First pitchers announced for Brands & Retail UK Summer Conference

Ryan Beaird, Event Director of the Brands & Retail UK Conference, has confirmed a host of big-name participants for the Summer conference, which takes place at the British Library, London, on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 July 2022.

Companies confirmed so far include:

TeamGB – Day 1 and Day 2

The Victoria and Albert Museum – Day 1

Mattel – Day 2

Paramount – Day 1 and Day 2

Acamar Films – Day 2

Kelebek Media – Day 2

MGA Entertainment – Day 2

Penguin Ventures – Day 2

Warhammer – Day 2

With only twelve 15-minute pitching slots left for Day One (6 July) for Lifestyle, Commercial, Heritage, Charity and Sports brands and only seven 15-minute pitching slots left for the Character and Gaming brands on Day Two (7 July), opportunities are limited.

Ryan says: “If you’re already a licensee or retailer of any the brands, please do email to pre-register as the capacity is limited to 200 seats on both days. As a reminder, the conference is free, and you can have up to three members of staff attend from your company.

“The B&RUK Winter conference, which took place on 24 February this year at the British Library, was a huge success. With over 200 key executive representatives from brands, licensees and retailers attending, the feedback from the audience on the format and the quality of the screenings was all positive. I’m excited the Summer conference is now really taking shape.

“The Winter conference sold out in weeks of being announced and I was operating a reserve list so knew we could expand the conference into two days for the summer, which must mean I’m doing something right for the industry.

“Licensees who attended the 24 February conference are already pre-registering for both Days One and Two, and I am speaking with the main UK Retailers about them bringing their wider buying teams and building the retail side of the audience.

“Brands & Retail UK conferences are only open to licensees and retailers, and to watch the screenings and presentations you will need to sign a conference NDA and will be vetted for attendance.

“I am also finalising the closing Summer Terrace Party which take place on the terrace at the British Library from 5pm on 7 July and will only be open to the licensees and retailers attending both days and the brands taking part.

“With capacity for 200 people on the terrace it will be a great place to do business after watching the great screenings and presentations during the day.”

If you wish to book a remaining pitching slot please email Ryan at, and if you are a retailer or licensee and wish to reserve your seats now you can do so by reaching out.

More information is available at


Brands & Retail Pitch Smarter Summer Conference set for 6 & 7 July

Following huge support for the Winter Pitch Smarter Conference from the UK’s consumer product and retail industry, Ryan Beaird, Event Director for Brands & Retail UK, has announced there will be a Summer Conference in July.

Taking place on 6–7 July 2022, again at the British Library, the event will close with a Summer Terrace Party for over 200 industry executives at the end of Day 2.

“The support from licensors, licensees and retail buyers has been phenomenal for the Winter Conference and demand was so high I had a reserve list of licensors wanting to book pitching slots, which meant I had to expand the show,” says Beaird.

“I am delighted that Acamar Films, Mattel and ViacomCBS are supporting the new summer event, having taken the first three slots on Day 2, and I will be announcing more great brands who have reserved slots very shortly.

“I now want to open the event up to sports, charity, publishing, heritage, commercial/lifestyle brands, so planning is going into bringing these licensors into the conference and giving them the opportunity to share their updates and their fantastic brands to a room full of licensees and retailers.

“I am working with the British Library events team on holding the conference party on their amazing Roof Terrace which will be welcome news to those reading this. I think we are all longing for sunshine and being outside again.

“I am also delighted to confirm that the conference price for the audience will stay the same – 100 per cent FREE.”

Free registration for the Brands & Retail UK Pitch Smarter Summer Conference will go live on 25 February 2022.

For more information about taking part, visit or contact Ryan Beaird at

Twenty tickets (at time of press) are still available for the Winter party at the Ivy Club on 24 February. Priced at £75 each, they are available from the website.


BREAKING NEWS: Brands & Retail UK Pitch Smarter Conference postponed to 24 February

Ryan Beaird, Event Director of the first Brands & Retail UK conference (sponsored by Fabacus), has confirmed there is a revised date for the event. The conference will now take place on 24 February 2022 (9am till 6pm) at the British Library (venue unchanged).

The event party will also be taking place on the evening of 24 Feb 2022 at the Ivy Club from 6pm onwards and tickets are now open to the wider licensing industry priced at £75 each.

“I know this has been a very difficult time for companies and their staff so the brands and myself agreed the event should move to late February, which has been a popular decision,” says Ryan.

“All the brands taking part have supported the change of date and I am delighted to confirm the lineup for the conference has not changed. I am also very pleased Warner Bros will now be taking the final slot and closing the event for us.”

The Retail Buyers panel is also unchanged with Ruth Golighlty (ASDA George), Karen Hewitt ( and David Lucas (Studio Retail) answering the audiences’ questions.

Stephen Phipson, CBE CEO of, will also deliver the keynote for the new date as well.

“Visitors’ safety was always on my mind and I think we will be in a better position later in February,” concludes Ryan. “I look forward to seeing everyone on the 24th Feb – fit and healthy”.

The event is free for Licensees and Retail Buyers – visit

Consultants and service providers are welcome to book a ticket to the networking party at the Ivy Club and watch the Retail Panel and keynote from 4pm. There will be a coach taking attendees to the Ivy club at 6pm.

