After meeting with indie booksellers, publishers, distributors, librarians, and the American Booksellers Association, the BookExpo team has announced a “reimagining” of the annual book industry event to deliver new value to attendees.
As explained in a February 16 letter from BookExpo & BookCon Event Director Brien McDonald, changes in 2018 include:
The addition of the new “Editor’s Hours” program, which will enable exhibitors to offer informal chats among booksellers and editors in the exhibitor booths. Publishers will provide BookExpo with the editors and imprints being featured, and BookExpo will promote them in a master schedule shared with booksellers. This will be held on all days of the show. ABA will continue to hold the popular “Meet the Editors” program, which invites booksellers to visit publishers’ offices throughout New York City to meet with staff.
The addition of the June 1 “Publicists In-Booth Meet-Up” program, which will enable publishers to list their publicists’ availability for in-booth meet-ups in the BookExpo Connect app. Booksellers will also be able to upload their store profile to share with publicists in advance to make meetings more productive. ABA will continue to host its “Publicist Speed Dating” program at BookExpo.
Attracting new bookseller attendees from outside the northeast and increasing the overall number of booksellers attending by dedicating a staff person to reach out to new stores and stores that have not recently attended, supported by a new scholarship program rolling out in March. BookExpo will also provide a concierge in each aisle who can quickly connect booksellers to the proper person in exhibitors’ booths to facilitate a conversation. Thanks to a significant financial commitment from Reed Exhibitions, ABA member booksellers can reserve rooms at the 2018 Hotel ABA — The New Yorker, a Wyndham Hotel — at a rate of $200 per night, including all taxes and fees; BookExpo will also be offering “NYC on a dime” travel and dinner discounts.
The addition of two stages featuring highly promoted programming with authors, as well as the return of the Thursday evening Main Stage program.
More media coverage, which will include a virtual press room for exhibitors and booksellers to upload press releases. The BookExpo public relations agency will match these releases to the appropriate media to drive coverage, and media tours for key press will be offered to bring staff to booths.
A new area dedicated to non-book items, where booksellers can learn about products that can improve store traffic and increase profits.
An expansion of BookCon’s audience beyond the young adult core by adding key genres, such as mystery/thriller, sci-fi, romance, family activities, and more.
Registration for BookExpo 2018 is underway. The annual trade show, which will feature a variety of programming for ABA members, will be held from Wednesday, May 30, through Friday, June 1, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
To receive a free badge to the show, booksellers at ABA member stores will need to provide an ABA member ID number during the BookExpo registration process. Booksellers who don’t know their ABA member ID number should send a request with their name, title, and store name to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 637-0037, ext. 7536.