEMI INC, Last Lemon, LCT Creative, Level-5 Abby Licensing Link Europe Ltd, Magic Light Pictures, Mandarin Licensing, Markosia Enterprises Ltd, May The Thoughts Be With You, Monika Suska Illustrations, Multera Ltd, Nudinits, Nuttery Entertainment, OpSec Security, POSH Original Art, Rugby World Cup 2019, TF1 Licences, The Gallerie Azerty, The Point 1888, Those Licensing People, Traditional Japan, Tulipop, TY Inc, White Space Entertainment, Stiker Entertainment, Sybo Games.

In terms of learning content, we are hosting even more seminar sessions this year: over 30 across two seminar theatres and the themes covered will range from trend updates on fashion, lifestyle, toys, gaming and sport, to European focused sessions around the impact of Brexit, how to launch a pan European licensing programme.

We’ve also got some amazing case studies in our brands & lifestyle theatre including sessions by JELC & The National Gallery, an interview with the V&A, Juventus talking about their recent brand transformation and the return of the hugely popular panel led by Richard Pink that includes speakers from Penguin Random House, Chupa Chups, Smiley & Fat Face. The full programme can be found on our website at

And when it comes to networking within the European licensing industry, well, I think it’s safe to say BLE simply can’t be beaten either on or off the show floor. In fact, if you haven’t already purchased your tickets to the LIMA Garden Party on Wednesday 11th October, I suggest you do now – it’s always a great night.

L.I. What’s new for BLE 2017?

A.K. I’ve already mentioned the new exhibitors and seminar content. But we’ve also partnered with Mojo Nation who will be hosting The Toy & Game Innovation Zone. This area will showcase some of the most interesting examples of licensed toys and games launched within the last 12 months, as well as previewing some of the hottest new lines coming Christmas 2017 and beyond.

And we have revamped our Brands & Lifestyle zone to include an amazing Product Showcase which will shine a light on the sheer variety and diversity of licensed products for adults to hopefully inspire retailers, in particular, to consider stocking new ranges. More than 25 exhibitors are donating product to be showcased including Beanstalk, CAA-GBG, IBML, Global Icons, Pink Key Consulting, JELC, the V&A, Juventus, FIFA and Brandgenuity.
In addition to all the amazing content visitors are used to seeing at BLE, there are three big themes to the show this year – Europe, sports and gaming.

We’ve got more European exhibitors, more European retailers and licensees are registering and we’re really focusing on the “Europe” part of Brand Licensing Europe in our educational content, including a Brexit session from Kelvyn Garden, which will help to prepare us all for what’s about to come.

GfK will deliver a seminar on the UK videogames industry with an emphasis on the trends and opportunities. This will take place in the Licensing Academy on Tuesday at 11.00. Following this, we have a gaming keynote panel featuring experts from all corners of gaming licensing including Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe & Paladone who will be aiming to dispel some of the myths that exist around gaming licensing.

The new Gaming Activation Area is a showcase and demonstration area, which aims to educate licensees and retailers on the journey of a video game IP from screen to store, including a mock retail environment where a range of IPs will be featured. It’s really exciting not just for the IPs that will be featured but also because it’s the gaming industry working together to showcase its combined potential.

Exhibiting this year we have Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Ubisoft, Capcom, Sega, King, Activision Blizzard, Rovio, Pokémon, Tinderbox, Animal Jam, Level-5 Abby, Those Licensing People, Sybo Games, Striker Entertainment and Nintendo.

And on the sports side, we have more sports brands exhibiting than ever before, including FIFA, Juventus Football Club, Dakar, Tour de France, PSG, Rugby World Cup 2019, Dorna Sports, 24H Le Mans and Kitkase.

From the new exhibitors and new experiences at the show, to the great licensees and retailers already registered to attend, I think 2017 will be a fantastic edition of BLE. It doesn’t stop at 2017 though – we’re already hard at work on figuring out what to launch in 2018!

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