Ryan can be contacted at by email at

Keynote speaker and expert panel revealed for Brands & Retail Pitch Smarter Conference

Ryan Beaird, Event Director of the Brands & Retail UK conference – sponsored by global technology business Fabacus – has confirmed the retail buyer panellists and keynote speaker who will close the event, which takes place at the British Library on 20 January 2022 (9am till 6pm).

“I am delighted to have the support of a great group of prominent licensing retail buyers,” says Ryan. “To confirm, we have Karen Hewitt, co-founder of, Ruth Golightly from George at ASDA and, to round off the panel, David Lucas from Studio Retail. They will all bring a huge wealth of experience to the audience Q&A – and I look forward to hearing their thoughts on the retail industry for licensed products.

“I am also very grateful that Stephen Phipson CBE, the CEO of – the UK manufacturers organisation – will be the conference keynote speaker and will close the event. is the leading voice for UK manufacturers and I am sure the licensees attending will be interested to hear his speech.

“To confirm, the event is 100% taking place. We will adhere to the current government rules and for peace of mind for the attendees I have reduced the audience from 250 to 150, allowing people to spread out in the theatre if they wish – but as a result I now have a very limited amount of seats left.”

Brands Retail UK politely requests that all those coming take a Covid test before the conference and, in line with government guidance, masks will need to be worn inside the theatre during screenings.

The after-event party takes place from 6pm till 9pm at the Ivy Club. The Club is asking that attendees provide proof of a negative Covid test on entry and that masks are worn when entering the premises.

“I have put aside some tickets for consultants, service providers and agents that wish to do some networking in the evening and invite them to come along to watch the panel and keynote from 4:30pm. Tickets cost £75 each for the party, which runs from 6pm till late,” says Ryan.

“I want to thank all the brands taking part and also the event sponsor Fabacus for their continued support.”

The event is free for licensees and retail buyers. Limited tickets are available at

For more information visit or email

Spin Master, Mattel and more come on board for Pitch Smarter Conference

Ryan Beaird, Event Director of the Brands & Retail UK 2022 screening conference, has announced more major global character and entertainment brands have come on board for the inaugural event. The Brands & Retail UK ‘Pitch Smarter’ Conference, sponsored by Fabacus, will take place British Library on the 20 January 2022 from 9am till 6pm.

Joining Bulldog Licensing, ViacomCBS, Hasbro, Moonbug Entertainment, BlueZoo Rights and Acamar Films are Mattel, Spin Master, Penguin Ventures, Warhammer (Games Workshop), MGAE, SEGA and Activision, with only a couple of brands left to be announced.

The event is free for licensees and retail buyers to attend and full registration is now open at

Major character and entertainment UK licensees who have signed up to attend include: Amscan, Aykroyd and Sons, Blueprint Collections, Blues Clothing, Brands In, Brecrest, Cooneen, Dennicci, Danilo, Dreamtex, Character World, (Retail Buyer), Event Merchandising, Golden Bear, Lowe and Sons, Immersive Everywhere, Pyramid International, Rainbow Designs, Rubies, TDP, ToyTopic, Poetic Brands Vtech and Winning Moves.

To round off the day [6pm to midnight] there will be an event party at the exclusive Ivy Club. Anyone booking tickets before 1 December can take advantage of a special early-bird rate of £55; after that, tickets cost £75 each.

Drinks, canapés and bowl food will be served in the glamorous Loft of the Ivy Club. “I’m also putting on karaoke for the more ‘expressive’ types in the Licensing industry,” says Ryan. “And as the event is in January and it will be cold, I will be organising coaches from the British Library to the Ivy Club.”

The booking site is now live for Retail Buyers and Licensees only to attend – details can be found on the event website,

For more information contact







Pitch Smarter Brands & Retail Conference 22: new event to launch in January next year

Ryan Beaird, Pitch Smarter Brands & Retail Conference Event Director (and former Licensing International UK Marketing Manager) has announced a new screening event for the UK licensing industry launching in January next year.

The Pitch Smarter Conference 22 will take place at the British Library on 20 January, from 9am till 6pm, and is free for licensees and retail buyers to attend. Registration is set to open soon at

“In the seven-plus years in the licensing industry I always felt, as did others in the business, the need for a screening day for the UK licensing industry,” says Ryan Beaird. “Feedback from the industry was positive so I felt that, given my years of event experience, the time was right to launch a new event in the calendar. Also, cementing it in the diary as the ‘first’ event in 2022, and before the toy show season started, just made sense. It also fits nicely into the retail calendar by being held in January.

“Our new Pitch Smarter Conference will get everyone in one place, together, on both sides of the licensing industry, making life easier for retail buyers and licensees to see what 20 character and entertainment brands have planned for their existing IPs – but more importantly, the opportunity to see new content and what IP owners and agents have planned for 2022 and going forward. If a brand taking part wants the audience to sign NDAs we can organise this, giving them piece of mind in showing under-wraps content as well.”

Brand owners and licensing agents can book slots of 15 minutes (30 minutes back-to-back slots are available) to screen and showcase their properties on stage in the 250-seat capacity British Library theatre, which has a giant front projection screen. There are only 20 slots available on the day.

There will also be a VIP party after the event for attendees. Details will be announced soon in the licensing press.

Anyone interested in booking a screening slot can email Ryan directly at