A number of new visitor attractions have been introduced for Brand Licensing in October. As the show grows in size and scope, what can visitors and exhibitors expect this year?
Efforts to attract visitors to Brand Licensing are entering their final phase. 'The team are working to make sure that the visitor experience is effective and memorable, and that exhibitors make the most of all the opportunities that being a part of the show represents,' says event director Jessica Blue.
Her words echo the fact that Brand Licensing has grown substantially each year since it started, bucking the wider exhibition industry trend for shrinking shows and falling visitor numbers. It seems that licensing remains a highly attractive business.
ExhibitorsTo date there are 115 exhibitors including 40 new ones. Familiar names like Hit and the BBC are joined by new companies, such as fashion brand Ghost and Beanstalk, which will bring its roster of motoring brands, as well as Alan Titchmarsh and Jack Daniels. The sports brands, Moto GP and One World Championship, will be represented by Dorma Sports. The NBA, the iconic US basketball brand loved in Europe for its fashion and sport associations, will also exhibit. And The Natural History Museum is the latest cultural and heritage organisation to sign up.
New Visitor AttractionsAt the new Advice Centre, exhibitors and visitors can connect with IP lawyers, auditors, safety standard practitioners and other professionals who are expert in the more technical aspects of licensing.
The new International Pavilion will make a feature of international companies. The number of International exhibitors is increasing year on year, and includes Habbo Hotel, Southern Star, Celebrities Entertainment and Dupuis for 2005.
The Product Showcase is an initiative that has been introduced to inspire visitors to Brand Licensing by presenting the newest properties at the show in a dedicated area.
A meeting room, situated on the show floor, and built specificially with presentations in mind, will be available for exhibitors to hire in order to entertain, meet or present to a captive audience.
VisitorsSince 2002, visitors to Brand Licensing have increased by 41% and the number of European visitors has increased by 158%. Retail visitors are also on the up (an increase of 48% since 2002) and particular efforts are being taken this year to attract additional European buyers. For example, a marketing programme targets Europe's top 50 retailers and research is being undertaken to establish what they want from the show.
Brand Licensing will again work with the British Retail Consortium; it has widened its activity with retail trade magazines and will host Spanish and French retail delegations this year.
To help individual exhibitors make the most of their presence, marketing manager Helen Simms has a number of promotional and marketing tools that are available for exhibitors to take advantage of and there is a full-time PR manager scouting for press coverage for exhibitors. The show itself will be previewed in some 40 press titles. Last year, this included the UK's Daily Star, thanks to the appearance of Jordan and Peter Andre. What will it be this year?