On Tuesday, October 18, the American Booksellers Association and Reed Exhibitions sent a letter detailing changes to the annual spring book industry trade show to ABA member booksellers. The letter was signed by ABA CEO Oren Teicher; Lance Fensterman, senior vice president, ReedPop; and Brien McDonald, event director, BookExpo and BookCon.
To reflect today’s book industry, “where the constant exchange of information among authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers is essential,” the letter explained, the annual trade show known as BookExpo America will now be called BookExpo. The event will continue to be co-sponsored by ABA and will be run by the ReedPOP group (which runs BookCon, New York Comic Con, and other successful events).
The letter noted that “BookExpo will be scaled to focus on what booksellers want most — to discover new titles and authors, to maximize the opportunities to network with publishers and peers, and to continue learning best practices for running their businesses.”
BookExpo 2017 is set for May 31 to June 2 in New York City, and some key initiatives already in place include the return of an affordable Hotel ABA. Thanks to a significant financial commitment from Reed, The Row NYC Hotel is offering ABA members rooms at $200 a night, which is inclusive of all hotel taxes and fees (approximately $33 per night per room). Hotel ABA registration opened on October 18, so booksellers can reserve a room now.
“Guided by feedback and input from member bookstores, ABA and our valued colleagues at Reed are reinventing BookExpo while implementing a number of important innovations and changes to help ensure that the annual spring event — still the largest annual meeting of independent booksellers — meets the business needs of indie bookstores and helps them better interact with all key segments of the book industry,” said Teicher. “We are excited to be moving ahead with Reed to make BookExpo the best event possible.”
As networking and connecting are key reasons that booksellers go to trade shows, ABA and Reed are working with all exhibitors to ensure that it will be easy for booksellers to set up BookExpo meetings before the show and, also, to identify the industry personnel in publisher booths who are there specifically for meetings with indie booksellers. To maximize attendance and participation, ABA’s Annual Celebration of Bookselling will be moved to Wednesday, the first day of BookExpo programming.
Other popular programming will return and expand at BookExpo, including two sessions of Publicists Speed Dating; Meet the Editors, taking place at publishing houses throughout New York City; the Children’s Book Art Auction, co-sponsored with the Children’s Book Council; targeted educational sessions; and an increase in the number of galleys and ARCs in the Galley Room in the ABA Lounge, which will again be the location for author signings and interaction.
BookCon, a fan event now in its third year, will immediately follow BookExpo. “[BookCon] is expected to draw 25,000 people and garner significant media attention for books and authors,” said McDonald.
The changes outlined, and more to come, “reflect the intention of both ABA and Reed to make the show as responsive as possible to the needs of independent booksellers,” the letter said. Booksellers will be hearing much more about BookExpo in the coming weeks and months — including the opening of show registration in early November.
Feedback and ideas about BookExpo are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.