Mixed reaction to LF-CEE 09

Visitor numbers lower than expected say exhibitors, but some report new deals being struck.
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This year's Licensing Forum - Central and Eastern Europe has received a mixed response from the UK industry, with a number saying that while visitor quantity was much less than expected, it was still a useful event to attend.

The event - which took place in Prague earlier this month - saw such companies as 20th Century Fox, 4Kids, Bang on the Door, Chorion, Fremantle, Jane Evans, Jetix, Kidz Entertainment and Turner CN Enterprises among others exhibiting.

No official visitor figures were available at time of writing from show organisers Licensing Brands International, however several exhibitors have told Licensing.biz that the numbers were lower than they expected.

"There was an increase in the number of exhibitors, however, some companies who had taken a stand at the 2008 show did not return," said Jennifer Buchanan, director of European licensing at 20th Century Fox L&M Europe. "The show didn't really deliver in terms of visitor quality. While it was useful to meet existing licensees, my main objective to explore new business opportunities with local licensees or retailers was not met, and having spoken to other exhibitors this was a common experience."

Ian Downes from Start Licensing, which was exhibiting with Bang on the Door, added: "While the quantity of visitors was perhaps lower than expected, for us it was a useful exercise. We met a number of companies interested in the brand and also we were looking to help existing licensees by investigating new distribution opportunities for them. We are glad we did it. We could have been busier, but let's hope quality outweighed quantity in this case."

Visitor David Scott, MD of Rainbow Productions, said the show was a great opportunity to hold constructive meetings with European licensing executives as there was a strong contingent in attendance.

And, Morten Geschwendtner, chairman of Kidz Entertainment/EEMC, said he was very happy with the results from the show.

"In particular, we had a good number of new clients visit our booth. We were also interviewed by several local magazines, which is good for our profile in the region, and we saw many existing clients and have done new deals with them. We have not considered our 2010 initiatives yet, but are certainly positive to more shows in EE."

Christine Annechino from Licensing Brands International said that she was very pleased with the turnout and support for LF-CEE 09. "The attendees came from 15 different countries and we had excellent representation across the board from manufacturers, retailers, promotional companies and FMCG companies. The addition of our VIP cruise proved to be an excellent way for attendees and exhibitors to continue their discussions and forging new, long lasting relationships.

"We will continue with a major social event and next year we will be adding the first ever CEE licensing awards to LF-CEE.

"We will soon be making an announcement about LF-CEE 2010. We are scheduled to move the show to Budapest, continuing our efforts to create a truly Eastern European trade fair."

Did you attend LF-CEE? Let us know your thoughts on the event by posting a comment in the box below or emailing Samantha Loveday.


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