From Publishing Perspectives:
In its release today (June 20) of the preliminary attendance figures for BookExpo 2018 and BookCon, the organizers at Reed Exhibitions cite 7,732 attendees, including members of the press but not including the consumer-oriented BookCon, as the total headcount for BookExpo, compared to last year’s 7,425.
The trade show has provided its numbers in the form of an upbeat infographic that indicates that 54 percent of the overall attendance was at BookExpo for the first time. At first blush, that might sound great. But a moment of thought makes you remember that BookExpo is an annual trade event, a true fixture of the American book publishing industry that’s been in place for decades. If more than half your crowd is new—and if your year-to-year numbers go from 7,425 to 7,732, it means that a lot of people aren’t coming back: are longtime regulars disappearing?
On the other hand, that notion is unsurprising to anyone who has been going to BookExpo (formerly BookExpo America) for many years and watched as the exhibitor-space footprint has been shrinking relentlessly.
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And terming this its “reimagined” approach, the BookExpo team says it saw an increase in bookstore representatives’ attendance of 8 percent—a turnout of 1,073 booksellers and retailers. But Michael Cader at Publishers Lunch is reporting that last year’s bookseller-and-retail headcount was actually higher, at 1,289.
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There were, the company says, 1,300 librarians in attendance at BookExpo—notice that this may have surpassed the bookseller number—and of that group, Reed says that 34 percent were first-timers.
Alas, here, too, Cader reports that this year’s figure is lower, not higher, than the previous year’s. To this year’s 1,300 librarians, Cader cites 1,597 from BookExpo’s figures in 2016.
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives