Record visitor numbers for BLE’s big move to London ExCeL

Brand Licensing Europe 2019 has achieved record visitor numbers with a rise of three per cent to 8,062 visitors and an increase from 264 to 268 exhibiting companies at the show’s new London ExCeL home.

As the dust settles on another successful BLE, the organisers are already turning their attention to the 2020 show, detailing its sole theme as ‘fashion’, when the show returns to London’s ExCeL on October 6 to 8 next year.

Organisers state that next year’s show will live and breathe fashion licensing: apparel, footwear, accessories and beauty. Ambitious early stage plans include a live catwalk, with dramatic themed shows beamed onto every digital screen throughout the venue.

“BLE has become infamous for its themes and we are so excited about next year’s, we’ve been planning it for months. What I love about fashion in licensing is how inclusive it is. It’s accessible to every BLE exhibitor and its appeal is universal: it’s relevant to every demographic and is gender, race, age and generation neutral,” commented Informa Markets VP licensing, Anna Knight.

“We all have an emotional connection with fashion. For years, toys have traditionally been the gateway to consumer products for brands, but apparel is now helping to drive experiences and build brands, especially for categories like eSports, which have an older, hardcore, merch-driven, fanbase. At BLE 2020, we will be exploring fast fashion, haute couture collabs, sustainability, the economy and more.   

“One of the reasons we moved BLE to ExCeL was the potential it offered to create a more experiential show. We proved that this year with our activations and Fresh off the Runway showcase. But, next year, our fashion theme will really highlight what ExCeL can offer BLE and our exhibitors and visitors.”

BLE 2019’s activations included Beyond the Book (publishing), Arcade (gaming and eSports) and Heritage X Interiors.

Knight continued: “They were a huge hit with visitors: interactive, inspirational, bold and beautiful, a real testament to the impact creative, successful licensing programmes can have at retail.”

BLE 2020 takes place at ExCeL London from 6-8 October 2019. Find out more at

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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