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BLE to relocate to ExCeL in 2019

Venue move is part of UBM’s ambitious strategy to evolve the show.

UBM has confirmed that Brand Licensing Europe is relocating to ExCeL London from 2019, as part of its ambitious strategy to evolve the show, attract even more European licensees, retailers and licensors and improve the customer experience for both visitors and exhibitors.

UBM has cited the accessibility and flexibility of space at ExCeL, as well as the thriving out-of-hours social scene the area offers following the 2012 Olympic regeneration programme as reasons behind the decision.

The move is receiving full support of the move from show sponsor, LIMA.

“Moving BLE to east London makes perfect business sense on all sides,” said BLE brand director, Anna Knight. “Over one third of our visitors fly in from continental Europe and we have big plans to grow this – let’s not forget, the show is called Brand Licensing Europe – and the Elizabeth Line (which opens on December 9 and will run every 2.5 minutes) is a total game changer, offering a direct link from ExCeL to Heathrow Airport in just 40 minutes. City Airport is also close by and there are three DLR stations onsite.”

The new transport connections plus the regeneration of the local area will also have wider implications for improving the customer experience at BLE.

The number of hotel rooms within a five-minute walk has more than doubled since 2009 to 2,700. And the Elizabeth Line makes it possible to travel to an additional 40,000 rooms in under 20 minutes.

Anna continued: “We are very aware how sociable the licensing industry is and how important it is to our visitors and exhibitors to have access to great bars and restaurants to continue networking after a full day of meetings.

“Bond Street is just 15 minutes away on the Elizabeth Line, Shoreditch less than half an hour and the Greenwich Peninsula and Canary Wharf a mere stone’s throw. There are 20 restaurants and bars onsite (compared to just eight in 2009), 500 venues within 15 minutes and thousands more in central London.”

UBM also believes the flexibility of space offered by ExCeL (both the volume and variety) will also support its future growth strategy for BLE, allowing the team to redraw the floorplan to make it fairer for all exhibitors no matter how big or small, improve navigation and layout and rethink its screenings programme.

The space will also allow UBM to transform the live experience for visitors and exhibitors with increased and improved activations and experiential installations, more interactive feature content and new branding and sponsorship opportunities for exhibitors.

LIMA president Maura Regan commented: “One of LIMA’s primary missions is to advance licensing around the world, and we are confident that the move of BLE to ExCeL London in 2019 will foster the growth of the show and of the licensing business itself.”

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