As the start date of BLE is approaching, the licensing world bustles with the expo's Matchmaking. Numerous licensors and licensees, looking to launch new licensing ventures or revive the existing ones, seek to meet one another. According to the BLE stats, more than 1,700 meetings were booked through their Matchmaking service last year. The number of BLE participants grows exponentially, and it will likely be even higher at the expo this October. Understanding the complexity of the situation, and with the tremendous number of this year's pre-booked BLE meetings in mind, our team decided to write a guideline for making the most of the participants’ time at the expo, outlining the four essential clauses.
Recognise Your Business Targets
Before taking any action, it’s a good idea to remember what the core licensing goals of your brand are in the upcoming future. As Brand Licensing Europe sets trends for at least half a year ahead (until Vegas Licensing Expo), brands should understand what they want to have accomplished by the end of this period to make their attendance to the expo worthwhile. Establishing your business targets will help in making the right connections at BLE. Knowing what you want to accomplish, and why, is the right tactics for winning prospects at the expo.
Estimate The Added Value Of Your BLE Meetings
When attending a meeting, always keep in mind whom you’re meeting with and what is the nature of their business. Preferably, you will have already profiled their needs and interests by the time you meet them physically. The profiling criteria may include the following:
- Brands they’re representing
- Categories they’re representing
- Size and hierarchy of their team
- Experience with other brands, including those in your industry
- Basic financial picture of their business
- Their target customer group
- Their retail (and other) connections
Knowing the above will enable you to estimate whether the prospect is a match to your business and form an idea of a prospective business offer. Organising your agenda of BLE meetings in a suchlike manner will also allow you to sufficiently reflect on the meetings and create a timely and reasonable follow-up plan.
Aim To Reach Targets Quickly, But Ethically
At BLE meetings, you’ll only have about 20 minutes per meeting. Having a high-level target in mind in advance is smart tactics. However, prepare to remain flexible in achieving your goal. Dalai Lama once said, “When you talk, you’re only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new”. Listening sparks trust and might enable you to achieve true win-win situations. Preparation, knowledge of the target company, and the right attitude will make a good impression and likely secure you viable licensing partnerships.
Think About The Follow-up Plan
Expos are just the start of a greater journey with new concepts and partners. Before you take any post-BLE action, strategic outlining of the focal points established at the meetings is indispensable. Jotting down ideas, thoughts, and brief reviews on your conversations during meetings is essential for clarifying your vision for collaboration with future partners.
Remember to sleep well and drink plenty of water. Days at BLE are long and networking nights even longer, so you will need to replenish your energy.
It's going to be awesome, see you there!