Record visitor and retailer numbers make for 'best BLE in 20-year history,' say organisers

BLE, which took place at London’s Olympia earlier this month has reported a visitor number rise of six per cent to a high of 7,862, including the highest number of overseas visitors at 40 per cent, making it the best show in the event’s 20 year history.
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Record visitor numbers and an increase of 24 per cent of retailer numbers have led Brand Licensing Europe’s organisers to declare the 2018 show its ‘best ever.’

BLE, which took place at London’s Olympia earlier this month has reported a visitor number rise of six per cent to a high of 7,862, including the highest number of overseas visitors at 40 per cent, making it the best show in the event’s 20 year history.

There were 264 exhibitors in Olympia’s Grand and National halls, compared to 244 in 2017, an increase of eight per cent. This included 67 companies who were new to the show. All three areas of the event (character and entertainment, brands and lifestyle and art, design and image licensing) experienced growth.

There was also a ‘significant uplift in brands and lifestyle exhibitor numbers, which rose by 28 per cent to 73.’

“This year’s BLE was extraordinary,” said BLE brand director, Anna Knight. “We brought the show onto one level at olympia for the first time and every corner of it was busy from doors open to close. There wasn’t a single lull in activity, attendance or buzz for the entire three days.

“Thousands of meetings were held, our seminar programme and Live Kitchen demos were extremely successful and exhibitors proclaimed it their best BLE ever.”

Already, over 85 per cent of next year’s floorplan is full, as the show makes preparations for its move to London’s ExCeL. UBM has confirmed the dates of next year’s show as October 1st to 3rd.

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