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Behind the scenes of Brand Licensing Europe

It’s the turn of the operations team as Source delves into BLE’s inner workings.

Firstly, can you recap on what your role/department covers and your main responsibilities when it comes to BLE?

The Operations team for BLE for 2019 consists of a senior operations manager, Isabelle Ansell (pictured above right); a senior ops exec, Alex Robson (pictured above left); and an ops co-ordinator Kelsey Gulliver. We are responsible for the delivery of the build-up and breakdown and ensuring that the contractors and exhibitors are able to build their stand within the time frame, working with our registration company to ensure a smooth welcome and registration experience for our visitors. We work on delivering all shell scheme stands, feature areas, health and safety, carpet and signage, to name but a few tasks.

How soon does your planning start for the show? How is the ‘to-do’ list broken down?

There is not a stop/start per show, it is a continuous cycle as the following year planning has often started before the show opens and certainly before the wash up from the previous show. The pace and depth, however, really increase around three to four months out from the show. We have a project plan that has the tasks defined and roles shared between us.

What is the first thing you do?

Check the floorplan. This is where the show starts and so it must be compliant with health and safety rules and also have enough space for the sales team to sell.

Can you talk us through a rough timeline of how the year is structured for your team?

Nine to 12 months out I meet with the event director to discuss the feature areas for the show and we work on creating briefs for each area, incorporating areas for sponsorship where necessary. Each month we do a review of the floorplan to ensure it always meets health and safety regulations and the venues criteria. Around six months out we host a ‘kick off’ meeting with all of our contractors to share learnings from the previous show cycle and discuss plans for the next show. From this kick off meeting we work on the project plan which is the ‘ops bible’ for planning.

How important is it for your team to liaise with the rest of the BLE gang – do you have weekly update meetings, etc?

The BLE team is a really inclusive team and has a great value and understanding of the importance of each of our roles to make the show a success. We have bi-weekly catch ups between ops and the event director and event manager, weekly meetings to update the whole team and ongoing conversations with the sales team happen as and when required and become more frequent as we approach the show.

Best bit about your team’s role?

Having the autonomy to make improvements and working on fun feature areas.

Favourite thing about working on BLE?

Always the character parade, it’s the big kid in me. Alex is new to the show this year but I’m hopeful she will love it as much as me!

What is your team’s main role once on site?

Ensuring that all exhibitors and contractors are in the hall in good time to build their stands and working with them to overcome any challenges they may face.

What is the last thing you do before the doors open?

Check with my core team that they are ready for the show to open and then radio through to the organiser’s office and request the tannoy to officially open the show.

Brand Licensing Europe runs from October 1-3 at London’s ExCeL. You can register by clicking here.

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