Whisper it, but the buzz on the showfloor this year was almost on a par with New York...
A host of UK-based licensees have been telling Licensing.biz their views on last week's Licensing International - with the overwhelming feeling being that it was busier and buzzier than 2009 and definitely a worthwhile trip.
Many felt that attendance was excellent and that the showfloor had a much more upbeat feel than last year.
"I have to say I was really impressed," said Trevor Jones, licensing director at Danilo. "My hope was that the licensors would use the new locaton to make the experience a much bigger media event, and they certainly did. Everyone I spoke to had a positive experience, both business wise and, of course, socially."
Alex Bloom, commercial director at Spearmark, added: "There appeared to be more people in a far more positive frame of mind than last year. The buzz was vastly better than last year and almost on a par with New York."
Alison Pilgrim, senior licensing and brand development manager at Golden Bear Toys, agreed that the attendance was excellent, for the first two days at least - a view shared by Martin Lowe, MD of Roy Lowe & Sons.
Pilgrim said: "Almost all the showcases I attended seemed to be overscribed and the buzz around the show was electric. For me, this was an extremely worthwhile trip; I saw several new properties which were really exciting. Getting to see so many people all together over three days is a very good use of my time."
The increased international presence was welcomed by Pauline Howarth, director of licence, design and innovations at Bon Bon Buddies, too. "It was evident that a lot more Europeans were there. Last year felt a little too US focused."
However, Lisa Shand, MD of Blueprint Collections, had a different view, thinking that the show concentrated much more on the American domestic market. "A lot of the presentations we attended either had no or very little European information included and they seemed like a waste of time to us," she said. "Overall though, I thought the show had a better buzz than last year and the layout and the stand numbering was much clearer."
Kinnerton's Carl Richardson, meanwhile, believed it wasn't as exciting in terms of properties as previous years, but as a networking opportunity alone was certainly very useful. "There are a lot of positives to follow up on," he said.