Brand Licensing Europe visitor numbers soar by 28%

Record numbers of retailers and visitors from France, Germany, Italy and Spain attended Brand Licensing Europe 2023, which took place at ExCeL, London last week (4-6 October).

9,649 licensing professionals attended this year’s event (including exhibitors), an increase of 19% over 2022. In fact, last year’s total attendance figure was surpassed by 1pm on the show’s second day.

Pure visitor numbers, meanwhile, soared by 28%.

1,166 retailers from 57 countries were in attendance – the highest in the show’s history and an increase of 31% on last year.

Just some of the retailers attending included Uniqlo, Zara, Amazon, Benetton, The Entertainer, ASOS, C&A, H&M, Calzedonia, Carrefour, Fat Face, Galeries Lafayette, Harrods, Aldi, Decathlon, Diechmann, Next, El Corte Ingles, Forbidden Planet, Frasers Group, Primark, Poundland, Accessorize, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Card Factory, Hamley’s, Claire’s Accessories, HMV, Iceland, John Lewis & Partners, Legends, Lidl, Lipsy, Asda and Selfridges among others.

“This year’s retail presence has been incredible, with really strong attendance from fashion and toy retailers,” commented Laura Freedman-Dagg, head of retail. “We’ve also seen an increase in gift and novelty retailers as well as value retailers like Poundland, Matalan, Pepco and Primark. It’s brilliant seeing the retail strategy we introduced in 2021 really paying off to the benefit of the entire industry.”

Other key stats were:

  • Licensing professionals attended from 100 different countries, with a 28% increase in FIGS (France, Italy, Germany and Spain) territories, the highest on record.
  • There were 229 exhibiting companies, a 12% YOY increase, including 72 new exhibiting companies, also the highest on record.
  • There were over 5,100 meetings pre-arranged in the show’s Online Meetings Platform (a 17% increase on 2022) and many thousands more took place onsite.


In addition, the theme for both Licensing Expo 2024 (21-23 May) and Brand Licensing Europe 2024 (24-26 September) has also been confirmed: Brands at Play.

“To celebrate the concept of play, we are dedicating 2024 to Brands in Play, a theme that will run as an undercurrent across BLE and Licensing Expo to spotlight the incredible innovations in play, the power it holds in every stage of life and the creativity it allows when building brands,” commented Anna Clarke, svp licensing, Informa Markets. “Immersive entertainment, storytelling and fan engagement are changing, and the concept of play is changing with it. Today, brands are creating multi-generational, omnichannel play patterns that permeate video games, tabletop, board and card games, location-based entertainment, immersive theatre, sports and esports, toys and kidult culture.

“Brands are also playing in new spaces, building ground-breaking new extensions and bringing the brand licensing business to life in increasingly creative ways.”

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