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BLE 2019 enjoys visitor growth as 2020 theme confirmed

3% rise in 2019 visitor numbers; fashion theme confirmed for 2020.

Barely a week since the shutters came down and the last costume character waddled off into the sunset, the organiser of Brand Licensing Europe has confirmed that fashion will be the sole theme for 2020.

This year’s event achieved record visitor numbers once again with a rise of 3% to 8,062 and exhibiting companies also increased, from 264 to 268.

The 2020 event – which will run at ExCeL London from October 6-8 – will live and breathe fashion licensing including apparel, footwear, accessories and beauty.

Early stage plans include a live catwalk with 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,” said Anna Knight, vp licensing at Informa Markets. “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.

“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.”

Anna continued: “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.”

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