The BLE Blog

My BLE: 5 mins with Penguin’s Richard Haines

headshot (1)Richard is Acquisitions and New Business Manager, Penguin Children’s at Penguin Random House and has been visiting BLE for eight years. We asked him for a snapshot of his show experiences. 

Richard has worked in publishing since 2004 and has specialised in acquiring licensed content to be turned into books, first at HarperCollins and now at Penguin Random House. He works across the children’s list on key brands including The Clangers, Peppa Pig, World of Warriors and The Beano as well as leading the development of new I.P such as the TV show Puffin Rock. Richard was also part of the 2014 License This! judging panel.

How many years have you been attending the show? 

I think this will be my 8th BLE, so I have been coming along for quite a few years now.

How long do you usually stay for?
The whole thing, I usually end up with meetings every 30minutes for most of the 3 days and then there are always various drinks or dinners in the evening.

What do you remember about your first visit?
Weirdly probably the costume characters, I was new to licensing so it was a bit strange to see loads of costumes wandering the halls and no kids to interact with them!

Have your needs changed in terms of what you want from the show?
Whilst my job has changed over the past 8 years my needs from the show have remained relatively unchanged. I always aim to look for new trends, find potential new partners and catch up with as many people across the industry as possible.

What do you love most about BLE?
It’s great to catch up with everyone and to get a real overview of the whole industry and what is working.

When I’m at BLE one thing I always do is…
Whinge about not getting time to eat during the show.

What do you do about lunch?
See above, usually end up relying to the kindness of people with stands and lots of snacks.

What are you on the hunt for this year?
Same as always – exciting new brands we can partner on, we don’t tend to be specific about age ranges or genders. If it’s great content then we are interested in it.

What will make it a successful show for you this year?
The quality of the meetings, if we are having lots of exciting meetings with new and current partners then the show will have been a success for us.

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