Olympian dreams

How has Brand Licensing changed over the past year? Well, it?s got a new name for a start. Event director Jessica Blue explains how the show has evolved and why you should be there?
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We’re just two months away from opening the doors to Brand Licensing Europe 2007 at Olympia’s Grand Hall on October 2nd-3rd. And as we make final preparations, we’re delighted to report that this year’s event is shaping up to be a busy and exciting two days for the European licensing industry.

As each week passes, our exhibitor line-up gets stronger and stronger. More than 160 companies have already signed up to take part – an increase of 40 per cent on this time last year.

On the day, we are expecting over 180 exhibitors from all over Europe including recent signings Mattel Brands Consumer Products, Nelvana Enterprises, Pokemon UK, RDF Rights and The Licensing Company. They will be joined by many returning exhibitors including BBC Worldwide, Disney Consumer Products, Entertainment Rights, HIT Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment, Granada Ventures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox to name but a few.

Brand Licensing Europe will provide the toy industry with inspiration and insight into those licences that promise to make it big at retail over the next 12 to 24 months. Last year, over a third of visitors were involved in the toy business, these included a range of licensees from across Europe and buying teams from the likes of Debenhams, Dunnes Stores, Early Learning Centre, Harrods, John Lewis, Toys R Us and Woolworths.

This year, exhibitors will display over 2,000 characters and brands available for licence, appealing to boys and girls of any age group. Just some of the properties on display this year will include High School Musical, Bratz, Lego, Fifi and the Flowertots, Roary the Racing Car, LazyTown, Rupert Bear, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, The Simpsons and the Mr Men.

Following a successful launch last year, the Screening Suite is making a welcome return for 2007. For those of you who don’t know, it is a state of the art, purpose built cinema.

Disney Consumer Products, Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox are all participating and will have the opportunity to give exclusive presentations of forthcoming movies to an invitation-only audience of retailers, licensees and promotional marketers. Screenings will run from 0945 – 1545 on both days.

Making its debut this year is the Licensing Academy: a free to attend, high level, ten-session seminar programme running alongside the exhibition. The Licensing Academy will provide delegates with essential knowledge, hints, tips, case studies and practical guidance on a wide range of topics.

Gary Pope, a partner with Kids Industries, is leading two seminars of particular interest to the toy industry: The Special Interaction of Pre-School Children and Licensed Product and Kids, Tweens and Shopping: Getting the Retail Experience Right.

The first session, an interactive workshop, will explain how pre-schoolers relate to licensed toys as opposed to non-licensed toys. Workshop participants will also get the chance to explore new ideas for their brands and businesses. The second session looks at how to get the retail space right for both parents and children in the tween environment: a tricky proposition that, when done right, can yield huge dividends.

To apply for a visitor pass to Brand Licensing Europe – or to view the full programme for the Licensing Academy – please visit our website. We look forward to welcoming you to London this October.

For more information on Brand Licensing Europe, log on to www.brandlicensingeurope.com or call 020 8956 2669.

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