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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 Thomas Merrington, Creative Director, Live & Experiential at Penguin Ventures.
Thomas, always great to chat. When did you first attend BLE?
Years ago when I joined BBC Worldwide. We were launching ZingZilla’s brand new musical show. As my first experience of licensing it was hugely exciting to be part of this show – filming at Pinewood, recording at Abbey Road Studios… So to finally be there for the big licensing launch was really exciting.
What’s your best BLE memory?
It’s actually a photo! I was reasonably new to Penguin Ventures and we just all took this spontaneous shot with a Deadpool statue. I think it captures how we were all feeling in the moment.
There it is – great snap! Now, what makes for a good BLE meeting?
The best kind of meetings are like the best conversations – where both parties are interested and interesting, asking questions and coming up with ideas. It then becomes a conversation about possibilities – both creative and commercial. These sorts of brainstorm meetings are always the most fun and the most energising.
What’s your key objective for this year’s BLE?
We have just onboarded The World of Eric Carle, so from a team point a view, having lots of new conversations about this is key. For me personally, it’s about connecting with new live and experiential partners and catching up with all the amazing creative agencies we work with to find out what’s new.
Before we let you go, can you give us a BLE tip or recommendation? Could be a restaurant, pub, venue or show advice…
It’s actually more a practical one. Have a stand builder that can deliver a seamless build and have a support team on the stand. BLE is always about sales and meetings, but it’s the people in our team who run the stand, sit on reception, bring in the snacks and field the walk-ons. They are invaluable to a smooth operation, so a big shout out from me to Melissa Minty and Celeste Po Wing Chu in the Ventures team who will be our front of house again this year.
Amazing – and you’re right, they’re very much the unsung heroes of BLE. One last question, where is your stand this year?
Penguin Ventures is at C164.
Great! Thanks again Thomas.
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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