Toy industry lauds BLE

Toy market licensors, licensees and retailers have given the thumbs up to this year's Brand Licensing show.
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The show, which took place in London last week, was the biggest and busiest in its 11-year history attracting a record attendance of 4,862 verified, AEO audited visitors – up 13.5 percent on the previous year.

Overseas visitor numbers also rose steeply to 1,307 – an increase of 33 percent; and the show welcomed a record number of European exhibitors - 32 in total – up 30 per cent on last year.

Toy visitors were among those who applauded this year's event.

"I enjoyed the show very much and the event remains a useful forum to discuss current and future properties. It’s a great place to network and meet with licensors under one roof. As a licensee, I would prefer a three-day show as it would give us more quality time with major licensors and time to look around at some licences which may not have been on the radar. The proliferation of screenings in recent years has really eatn into time previously alloted for meetings."
Phil Ratcliffe, Sales & Marketing Director, MV Sports

"The show seemed much busier than last year, especially on Wednesday morning – you couldn’t move near the entrance of Olympia. It was a great opportunity to catch up with the licensors since Vegas and I think it works well in its current two-day format. Perhaps a third day would be too much, however it would give you more time to attend the various seminars."
Darrell Jones, Marketing Manager, Bandai

"There was an excellent buzz around the show and I was very impressed with how busy it was; it was very worthwhile attending. I feel that it should be extended for a further day. I would like to attend some of the seminars, but due to the number of showcases and appointments which I had, I found it hard to schedule them into my itinerary."
Alison Pilgrim, Senior Licensing & Brand Development Manager, Golden Bear

"The show had a really good atmosphere and I think that is very positive considering the downturn within the industry due to the recession. I attended all of the major screenings and it gives you a real good feel of what is happening in the next few years.'s agenda will be supporting the properties that complement our business."
Anne-Marie Farrar, Category Manager, Toys, Gadgets & Film Memorabilia,

"This year we came as a Mothercare team which worked well, with both Clothing and Toys attending key meetings together. It is very difficult to fit everything into two days, I believe that three days or two and a half would be better. The show seemed very busy especially on the first day. The Retail Lounge proved very useful and provided somewhere for the team to catch up on information and prepare for meetings."
Emma Baker, Senior Buyer, Mothercare



BLE 2011: The reaction

It was the second year of the three-day format, and Olympia was in the middle of a facelift. So did Brand Licensing Europe hit the spot? We asked licensors and licensees for their verdict...

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