Last year Frankfurt trade visitors missed being eclipsed by public visitors by a paltry 6,000. This year maybe it will go the other way and public visitors will outnumber trade. Yet no-one would dream of calling Frankfurter Buchmesse a public-facing book fair.
The Turin International Book Fair is expected to clock more than 2022’s 169,000 visitors by the time it concludes this weekend, reports Publishing Perspectives.
Writes Jaroslaw Adamowski (“with Porter Anderson”): “Piero Crocenzi, the public-facing fair’s CEO, tells Publishing Perspectives that since 2019 when the event’s organization was taken over by a new company, the show has bloomed.”
Lessons there for Gareth Rapley, but let’s stay on topic and try make sense of what define a public-facing book fair in the 2020s.
Over at Publishing Perspectives just the previous day, Adamowski told us of the Turin Rights Centre attracting 560 professional from 46 countries, with 5,200 meetings scheduled.
Can we still call Turin a “public-facing” book fair with that level of professional engagement? Repeat for the many, many other international book fairs and festivals that are increasingly simultaneously managing public and and trade interests. Sharjah, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, Bangkok, Buenos Aries…the list is endless.
Increasingly, the terms “public-facing” and “trade” book fairs have no real meaning. Consider the mighty Buchmesse itself, which last year was pretty much a 50-50 trade and public event, with 93,000 trade visitors and 87,000 public visitors. Meaning Frankfurt trade visitors missed being eclipsed by public visitors by a paltry 6,000. This year maybe it will go the other way and public visitors will outnumber trade.
Yet no-one would dream of calling Frankfurter Buchmesse a public-facing book fair.
It’s in the interests of the industry globally to expand book fairs and festivals to attract as many participants as possible across both trade and public access, and while terms like “public-facing” and “trade-facing” may still have some notional mileage, the distinction is increasingly meaningless.
#bookfairs #bookfestivals #TurinBookFair #Buchmesse #publicfacingbookfair #tradefacingbookfair #arosebyanyothername