Visitor numbers rise again for Brand Licensing Europe



Biggest ever BLE as total attendees rise by 4 per cent; 11 per cent increase in online retailers; 2018 dates confirmed – 9-11 October – as show expands to National Hall at Olympia London


The total number of attendees at last month’s Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) rose by 4 per cent year on year. Attracting over 7,500 licensing industry professionals from all over the world, 2017 has been confirmed as the biggest ever BLE.

Of those attendees, BLE saw a huge rise in the number of online retailers attending – up 11 per cent – and significant growth in the volume of visitors attending from outside the UK, specifically France, Spain, South America, Asia and the US, heralding the event as truly global. The show also grew considerably in size, with 289 exhibitors occupying 8 per cent more floor space.

Organiser UBM has confirmed the event will return to Olympia London in 2018, running from 9-11 October, and will expand in to the National Hall allowing exhibitors from all three licensing categories – Character & Entertainment, Brands & Lifestyle and Art & Design – to be situated together on one floor.

This year’s show also raised the bar in terms of mainstream media coverage, featuring on and in BBC World News, CNBC, Retail Gazette, BIRA, Bakery and Snacks, FC Business and MCV.

“This year’s objectives were to attract more visitors and exhibitors from Europe, expand our European content, bring in more online retailers to meet exhibitors and celebrate and shine a light on two of the untapped areas of licensing – brands & lifestyle and gaming,” said Anna Knight, BLE brand director. “We’re very happy to say we’ve ticked all of those boxes and are already brainstorming plans to build on this year’s successes next year. We’re hoping to announce a new theme for 2018 early in the new year, so watch this space.”

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