Exhibitor numbers for this year's Brand Licensing Europe show have already hit the magic 100 mark - with Advanstar revealing that many major companies are also eyeing larger stand space at Olympia this year, despite the current economic conditions.
Big name players including BBC Worldwide Children's & Licensing, 20th Century Fox, ITV Global Entertainment and Entertainment Rights have all pledged support for the show, while the likes of Contender, Coolabi, JAST, Ludorum, Rainbow SpA, RDF Rights, Toei Animation, Cartoon Network, TV-Loonland and Vipoland have upped their stand space.
Organiser Advanstar is now in the process of planning a host of new features for this year's show. The successful Screening Suite and TV Lounge will return, while the Licensing Academy seminar programme - which attracted 581 visitors in 2008 - will reflect the increasingly international tone of the event.
Jessica Blue, event director of Brand Licensing Europe, commented: "It has been Advanstar's mission to develop Brand Licensing Europe from what was considered three years ago to be a UK-centric trade show into a world class exhibition that truly represents and reflects the licensing industry throughout the whole of Europe.
"The results this year indicate we are well on our way to achieving this goal."
The 2008 show attracted 190 exhibitors (including 60 first timers) and 4,279 visitors from 60 countries. One in four visitors attended from mainland Europe - an increase of 32 per cent on 2007 - and one fifth of all exhibitors on the show floor were headquartered in mainland Europe.
Retailers also accounted for 15 per cent of all visitors, including buyers from European retailers Armedahis, Auchan, Carrefour and Smyk among others. There was also an eight per cent increase in retail buyers attending from major multiples.
Brand Licensing Europe 2009 will run on September 30th and October 1st at Olympia's Grand Hall, London.