Speaking to Licensing.biz, Jessica Blue, event director at Advanstar said: “The show is growing every year – it's doubled in size since 2006 and that’s in terms of exhibitor numbers and attendee numbers.”
Blue said that organisers had worked hard to improve the visitor experience and educate guests on licensing. This year there were two keynote speeches from Lucas Licensing president Howard Roffman and Moshi Monsters creator Michael Acton Smith. Screenings were better attended and there were more workshop-style seminars, including App-making advice clinic with the NPD.
Numerous exhibitors told Licensing.biz that they had met with more retail buyers at this year’s event than ever before.
Blue said: “Our marketing to retailers is becoming more and more sophisticated every year since we launched our retail programme in 2006. I think that’s certainly had an impact. But also the fact that licensing and licensed product is so important to retailers. It’s a really important part of their offering to consumers.”
Kelvyn Gardener, managing director, LIMA UK, said: “Every single exhibitor I’ve spoken to has said that they’ve seen more retail buyers. International buyers from the big European stores are coming to London.
“I think we’ve got over the old myth that this show is just for the Brits. People are genuinely doing business with European and British retailers at this show.”
With more exhibitor stands packed into Olympia’s Grand Hall the show benefited from a more busy environment. As Gardener said: “It’s a really buzzy atmosphere. The room is a little bit compact, but that helps with the buzz.”
Rob Corney, managing director, Bulldog Licensing: “The show has actually been hugely upbeat, people are coming along with new ideas and retailers are wanting to invest in brands.
“The show has really belied the market, in terms of the negativity in the press and on the news.”
Next year's show is booked for October 16th to 18th.