UBM is relocating Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) to ExCeL London in 2019 as part of the organizer’s ambitious strategy to evolve the show, attract even more European licensees, retailers and licensors and improve the customer experience for both visitors and exhibitors.
The organizer was attracted by the accessibility and flexibility of space at ExCeL, as well as the thriving out-of-hours social scene the area offers following the 2012 Olympic regeneration program and is receiving full support of the move from show sponsor, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA).
As BLE brand director Anna Knight explains, “Moving BLE to ExCeL London makes perfect business sense on all sides. Over one third of our visitors fly in from continental Europe and we have big plans to grow this–let’s not forget, the show is called Brand Licensing EUROPE–and the Elizabeth Line (which opens on Dec. 9 and will run every 2.5 minutes) is a total game changer, offering a direct link from ExCeL to Heathrow Airport in just 40 minutes. City Airport is also close by and there are three DLR stations onsite.”
The new transport connections plus the regeneration of the local area will also have wider implications for improving the customer experience at BLE. The number of hotel rooms within a five-minute walk has more than doubled since 2009 to 2,700. And the Elizabeth Line makes it possible to travel to an additional 40,000 rooms–suited to any and all budgets–in under 20 minutes.
“We are very aware how sociable the licensing industry is and how important it is to our visitors and exhibitors to have access to great bars and restaurants to continue networking after a full day of meetings,” says Knight. “Bond Street is just 15 minutes away on the Elizabeth Line, Shoreditch less than half an hour and the Greenwich Peninsula and Canary Wharf a mere stone’s throw. There are 20 restaurants and bars on site, 500 venues within 15 minutes and thousands more in central London.”
UBM believes the flexibility of space offered by ExCeL (both the volume and variety) will also support its future growth strategy for BLE, allowing the team to redraw the floor plan to make it fairer for all exhibitors no matter how big or small, improve navigation and layout and rethink its screenings program.
“In addition to 100,000 sq.m. of pillar-free exhibition space, we’ll have access to more than 40 purpose-built meeting rooms, the 600-person Platinum Suite, which will revolutionize the theatrical teasers and screenings, and the ICC–London’s largest conference centre –which means that all of our exhibitors will be able to host their entire BLE showcase in one venue on a single level,” says Knight, adding, “Olympia has been a fantastic home to Brand Licensing Europe for over a decade and it will be hard to wave goodbye to west London and all the memories. But it’s time for a new chapter in the BLE story, and we’re very much looking forward to working with ExCeL and taking full advantage of the opportunities, it offers to support the future growth and prosperity of the show.”
The space will also allow UBM to transform the live experience for visitors and exhibitors with increased and improved activations and experiential installations, more interactive feature content and new branding and sponsorship opportunities for exhibitors.
“One of LIMA’s primary missions is to advance licensing around the world, and we are confident that the move of BLE to ExCeL London in 2018 will foster the growth of the show and of the licensing business itself,” says LIMA President Maura Regan.
ExCeL acting CEO Jeremy Rees says, “We are delighted to welcome Brand Licensing Europe to ExCeL London in 2019. Working in close partnership with UBM, we strongly believe we can provide the flexibility of space to fulfill BLE’s ambitious plans and provide a first-class customer experience to exhibitors and visitors,” adding “furthermore, with the arrival of the Elizabeth Line in December 2018 we can also provide unrivaled access to European destinations to further strengthen the key European aspect of this world class event.”
ExCeL London is the capital’s international convention and exhibition centre, located in London’s Royal Docks. Since opening in November 2000, ExCeL London has hosted over 4,000 events including trade and consumer exhibitions, conferences, association meetings, product launches, AGMs, gala dinners, award ceremonies, sporting events and religious festivals. More than twenty million people from over 200 different countries have visited ExCeL London. ExCeL London was acquired by ADNEC, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in 2008. For more info, visit www.excel.london.
Part of UBM’s Global Licensing Group, Brand Licensing Europe 2018 takes place from Oct. 9-11 at Olympia London. It is the only pan-European event dedicated to licensing and brand extension. Now in its 20th year, BLE 2018 will feature more than 280 exhibitors showcasing more than 2,500 brands, characters and images. A free educational program runs alongside the show featuring advice and sector-specific sessions, workshops and panel discussions along with keynotes from industry trailblazers. Brand Licensing Europe is organized by UBM, which in June combined with Informa PLC to become a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B events organizer in the world. For more info, visit www.brandlicensing.eu, www.ubm.com and www.informa.com. It is sponsored by the international Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA). License Global is the official publication.
LIMA, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, is the leading trade organization for the global licensing industry. Founded in 1985, LIMA’s mission is to foster the growth and expansion of licensing around the world and create greater awareness of the benefits of licensing to the business community at large. More than 1,200 corporate members in 40 countries enjoy access to an array of benefits, including extensive educational programming and worldwide networking events. LIMA is the exclusive sponsor of events organized by UBM’s Global Licensing Group: Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo China, and NYC Summit. For more info, visit licensing.org.