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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 Mint Brands Owner John Vasta.
John, thanks for making time. When did you first attend BLE?
First attendance at BLE for me was 20 years ago this year, back in 2003! I’d moved from Melbourne to London earlier that year and it was exciting to be there exhibiting with the Fox Kids team.
What’s been your best BLE memory?
It would have to be the show back in 2012 where we exhibited with the Bin Weevils brand. It was my first experience of setting everything up with a small team. While it took a lot of organising, it was really rewarding to see the stand come to life and have a fantastic few days at the show with lots of great meetings.
On that, what makes for a good BLE meeting?
Post Covid, I feel the focus of trade fair meetings has shifted, at least for me. With video calls becoming the norm, we’re seeing more of our international partners and seeing presentation content more regularly. In the past, a lot of this visual presentation happened in crammed trade fair meetings, so the focus was on seeing as much as possible in 30 minute blocks. Now, many trade fair meetings are about building stronger business and personal connections with contacts and prospects. The presentations can happen online, but the human connection is still such an important part of business – particularly in the relationship-based licensing industry.
Great answer. And what’s your key aim for this year’s BLE?
My main objectives at BLE – and any licensing trade fair – is to meet with existing brand owners I work with, as well as looking for new properties to represent in Australia and New Zealand.
Before we let you go, can you give us a BLE tip or recommendation? Could be a restaurant, pub, venue or show advice…
At the show I think it’s always important to leave some room in the schedule for unplanned meetings for old and new opportunities you bump into. Outside of the show, I’d recommend Da Mario in Kensington – reportedly Princess Diana’s favourite pizza restaurant and the birthplace of the Pizza Express chain!
Fab! Thanks John
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.
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