Turin is the latest book fair to blur the line between trade and public-facing publishing events

From The New Publishing Standard:

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.

Link to the rest at The New Publishing Standard

In prior lives, PG attended a great many conventions for lawyers where various legal vendors spent a lot of money for booth space, sponsorships of dinners, etc.

The simple fact is that trade vendors are looking for people who can make them money and the targeted group of attendees are the people who are in the business that the vendors serve. The general public wandering the large vendors floor decreases the likelihood of finding more customers or current customers who may be interested in buying more widgets crafted to the needs of those customers.

If the organizer wants to make more money by selling admission to the general public, the organizer is lowering the value of its trade show for specialized vendors.

3 thoughts on “Turin is the latest book fair to blur the line between trade and public-facing publishing events”

  1. Ah, but if you’re ordinary public attending tech conferences, don’t forget the fun (if your gonads work that way) of ogling the models posed to demonstrate products, and the bragging rights of just how many tshotshkes you could bring back for your officemates.

    Added bonus on the west coast — you might even get to see the (off-season) casinos in Reno.

    • At the trade shows I’ve attended, I’ve only seen a limited number of booth bimbos (and honestly didn’t think most of those that I did see were attractive. Disclaimer: I’ve never been to Computex Taiwan). I prefer it that way: I’d much rather talk to a knowledgeable and intelligent lady about her company’s products than a booth bimbo.

      At this point, I don’t care much about swag, although I still try to pick up a few Thor Labs’ T-shirts if I can.

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