From Tom Daley to Peppa Pig, the Brand Licensing Europe conference, held at the ExCel exhibition centre in London last week, had something for everyone to enjoy. The conference was a roaring success and was a prime example of how to deliver a conference successfully and safely in a post-Covid world. We were delighted to attend, and thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere, meeting with clients and discovering the latest trends across the sector. The conference provided us with key valuable takeaways that will help us progress in the short-term future.

Face to face is irreplaceable

Whilst the adaptation to virtual working has been surprisingly seamless throughout the pandemic, the value that can be acquired from meeting face to face can never be underestimated. The BLE reminded us of this fact. We enjoyed face to face conversations with a variety of people that brought a depth and spark that is often difficult to replicate within a virtual environment. Meeting with partners who we had previously only met in a virtual setting was a privilege. The buzz that comes with connecting with people in a physical space BLE is how many derive pride and motivation from their work. Long may the return of relative normality continue.

Sustainability was a hot topic

High on the agenda for many organisations at BLE was sustainability. With the ripples of change gathering momentum after COP26, it was inspiring to learn about the devotion and innovation of numerous organisations to protect our planet. Through their ‘Sustainability Activation’ feature, the BLE championed a host of organisations leading the way. One such example was the LEGO Group, who continue to make excellent strides in their efforts to remove all single-use plastics form all packaging by 2025.[1] It is clear that sustainability will continue to be a key driver in organisational decision making for years to come.

Consumer products play a key role in diversity and inclusion

After Team GB brought inspiration and stardust to the first keynote speech at BLE, ViacomCBS shared insights from their impactful toy research study in the second. Their keynote focussed on the impact that toys and consumer products have on inclusion within our society and demonstrated the opportunities that exist for organisations within the sector to empower diversity. The talk also highlighted the importance of authentic representation in dolls and the impact that this has on choice.[2] The toys industry will play a vital part in shaping the inclusive society we want for our future.




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