BLE 09 is busiest ever

Attendance record broken; overseas visitors up; European exhibitors up; boost from retail.
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As mooted by Licensing.biz last week, Advanstar has confirmed that Brand Licensing Europe 2009 was the biggest and busiest in its 11 year history.

The show - which ran on September 30th and October 1st in The Grand Hall, Olympia, London - attracted a verified attendance of 4,862 (Association of Exhibition Organisers audited visitors), up 13.5 per cent on the previous year.

Overseas visitor numbers rose to 1,307, an increase of 33 per cent on 2008, while the show also welcomed a record number of European exhibitors - 32 in total - up 30 per cent on last year.

Retail buyer attendance increased by seven per cent, with Amazon, Asda, Auchan, Bhs, Boots, C&A Europe, Carrefour, El Corte Ingles, HMV, Sainsbury's, Mothercare, Play.com and Tesco among them.

"The show had a really good atmosphere," Anne-Marie Farrar, category manager for toys, gadgets and film memorabilia at Play.com, told Licensing.biz. "I attended all of the major screenings and it gives you a really good feel of what is happening over the next few years. Play.com's agenda will be supporting the properties that complement our business."

Mothercare's senior buyer Emma Baker added: "This year we came as a Mothercare team, both clothing and toys attending key meetings together. The show seemed very busy, especially on the first day."

Jessica Blue, event director, said that she was thrilled with the success of the show. "To increase visitor numbers by over 13 per cent is an amazing feat at any time, but even more so given the current economic climate," she offered. "Each year we have listened intently to our visitors and exhibitors and refined the show in line with their needs."

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