From The New Publishing Standard:
The Buchmesse largely paid lip-service to the digital alternative while holding out hope the in-person event would go ahead. The ugly sister was to get a cheap make-over, but not plastic surgery.
Dressed up as “streamlining and restructuring”, the world’s largest trade publishing fair is finally catching up with the 21st century this year, embracing the digital advantage and opening up the fair to the world.
Of course the Buchmesse has long been a leader in pushing the global element of the publishing industry, but its approach was always, right up until 2020, via the analogue 20th century model that involved hauling people and companies halfway around the world to be paraded before an audience that likewise had to be able to travel half way around the world to engage.
By definition that closed off huge audience reach globally and denied publishing stakeholders in much of the world a realistic opportunity to engage. If a would-be participant or observer could not afford to be there or was not lucky enough to be on the much-valued subsidised invite list then the Buchmesse was just something we got to read about in the trade journals, and then of course only snippets from what the trade journalists had cobbled together. Because with the best will in the world the reporters who were able to be there could only be in one place and monitor one event at a time.
. . . .
Why was it that even as the pandemic took off in the spring of 2020 the Buchmesse, along with almost every other trade event (DBW the notable exception – all credit to Bradley Metrock), was stubbornly insisting the show would go on as it had always gone on?
. . . .
Reporting for the Buchmesse journal Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson said this past week that, having pulled in 200,000 digital participants in October, the Frankfurt Book was,
“modernising its concept” and restructuring some of its staffing (to) “ensure the continued existence of the fair” long-term.
Buchmesse CEO Juergen Boos, assuring us the traditional fair would resume in 2021 assuming Covid-19 conditions allowed, said in a press release,
At the same time, we must open ourselves up to alternative marketing and dialogue formats in order to meet the changing needs of all market participants.
Link to the rest at The New Publishing Standard
PG has read several articles lately written by people whose opinions he takes seriously to the effect that there are going to be some permanent changes, at least in the United States, resulting from not so much the Covid pandemic, but by the adaptations many have made during the pandemic.
Working from home instead of commuting to an office is one of the more prominent examples.
The Wall Street Journal published an article a couple of days ago that reported a significant number of San Francisco and Silicon Valley tech workers who have been working from home have discovered they they are more productive and enjoy their lives more when work doesn’t include a 1-2 hour commute to and from their home each day.
Some are even moving to Nevada, Utah or Idaho to take advantage of lower prices, lower taxes and an improved lifestyle while working for companies headquartered in the San Francisco area. Some parts of these states are also receiving transplanted companies from those Northern California locales.
For those outside of the United States, the cost of living in the San Francisco area, including Silicon Valley, a series of suburbs extending south of San Francisco for many miles, has become extraordinarily high. PG is informed that some lower-paid workers are living in their cars or vans, taking advantage of tech company exercise facilities or health clubs for showering, etc.
According to Zillow, the average cost of a middle-tier home in Palo Alto, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley is over $3 million, up 10% from last year’s average and forecast to increase another 10% next year. Traveling east from San Francisco a little over 200 miles just over the border to Carson City, Nevada, a prospective home purchaser would pay about 10% of the Palo Alto price for a middle-tier home.
On top of the savings from lower housing costs, a typical Silicon Valley tech worker will pay a California state income tax of about 10%. Nevada has no state income tax.
With his forecasting hat on, PG (along with people far more knowledgeable than he is) predicts that more and more employers will be willing to hire knowledge workers who want to work remotely now that Covid has demonstrated that it’s a viable business model.