The BLE Blog

My BLE: 5 mins with Helena Mansell-Stopher of Bulldog Licensing

Helena headshotHelena Mansell-Stopher has held senior positions at Mattel, Hit Entertainment, 4Kids, Marvel and is currently Retail Director at Bulldog Licensing.

During her career, she has helped boost major brands including Thomas and Friends, Barbie, Spider Man, and is currently driving retail alignment for Shopkins, Plants verses Zombies,Henson, EA, Shoot, Garfield and many more.

How many years have you been attending the show?
15 years.

How long do you usually stay for?
The show starts for us on a Sunday where we meet with the brand owners and licensors for business reviews, brand plans and brand strategies for the brands we represent prior to the show kicking off –  where we would then meet current partners, seek out new partners and meet retailers.

What do you remember about your first visit?
At that point I had never experienced the US Licensing Expo so the UK show was huge. I was extremely excited to see what other brands were out there across TV, film, art, sport – the full world of licensing out there on show at its best.

Have your needs changed in terms of what you want from the show?
My needs have changed as my roles have changed through the years but the biggest change to the show is the amount of retailers that now attend. We can now directly influence retailers which is an advantage in cutting through the competition, the show has also grown with international visitors which is important as we represent brands across EMEA.

What do you love most about BLE?
That the industry is in one place, you can see multiple retailers and partners across multiple territories, across multiple categories. To plan meetings with that many people, with the scale that it reaches, could take you a full year of travelling, we get to do all this business in three days. It’s hard work, intense and exciting as we are such a sociable industry.

When I’m at BLE one think I always do – plan, plan, plan to maximise the opportunities. You have to know what you want to achieve and by when as you don’t want to miss out.

What do you do about lunch?
I don’t have any, who has time to eat at BLE!!!! (not recommended but true)

What are you on the hunt for this year?
To maximise my UK retail meetings and meet European retailers to drive our brands overseas.

What will make it a successful show for you this year?
To have a good level of interest from both partners and retailers across our full brand portfolio and to tick the boxes of what I set out to achieve with each individual meeting.


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