The countdown has begun and already we're just six months away from opening the doors to Brand Licensing 2006 at its new home in Olympia's National Hall. The past two months has seen the marketing campaign shift up a gear, with a new appointment, new initiatives and plans to extend our reach to exhibitors, visitors and the media further throughout Europe.
Our new appointment is Jon Gibson, who joins us as event manager. With more than ten years experience in exhibitions, Jon heads up the Brand Licensing sales team and is responsible for our sales strategy. As such, he's an important contact for exhibitors – both first-timers and regular attendees – and a key part of his role is to support them in any way he can.
We are also delighted to announce our new PR agency – Bastion – who will be working closely with us to continue to raise awareness of, and maximise media opportunities for, Brand Licensing, the licensing industry as a whole and most importantly our exhibitors.
Bastion's appointment is just one of many exciting initiatives designed to support exhibitors in the run up to this year's show. In March, we held our first exhibitor drinks evening, which was a big success. We have arranged our second Exhibitor Focus Group meeting for April and a PR and Marketing Excellence workshop for July. And we will – once again - be hosting the LIMA UK Introduction to Licensing Spring Seminar on May 25th, which is a fantastic starting point for anyone new to the industry.
Last year, 14 per cent of our visitors travelled to Brand Licensing from continental Europe, confirming the show's position as a truly European event and the only place in Europe where the whole industry can come together to network, keep up with new trends, products and properties and, most importantly, do business.
With this in mind, we are working closely with Bastion this year to further extend our media reach across six key territories in Europe: France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Benelux and Scandinavia. We are also planning to meet key European journalists and buyers face to face over the coming months and we have extended the reach of the European Hosted Buyers Programme (which I mentioned in the last issue of License! Europe). By pulling these elements together, we aim to ensure exhibitors continue to benefit from meeting important visitors and buyers from overseas as well from the UK.
If you have any questions about Brand Licensing 2006 or would like to comment on anything I've mentioned in this column, then please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org