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European trade readies for next week’s Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids

Next week will see the return of the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids, with the 17th edition running alongside the popular Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Taking place from 8-11 April, the international licensing event will welcome a raft of exhibitors and visitors to the BolognaFiere Exhibition Centre.

The licensing business fair is an integral part of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) which in 2023 celebrated its 60th anniversary with an enormously successful edition that attracted 1,456 exhibitors from 90 countries and regions of the world and 28,894 visiting professionals.

The new edition of BLTF/K, in Hall 29 – Mall 2, will be packed with content and services. In addition to the exhibition area and events room for launching and presenting brands, the Licensing Business Lounge will be available for hosting appointments and exhibiting products.

In addition, the new BCBF TV/Film Rights Centre area has been designed to welcome audiovisual producers and facilitate networking with the publishing world for a greater book-to-screen offering, and has been realised in cooperation with Book on a Tree. Among the companies participating in the first edition of this new business area are industry leaders such as Mediatoon, Netflix and Movimenti Production. In addition, more than 300 meetings have been organised between registered audiovisual producers and publishers exhibiting at BCBF.

There will also be sustainability-themed exhibitions and initiatives, in-depth coverage of the retail and fashion sectors, with opportunities for meetings between operators in these two areas and exhibitors.

In collaboration with Licensing Magazine, BLTF/K is also organising the fourth edition of the International Kids Licensing Days (IKLD).

Three days of panel discussions about the latest trends in licensing and publishing will take place from 8-10 April, with focus sessions on gaming, Artificial Intelligence and the adaptation of books into audiovisual formats. Some sessions will be dedicated to landmark anniversaries, such as 50 years of Hello Kitty and 35 years of Elmer.

Scheduled speakers include Yulia Amano (Kodansha, Japan); Ludwig Kullander (Astrid Lindgren Company, Sweden); Tadeja Irmančnik (Outfit7, Slovenia); Paul Black (Andersen Press, UK); Silvia Figini (Sanrio, Italy); Daniele Tombini (Smiley World, UK); Francesca Perri (Tonucci & Partners, Italy); Gary Pope (Kids Industries, UK); Morghan Fortier and Brett Jubinville (Skyship Entertainment, Canada); Neal Hoskins (WingedChariot, Poland); and Gianluca Marani (Funny Tales, Italy).

Another new feature at this edition is the Licensing Portfolio Reviews, with more than 190 meetings in three days. With a speed-dating format, 16 leading international companies in the sectors of audiovisual production, gaming, toys, fashion and stationery including Devolver Digital, Funny Tales, Animoka, Gaumont, Pigna, Awakening Games, IllustraBimbi, Red Glove, Movimenti Production, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, Headu, Seven Spa, Enanimation, J. Brand International, MS Edizioni and Kreaktiva Lab – will meet with young illustration talents from all over the world. The meetings will be held in Hall 30, at The Illustrators Survival Corner.

More than 1,000 brands and numerous exhibitors will be present at BLTF/K 2024.
More than 1,000 brands and numerous exhibitors will be present at BLTF/K 2024.

More than 1,000 brands and numerous exhibitors will be present at BLTF/K 2024, including The Pokémon Company International, DeAPlaneta Entertainment, Universal Products & Experiences, Sanrio, Pea, Mattel, Boing, Rai Com, Maurizio Distefano Licensing, Mondo TV, TF1 Licensing, Cool Things, Sbabam, Starbright, Grani & Partners, Dynit, Leoni and Kreaktiva Lab among others.

The fair will also feature the awards ceremony of the 7th edition of the Bologna Licensing Awards, the only industry accolade in Italy for international licensors/agencies, licensees and retailers, concerning the development of intellectual property and brands.

The awards attracted a total of 182 entries from all over Europe (Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Scandinavia) and other parts of the world such as the UK, US, Colombia and China.

The winners – who will benefit from a special showcase at the centre of the event – were selected by a jury composed of: Philippe Guinaudeau (founder, The BrandTrends Group, France); Ian Hyder (ceo, Max Publishing, UK); Helena Mansell-Stopher (founder, Products of Change, UK); Cristina Paesani (art and fashion expert, Italy) and Astrid Specht (editor of TOYS and 1st Steps, Germany).

The award categories cover Best Preschool Licensing Project, Best Kids Licensing Project, Best Teen Licensing Project, Best Young Adult Licensing Project, Best Retail Project, Best Fashion Project, Best Licensed Publishing Project, Best Licensed Toy Project, Best Promotion/Loyalty campaign, Promotion: Best Licensed Kiosk Product, Best Licensed Sustainable Project, Best Property of the Year.

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