The licensing market in Italy continues to grow and the number of companies interested in developing licensed products is increasing. Testament to this was the high attendance at the Bologna Licensing trade Fair (BLTF), the only fair event in Italy dedicated to the trade in licenses for the use of established brands and characters. This event, in its tenth edition and organised by BolognaFiere, concluded today at the Bologna Exhibition Centre. The BLTF 2017 involved the participation of 46 exhibitors, representing 800 brands. The key players from the licensing sector in Italy (such as CPLG, Atlantyca, Rai and Rainbow) were in attendance as were the big international players (Mattel, Warner Bros., Turner, Viacom, Sanrio and Hasbro).
During the event, BolognaFiere announced its creation of a new professional event for commercialization and trade in publishing rights to be held in New York. Due to take place from the 30th May to the 1st June in 2018 the event will include a section dedicated to licensing, open to Italian and European specialized companies.
According to the “Italian Licensing Industry Survey 2017”, carried out by PwC in collaboration with the international Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and Licensing Italia, in 2015 in Italy royalties relating to the trade in licenses and the development of products based on established brands and intellectual property achieved revenues of 1.2 billion euros. The sector is experiencing notable growth that has almost doubled the volume of business since 2013 when earnings from royalties were worth 680 million euros. The most dynamic business sector was shown to be fashion, which registered 613.9 million euros in revenues from royalties (52.8% of the total). Other important sectors are cartoon characters with earnings of 178.2 million (15.3%), automotive licensing with 101.2 million (8.7%), clothing with 86.4 million (7.4%) and sport with 56.9 million (4.9%).
"The licensing market continues to grow and for ten years our fair has been able to represent the best of this positive trend,” announced Marco Momoli, commercial director Italy of BolognaFiere. "During the three days of the event, the licensing pavilion was packed with visitors and our exhibitors’ stands hosted a number of meetings with potential clients. In the wake of this success we announced that our new fair event in 2018 in New York for the commercialization and trade in publishing rights will also include a section dedicated to licensing: we aim to offer Italian companies a new opportunity to introduce their own intellectual property to the large American market."
During the BLTF 2017 around 30 events, conferences, presentations and demonstrations took place, organized by the Fair and also by the exhibitors. Licensing Retail Day, in its fifth edition and organized in collaboration with Largo Consumo, saw over 200 B2B meetings involving important European and international distribution networks. New initiatives this year included the first edition of the Bologna Licensing Award, a prize for the best project for licensing and product development created in the period 2015-2016 by exhibitors at the event: the winners of the award were Peppa Pig, Barbie, The Smurfs, Rollinz, Despicable Me–Franchise Minions, Trolls and Paw Patrol. BLTF 2017 also experienced impressive growth in its online channels: over 12 thousand unique users on the event website with over 67 thousand page views. The new Twitter profile was also inaugurated, resulting in over 200 Tweets over the course of the three days of the event, in addition to the activities on the existing Linkedin profile. The next edition of the BLTF is due to take place from the 26th-28th March 2018,at the same time as the Children’s Book Fair.