From morning spin classes through to lights out, the Global Licensing Group event director takes us through her day.
My working day: Ella Haynes, event director, Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets
With Licensing Expo (13-15 June) nearly upon us and BLE less than six months away, we asked Ella to give us an insight into the planning process for both shows, from to-do lists and troubleshooting to the perks of working “in an industry of incredible people”.
7.30am: If I’m working from home, which I do three days a week, I’ll take my dog Marley for a walk for an hour or so. On office days, I’ll do a spin class to kick-start my mornings. I’m definitely an early bird – I’m full of energy when I wake up!
9am: I grab a cup of tea, read through the news and catch up on everything on LinkedIn. Then I write my morning to-do list. I’m a serial box ticker and to-do list re-writer. Once I’m settled with what needs to happen, I check in with the team.
9.30am: We’re in the final stages of planning Licensing Expo (13-15 June), so I’ll be tied up in meetings most of the morning. My key responsibilities as event director are setting the vision and purpose of both the Expo and BLE, alongside Anna Knight. I work across departments to help define our event strategy, objectives, commercial opportunities and milestones along the way. I’m always exploring new ways to help brands activate innovatively, driving unique experiences for both visitors and exhibitors and building new partnerships.
I’m passionate about sustainability and DE&I, so I work closely with our team to build purpose driven narrative and partnerships to ensure we use our platform to spotlight meaningful change. I’m also fortunate to manage a fantastic team of three split across the UK and US, how are the driving force behind the event planning, strategy and customer service delivery in our group.
11.30am: I might have a meeting outside the office, or attend an event. Networking is hugely important and something I personally love doing – putting a face to a name and learning about something or someone new. I try to attend as many industry events as possible.
As an ambassador for both Licensing Expo and BLE, it’s also important that I meet as many people as I can to spread the word that if you are a retailer, marketer or manufacturer, whether you have been in the industry for 10 minutes or 10 years, you are guaranteed to find something that will help your career, your business and your creativity at both events. They are packed with content to inspire you, starting with thousands of brands our exhibitors have available for license globally, through to our keynotes and panel sessions, and our brilliant networking events.
Both shows are designed to help you identify future trends and secure deals with the world’s most influential brands. A great place to start – if you are new to the industry – are the Orientation & Show Floor Tours, which will help you navigate your experience at the shows, offer you advice on where to start and make the most of networking opportunities to build your connections.
1pm: It’s not always possible, but I try to take the full hour for lunch, especially if it’s a nice day. When I’m in London I might go for something to eat with people from the office or walk down the South Bank, which is lovely. If I’m at home, I might take Marley out again.
2pm: More Licensing Expo meetings! The whole team is looking forward to being back in Vegas. Inspired by the amazing success of BLE’s 2022 fashion theme, we have launched the first ever fashion showroom feature at Licensing Expo this year, which will give us the opportunity to spotlight some amazing brands’ creativity and innovation in the fashion and licensing space. We also have an ever-growing list of exciting brands signed to exhibit across all major licensing categories. There are so many highlights to look forward to, but we have a fantastic line up of content and our Opening Night Party with a special guest performing will be announced soon.
4pm: Trouble-shooting time. There are always problems to be solved when putting on big events. Both Covid and the Queen’s State Funeral – which took place the day before BLE 2022 – have shown us that no matter how you try to make events happen seamlessly, they will never go 100% as planned.
However, in adapting so quickly, our team showed just how resilient they are. We’re hugely grateful too to our fantastic exhibitors, contractors and visitors who worked with us to find the best solution.
We couldn’t be more thankful to work – the creativity and innovation we see every day is genuinely exciting. As a group, we are really passionate and pride ourselves on offering geographically and culturally diverse and inclusive events. We love to constantly challenge ourselves to learn and evolve.
6.30pm: Zoom call with the team in the States. Although my working day officially ends at 5.30pm, I do work US hours when I need to. Work/life balance is always mixed in the events industry because there are times when we have insanely busy periods, but we do know they’re coming so at least we can plan for them, and they are balanced out during quieter periods.
7pm: Sunday to Wednesday I love to take my time to cook a nice meal, and just chill out. From Thursday to Saturday, I’ll plan fun things with friends and family. I’m very happy being outdoors, exercising, going for long walks, reading a book and watching TV series.
9.45pm: It’s an early night for me. Always an early night!