DSI rocked the annual Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) tradeshow in London, a bustling hub for the worldwide licensing industry. This pivotal event grows partnerships and starts new licensing initiatives. This year’s theme around Location Based Entertainment (LBE) brought fresh conversations about how to engage with consumers through in-person events.
Speaking about the event, Rhys Fleming, Dependable Solutions’ Sales and Marketing Director, encapsulated the essence of BLE, highlighting its role as a catalyst for collaboration, saying “This show is where some of the greatest partnerships and activations in licensing start life, as a whisper, as a what-if, as a chance meeting.” The buzz, energy, and the invaluable interpersonal interactions made this year’s BLE an exciting and unique experience.
One of the core takeaways from our team’s experience was, as the popular adage tells us, if you fail to prepare, you’d better prepare to fail. Paul Hucker, Associate Director of Client Services at Dependable Solutions, has a golden tradeshow rule, built on just this principle, “Set meetings well ahead of the show to ensure our time is well spent with key customers and prospective partners.” And boy did that make for an action packed three days!
But being well prepared isn’t just about filling the calendar with meetings. Keeping our finger on the pulse of the licensing landscape has given us a distinct advantage over the past 15 years exhibiting at BLE. Paul emphasizes that “By researching each company, we identify emerging players, innovative strategies, and potential opportunities.” This knowledge enabled more meaningful conversations with attendees, enhancing our ability to identify fruitful partnerships.
As the licensing world continues to evolve, BLE has helped us keep abreast of new and emerging trends. Marie-Louise Culbert (ML), Dependable Solutions’ Associate Director of Project Management and Senior Client Services Account Manager, is fascinated by the ever-changing licensing landscape that our clients operate in. ML joined the panel discussion on sustainability, where Products of Change (POC) and LEGO provided insights into best practices and the growing importance of sustainability in the licensing industry. Speaking of our own initiatives to support clients in their sustainability journey, ML eagerly shares, “We are excited to release our newest product and contract record enhancements, helping our client monitor sustainability criteria across products and partners.”
This knowledge, however, is nothing without talented, passionate professionals to put into action. Marty Malysz, President of Dependable Solutions, loves the human element of attending BLE each year, commenting, “We saw many Europeans, Americans, and even some of our Australian clients, from all industries during the show, meeting many new clients, face-to-face, for the first time. Meeting in real life is so much better after suffering a few years of Zoom fatigue. Our stand’s location, amongst the football clubs, helps us continue our emphasis on sports licensing, scoring wins with our existing teams and new leagues.”
Brand Licensing Europe is a dynamic and essential event in the licensing industry calendar. Our key takeaways for next year? The importance of being well-prepared cannot be overstated. Scheduling meetings in advance is a key strategy for making the most of your time. Understanding industry trends is also crucial.
And one more thing… don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!
What are your key takeaways from Brand Licensing Europe?
If you didn’t manage to meet us at the show, please get in touch with us via the website:
FUN FACT: If you were wondering about the title of this article, it is a reference to the lyrics “London calling to the faraway towns” from London Calling by The Clash. Put it on full volume!