Mattel and Hasbro are both heading to next month’s Brand Licensing Europe show with larger stands than ever before.
The show has 250 exhibitors signed up, and joining Mattel and Hasbro are 49 firms new to BLE, including Paramount, Spook Squad Productions, Momot Global, Edutainment Licensing, Ludorum and Lil Critter Workshop.
“We are playing host to some of the largest stands the show has ever seen, as many have undergone dramatic increases in size,” Anna Knight, brand director at Brand Licensing Europe 2016, told ToyNews.
“Nickelodeon, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Warner Bros, Turner Cartoon Network, Mattel and Hasbro have all significantly increased their stands, in some cases by as much as 150 per cent. So, visually the show is going to be more striking than ever before.”
One of the biggest changes for this year’s show is the introduction of an exclusive Matchmaking Service, free of charge, that will enable exhibitors and visitors to request meetings with one another through an online portal ahead of the show.
“The tool was used at our sister show, Licensing Expo, in June with phenomenal results – over 2,500 business meetings were generated and over 1,000 licensors connected with licensees,” added Knight.
“We are very excited to introduce it to the European industry at BLE, and hope it will revolutionise the way our visitors and exhibitors experience the show.”
Knight is also keen for the UK’s toy industry to head to BLE this year, what with the UK pressing ahead as the world’s second biggest licensing market.
She added: “Licensing is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Recent research from the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association suggests that it’s worth an estimated $251.7bn in global retail sales, and is set to grow. So it’s a crucial time for the toy industry professionals to engage with licensing, if they haven’t already done so.”
And while the show will play host to a wealth of major character licensors, Knight believes that some of the other zones boast untapped toy potential.
“Don’t just limit your time to the obvious character and entertainment brands,” continued Knight.
“Visit the Brands & Lifestyle and Art, Design & Image zones upstairs as many of them have some really innovative toy potential.
“A trip upstairs could bring some unique opportunities which could actually set you apart from your competitors.”