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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“The show exceeded our expectations this year; it was our third showing and easily our best yet. The show seemed buzzier than usual, particularly day two, and I think this was cleared helped by the general contraction of the show floor area and narrower aisles. I was very pleased with the amount of retailers. There was a noticeable increase.”
Sam Johnson, Senior Licensing Manager, JCB Consumer Products

“Overall it was a very busy and positive show for us. It seemed to me that attendance was up quite a lot from last year, so it must have been one of the best shows to date in terms of visitor numbers. We did have some terrific meetings with retailers and they all seemed keen to look at business opportunities.”
Sissel Henno, Head of Brand Licensing (Europe), Sega

“This year’s show seemed to be much busier than last year. We definitely saw an increase in international visitors attending our stand; I would estimate that some 50 per cent of the visitors to the Mattel stand were international. We saw a fantastic amount of walk up traffic and the third day proved very worthwhile.”
Jo Broadfield, Mattel Brands Consumer Products

“We were rushed off our feet on days one and two. Although the third day was quieter in the aisles, we still had meetings back-to-back throughout the day. The UK retail teams were out in force which was encouraging.”
Melanie Beer, Group Licensing Director, Hallmark Cards

“We thought on the whole that the show was positive – we had a good flow of meetings and personally I was always busy. The quality of meetings seemed to be good with the majority focused on ‘doing business’. I thought the general atmosphere was good and the show looked good. I think we could open for another hour on both the first two days. It would be good to have a better way of quickly identifying retailers – I know this is a sensitive subject but maybe a different colour badge?”
Ian Downes, Managing Director, Start Licensing

“I think the first two days seemed as busy as last year, however the flow of traffic on day three was less. I think licensees and retailers are being more cautious as to the level of business they are prepared to commit to given the economic climate. We really wanted to have the same booth next year, however given the new layout this is not possible.”
Richard Woolf, International Licensing Director, Withit

“Overall it was a brilliant week for us. The buzz and energy on Tuesday and Wednesday was catching. Attendance definitely felt up, not just from the UK but from all over Europe. Everyone we met was very upbeat and willing to talk business. We were delighted with the number of retailers we spoke to and who dropped by.”
Angeles Blanco, Director of Licensing, DHX Media

“The show was great for Coolabi and in particular Poppy Cat and Purple Ronnie. There was a constant flow of licensees and retailers to the stand. I felt there was a greater presence of international companies exhibiting which in turn led to a greater attendance of international licensees.”
Natasha Dyson, Head of Licensing, Coolabi

“The show is building momentum and with Vegas being far/expensive, more international partners are attending. Everyone made a good effort and we felt very busy, with a lot of ad hoc requests for meetings from retailers and licensees.”
James Walker, VP Brand Licensing & Publishing EMEA, Hasbro

“It was a great show for us, very positive with a lot of good meetings. We got quite a bit of walk up traffic; having the dogs on the stand on Tuesday helped as well. We’re looking forward to the opening of the hall to the back and thus giving it more room again.”
Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, MD, 4Kids

“Our booth was busy from the start to the close of the show. It had a fantastic energy and buzz. Representation was strong from retailers all over the globe. We did more retail meetings than at any prior BLE.”
Nicole Blake, EVP, Global Marketing & Consumer Products, Classic Media

“Our sales teams’ diaries were filled with meetings from first thing in the morning until the last available slot. We had a really significant amount of traffic at the stand and hope to forge many new relationships from our meetings, as well as reinforce existing partnerships. The major suggestion I would put forward would be a larger venue for the keynote on Tuesday.”
Michael Connolly, Head of Consumer Products, VIMN


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