The event will still take place from Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd September, although the show will not now open until midday on the Tuesday.
In light of the recent announcement of HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral taking place on Monday 19th September and the confirmation that this date is also a UK Bank Holiday, show organiser Informa has announced a series of minor revisions to the timetable for next week’s BLE event, having been working throughout the weekend to liaise with exhibitors to finalise the new arrangements.
The key changes to the schedule are as follows:
- Build-up hours for the show will be extended on both Saturday and Sunday.
- Build-up will still be allowed on Monday, but it will be optional. There will, however, be a ‘build blackout’ during the hours of the funeral itself, between 10.30 – 12.30. The funeral will be televised onsite, and breakfast will be provided for contractors.
- Exhibitors will be given access to dress their stands between 1800-22.00 on Monday, and then further access will be given between 06.00-12.00 on Tuesday.
- This means that the show will not open until 12.00 on Tuesday 20th, but it will close an hour later at 18.00
- The show will also have extended opening hours on the Wednesday – 08.00-18.00.
The changes will impact a number of timed events that were due to take place on the morning of Tuesday 20th September. These have now been rescheduled as follows:
- Orientation Session: 12-12.20pm (License Global Theatre)
- Show Tour: 12.20 – 12.40pm (departing from the License Global Theatre; various locations)
- Speed Networking for Licensing U delegates: 2.45-3.15pm (Wellness Lounge)
- French Community Drinks: 5.30-6pm (BLE Bar)
- BLE Opening Night Drinks: 6-8pm (BLE Bar and Motul Cafe)
- The organisers also expect a couple of changes to catwalk shows, which will be communicated later in the week.
Speaking to Licensing.biz earlier today, event organiser Anna Knight commented: “The fact that Monday has been designated a bank holiday has given us a lot more headaches than the funeral itself. In addition, we expect some travel disruption on the Monday and Tuesday, so the new set-up and opening hours will give visitors a bit more wiggle room. The ExCeL boulevard will still be open on the Tuesday morning, so people can opt to hold existing meetings in the cafes and restaurants instead of on the show floor if that works best for their schedule. Ultimately, given these unprecedented circumstances, which are totally beyond our control, we wanted to minimise disruption as much as possible.”
BLE and Licensing International will host a joint webinar on Tuesday 13th September at 13:00 BST, in which SVP of Licensing Anna Knight and Licensing International president Maura Regan will talk through the changes and answer any questions. Registration for the webinar is free and can be found here.
Anna continued: “We understand that the adjusted hours will require attendees and exhibitors to reschedule meetings on Tuesday morning and we apologise for the inconvenience this will cause. We very much appreciate everyone’s flexibility and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times. We would like to stress the venue will remain open as usual on Tuesday morning for those with pre-booked travel – there are plenty of seating areas and cafes for those wishing to work or take meetings before the show opens at 12pm.”
With just one week to go until doors open, retailers, manufacturers, product designers and other brand licensing professionals are invited to secure their free ticket on the BLE website. FAQs can be found on the BLE website to help with any questions or expect impact on travel – click here for more information.