The BLE Blog

My BLE: 5 mins with Emma Beeson from Tomato Source

emma cardEmma Beeson is joint owner and Director alongside Sophie Howes, of Tomato Source – a specialist premiums provider working alongside a range of clients including Disney, Lucasfilm, ITV, HIT Entertainment and Turner Broadcasting.

Emma has over 22 years experience in the marketing and promotional premiums industry, cutting her teeth on the traditional marketing and promotional agency side before specialising in the licensed and premiums world.

How many years have you been attending the show?
We have been attending BLE for a number of years now – probably 4 or 5. Always so far as a visitor but who knows it might be our first year exhibiting!

How long do you usually stay for?
We try to stay as long as we can – normally we cover two of the days but sometimes we will be there for the three.

What do you remember about your first visit?
On my first ever visit, I remember walking through the doors and then stopping dead in my tracks – I was genuinely captivated and taken aback by the sheer size of the show, the colour, the noise, the energy – I was so excited to spend a few days surrounded by everything I was truly passionate about (and for those that know me, I did manage to temper my ‘over excited puppy’ look…!)

Have your needs changed in terms of what you want from the show?
I think they have – when we first visited, we were working with a handful of clients from within the industry and one of the core reasons for visiting was, as with many, new business. Now it’s probably more strategic – as we have grown and developed as a company, we now work with many of them, of which I am incredibly proud. As such, visiting the show is more about our on-going relationships and ensuring visibility. Now that we are established and recognised in the industry as a credible and reliable service provider, I believe that our emphasis will switch from visiting to exhibiting moving forward.

What do you love most about BLE?
Lots! But if I had to pick one stand out thing for me it would be – the people. Talking with people I know and getting to know people I don’t. Everyone who works within the licensing industry is so passionate about what they do and this translates into exciting and engaging conversations. It’s people that ultimately bring ideas to life – and that’s lots of what we do. Why wouldn’t you and how couldn’t you get excited about that – what’s not to love!

When I’m at BLE one thing I always do is… Make time to properly walk the floor – it’s incredibly important to find the time to simply take in everything but on the first day, it has to be to watch the character parade!

What do you do about lunch?
I generally tie lunch in with a client meeting on their stand and bring them a sandwich otherwise they don’t eat!

What are you on the hunt for this year?
There are two key objectives for us this year – the first is to catch up with our clients and develop exciting relationships further and the second is to identify franchises that we are not currently working with in order to ascertain future opportunities!

What will make it a successful show for you this year?
Achieving the above!

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