BLE 2014 sees increase in overseas visitors and retailers

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Brand Licensing Europe welcomed 7,164 visitors to Olympia in October; a figure consistent with the record breaking 2013 event.

This year saw an increase in overseas visitors, according to organiser Advanstar, while there was a 28 per cent rise in retailers attending the show.

The event – which ran from October 7th to 9th – had 306 exhibitors, of which 88 were new, and floor space totalling 7,338 square metres – making it the largest BLE ever.

Exhibitor numbers increased all three of the zones – Brands & Lifestyle was up 25 per cent from 2013; Art, Design & Image grew by nine per cent; and Character & Entertainment increased by four per cent year on year.

This year’s Retail Mentoring Programme was also the biggest since its launch five years ago – over 50 individual buyers from ten of the major UK retailers, and now officially forms part of Tesco’s training programme for buyers.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with this year’s event,” said Darren Brechin, BLE event director. “Our key objective for 2014 was to deliver more qualified buyers, and we were looking to increase retail visitors by at least ten per cent, so to witness a staggering 28 per cent increase in retail attendees has surpassed all our expectations.”