BLE tips & tricks with… Bulldog Licensing’s Rob Corney

With BLE fast approaching, we picked the brains of regular attendees and exhibitors on how to make the most of the show. Up next is Bulldog Licensing’s Group Managing Director, Rob Corney.

Rob, thanks for making time. When did you first attend BLE?
Bulldog first attended the year we started the company – in 2007 – but I’ve been attending BLE since I first started in the industry back in 2000.

What’s been your best BLE memory?
There are a lot of great memories from BLE, but launching Shopkins has to be one of the best. We were only appointed as agent about four weeks before the show and had no signage planned for the brand. We redesigned everything at the eleventh hour and it was incredible. We had queues of people wanting to sign up there and then! We had samples of the collectable on the front desk and – despite having thousands at the start of the show – we’d run out by the end of the first day!

Ha! A good sign! Now, what makes for a good BLE meeting?
BLE acts in two ways – it’s a place to showcase opportunities new and old to existing partners, and it’s a place to meet potential new clients.

For existing partners, preparation makes the best meetings. The show is like nothing on earth. There’s music, shouting, a mariachi band trying to navigate a 12 foot Toothless whilst dodging Cookie Monster… Trying to bring an oasis of calm and organisation to make an effective catch up requires a plan. With that in place, the show is an amazing venue for intensive updates with both licensees and retailers.

For new partners, it’s important to have resources available on the stand to help explain the process of licensing, who we are and what services we offer. There are amazing opportunities to find new partners at the show but licensing can be a daunting process… Many have tried approaching a major studio and found themselves either unanswered or unwelcome, so it’s important that we are there to help bring fresh ideas into the industry by helping people navigate the complexities and risks.

Great points. What’s your key aim for this year’s BLE?
BLE will be another opportunity to showcase our portfolio of market-leading brands and to continue to build and refine our plans with our retail and licensee partners. From Care Bears and Sesame Street through to Magic Mixies, That’s not my… and Odo, we have a portfolio that delivers stellar numbers for all our partners – and which is fit for purpose in the current retail environment.

Focusing on sell through rather than sell in has always been a key mantra for the company and our desire to plan ahead for this means people are able to see our brands as safe bets in challenging times.

Before we let you go, can you give us a BLE tip or recommendation? Could be a restaurant, pub, venue or show advice…
As with all trade shows, if you want to eat at the venue, make sure you’ve got a decent spending limit on your cards. There’s a reason there’s a defibrillator on the wall next to the takeaways… It’s for when they give you the bill.

Haha! And where is Bulldog based this year?
We’re at A190.

Great stuff. Thanks Rob!

If you still haven’t registered for BLE this year, click here to do so!

BLE 2023 runs at ExCeL London from October 4th to 6th 2023.

Brand Licensing Europe

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