BLE details its ‘most inclusive educational programme in 21 year history’

Brand Licensing Europe has billed the educational programme surrounding its 2019 event as its ‘most inclusive in its 21-year history,’ with a slate of presentations, interviews, demonstrations and panel discussions across the world of character, entertainment, brand, lifestyle, and art and design.
BLE’s License Global Theatre will feature 25 sessions across the show’s three days on sustainability, publishing, animation, gaming, eSports, food and beverage, heritage, fashion, influencers, digitalisation, retail, Brexit and more.
Keynotes are scheduled for Wednesday, October 2 and Thursday, October 3 and will be announced in September. BLE takes place from October 1 to 3 at ExCeL London and visitors can register for free at
The current programme is as follows:
Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, Licensing International UK
Panellists include Trudi Bishop, director, Bee Licensing Consultancy
Moderated by Louise French, Beanstalk VP business development and marketing. Panellists include Richard Benjamin, director, Manchester Drinks and James Rae, co-founder, Pops
Melissa Symonds, director UK toys, EuroToys
Brought to you by Licensing International with Roz Nowicki, executive VP, Peanuts Worldwide and Christine Cool, international brand licensing manager, Perfetti van Melle Group
Maurizio Distefano, president & owner, Maurizio Distefano the Evolution of Licensing
Brought to you by Licensing International and featuring Victor Caddy, partner, Wynne-Jones
Hazel Kenyon, book research director UK & Ireland, Nielsen Book
Helen Webster, licensing director, and Ellie Walton, licensing designer – brands, Style Library
Moderated by Richard Pink, managing director, Pink Key Licensing
Panellists include:
Ella Baskerville, business development manager, Blooloop
Nick Richardson, CEO, Insights People
Delivered by Licensing International with Katie Bohm, head of EMEA, HYPR and
Ian Shepherd, founder, The Social Store
Panellists include Susan Bolsover, licensing and consumer products director, Penguin Random House UK
Kelvyn Gardner, Managing Director, Licensing International UK
Moderated by Ian Joynson, VP brand development, Tinderbox
Panellists TBC
Pink Key Licensing managing director Richard Pink explained: “I wanted to host a session that is totally relevant to retail as it’s changed so much in the last 12 months: it’s such a pressurised industry, so many big bricks and mortar names have lost their way and online is massively more important these days.
“This means retailers need to be so much savvier about licensing and I have a retailer, agent, licensee and licensor on the panel. By bringing together experts from each side of the licensing equation, I intend to show how they are adapting to the changing environment to maximise the opportunities and will be encouraging them to share valuable nuggets of wisdom with the audience.”
 Louise French, Beanstalk VP business development and marketing, added: “Licensing in the food and beverage area has become increasingly complex and competitive as multiple brands look to broaden their appeal through new brand extensions. The session will explore how leading brands in the sector are employing innovations to create a broader brand experience.
 “With participation from leading licensees on behalf of Pimm’s and TGIFridays, the panel will provide insight into how these much-loved restaurant and beverage brands are leading the charge in product development and marketing, leading to joyful discovery for consumers.”
BLE event director Anna Knight, added: “We are incredibly proud of this year’s conference programme – it’s comprehensive and cohesive and considerate of everyone visiting BLE. With sessions on gaming, publishing and heritage licensing, we have tied the educational content to this year’s themes, delivering rich, deep content that’s of real value to retailers and licensees.
“We cannot wait to announce this year’s two keynotes – one focusing on animation and the second on eSports – we just know they are going to be packed out. All BLE sessions are free to attend – just the like the show itself – and space will be available on a first come first served basis. When it comes to the keynotes, we recommend that visitors arrive at least 10 minutes before they start to avoid disappointment.”
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