SHOW REVIEW: Brand Licensing Europe 2007

Advanstar said that this year's Brand Licensing Europe was the best yet and the buzz certainly seemed to be back in Olympia's Grand Hall last month. But what did the exhibitors think? Did they achieve all they wanted to from attending? Samantha Loveday asks a selection...
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“It was the busiest Brand Licensing event I think I’ve ever seen and that was a very pleasant surprise. It was a very positive experience. However, it wasn’t long enough. If they are serious about turning it into Brand Licensing Europe with more European delegates then there needs to be an extra day to make it worthwhile. The most important thing, however, is that it really has to come after Mipcom. So many people want to know about TV deals that it seems crazy to have the show just ten days before the major television event. Going back to its original October date would be a huge help.”
Stephen Gould, Co-MD, 4Kids International

“It was an incredibly exciting show for Chorion and we had enormous interest for al our brand. It was a great opportunity for us to launch the new Mr Men Show, and the fact that we were present at Brand Licensing in such a big way meant that the stand was constantly inundated with potential licensees and retailers alike.”
Judith Luscombe, Head of European Sales, Chorion

“The best thing for us was definitely the Screening Suite. It gave the attendees a chance to understand the licensing potential of each, ahead of visiting our stand to discuss them in more detail. We are always interested in meeting with more European retailers, so an increased attendance in this area would be beneficial.”
Carl Lumbard, SVP & MD, 20th Century Fox L&M

“It was buzzing. Really busy with a great atmosphere. The screening rooms are a great idea and an important part of the event, but an extra day next year so that licensees don’t miss out on the rest of the show would be fantastic.”
Mel Beer, Head of Licensing, Granada Ventures

“All being on one floor made for a more cohesive show that was easier to cover and made it easier to make direct comparisons between brands and exhibitors. The show seemed livelier, better attended and more dynamic than ever.”
Richard Hollis, Head of UK Licensing, BBC Worldwide

“The move into the Grand Hall was great because there was more room and we were able to spread out a bit. We had a small stand but it was well designed and we were in a great location so we were able to display our main brands very effectively. For us, Brand Licensing was pretty near perfect but maybe they could find room for a mobile hot dog stand or two next year.”
Rob Wijeratna, Joint MD, Rocket Licensing

“The show was well organised, delivered the visitors and the organisers again adapted well to the particular needs of Rainbow Productions in our role as both an exhibitor and as an official supplier of costume characters. This year’s show also created a good level of European interest.”
David Scott, MD, Rainbow Productions

“As with previous years there was a good selection of UK and international licensees and the stand was very busy. But there wasn’t enough time to see everyone. The show feels really rushed and so much more could be achieved if it was extended to three days.”
Val Fry, Head of Licensing, Chapman Entertainment

“It was the busiest I can remember, which was refreshing to see. There was a genuine buzz surrounding the industry again. There seem to have been a good number of retailers at the show which was good to see. I also felt there were more international visitors than previous years, making the show genuinely Brand Licensing Europe, not BL London.”
Rob Corney, Bulldog Licensing

“I was thoroughly impressed by the build out and effort of the licensors put forth this year. I thought the booths were much bigger, better displayed and, for the most part, of much better quality than years past. I also thought the screening room was spectacular. A huge improvement over last year. However, I think we need to open up our industry to universities and new prospects. One suggestion is to have an ‘educational’ tour for students that are interested in getting into the industry.”
Gustavo Antonioni, Head of UK Licensing, Marvel

“The Licensing Academy was an excellent source of information and education in a continent where many countries are just discovering licensing. The changes made a huge difference and made the show much more inviting to attend and make the trip out to the UK.”
Hakan Durdag, ELC/Lisans AS

“The show is a well-run event and Advanstar has made great strides in developing it over the past few years. The venue is appropriate for the event, well-lit and comfortable to ‘shop’ for those attending, as well as a pleasant environment for those who work the stands. A greater balance of character/entertainment and adult/corporate brands on offer would drive further traffic to the show.”
Louise French, Associate VP, The Beanstalk Group

“There were more licensors attending than in the past few years. Due to the fact that the show was small and it was easy to run into people, it created a much more intimate and friendly atmosphere than NYLS.”
Anna Lisa McBride, CEO, Kidz Entertainment

“There was a good buzz but the venue was a little shabby. We achieved a healthy meeting schedule and there was excellent retailer attendance.”
Claire Atherton, Licensing Director, Mattel Brands

“There was a lot more space and the whole event felt less claustrophobic, but with so little time and too many pre-booked meetings we couldn’t take full advantage of new and passing trade. We saw less UK retailers this year than last and we did not get to see one single European retailer, even though there was a hosted programme as we could not gain easy access to the visitor list.”
Helen Howells, Director of International Licensing, Target Entertainment

“We had a fantastic reaction to all our properties, with many appointments and great quality ‘drop by’ traffic. Maybe consider three days; we seemed really stretched to see everybody in two days and could not look at meeting over 30 minutes, which sometimes is not constructive.”
Sean Clarke, Head of Marketing and Licensing, Aardman Animations

“I think the show had a real vibrance especially on day one – we were always busy and generally the quality of the visitors was really good. We would encourage more direct participating from Europe and some fine-tuning of the screening programme to even out footfall. I think it would also be nice to be able to identify retail buyers more quickly. On the whole we were very pleased with the show and the marketing around it.”
Ian Downes, MD, Start Licensing

“The show was bigger and more international and the buzz was great. More retailers visited our stand, so this was definitely up from last year. Also, agents representation improved.”
Michelle Pearce, Senior UK & International Licensing Manager, JCP

“We got to meet with a number of retailers but I would like to suggest that Advanstar provide a means for licensors to contact retailers to organise meetings in advance. That would be really useful."
Marie Laure Marchand, VP European Marketing & Licensing, Nelvana

"We were really pleased to be exhibitors for the first time at the show and receive such a positive reaction. The Grand Hall seemed to work really well for us, we were extremely pleased with our stand and had great positioning within the show. We had a great buzz of key people on our stand throughout the show, so we were very pleased to draw attention from several of the key retailers."
Geraint Lloyd-Evans, Commercial Director, Bang on the Door

"The worst thing was not being able to easily showcase all of our fantastic product as we chose not to have a stand. This is something we'll be reviewing for next year. The free seminars went down well and I had good feedback about them from my team."
Graham Saltmarsh, Licensing Director, Cartoon Network Enterprises

"One of the things that stood out was the strong networking element due to the fact attendance was even higher this year, with a remarkable increase in European representatives, which was extremely beneficial for us. Our stand attracted a great deal of interest from the right people and generated a real buzz."
Karen McNally, VP Licensing & Marketing, Entara

"The move back to the Grand Hall was a good choice. It was ER's first year back in the main show floor and we were really pleased with the location of our stand. It allowed for the team to be far more accessible and we had many more attendees dropping by. The timing of the show was also better than in previous years - it felt much busier. We'll be back next year with an even bigger and better stand showcasing our ever-expanding portfolio of brands."
Clare Shaw, Entertainment Rights

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