The Frankfurt Book Fair starts in a week. This thing is massive. It is a five-day show with more than 7,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries and 299,000 visitors. Did I mention it was massive?
I will never forget my overwhelming first experience at the fair. I had been to BEA (Book Expo America) several times, and of course I have been in crowded places. Yet with as many halls and towers that comprise the exhibit buildings, I did not expect to see so much human traffic. I found that I had to walk with what I call my “elbows out” stride, trying to give myself enough room to cut through traffic without getting squished.
I also saw lots of fashion. One of the hair styles that stood out to me was the business mullet. I have tended to live in places where mullets abound, particularly at county fair time, but they are usually accompanied by a rusty truck. Here the mullets were gelled and accompanied by a briefcase and a stack of books. And speaking of style, a big surprise for me was that the show is opened up to the public on the last two days of the show. This isn’t the surprise. The surprise was that many students come dressed in costume. They all gather outside throughout they day near a shopping area, and it is always a lot of fun to see how extreme these outfits can be.
But I imagine you are probably more interested in what the mechanics of the show look like. This show revolves around meetings. Of course there are walk-ins or walk-ups, but I would say the meat of the business is done through scheduled meetings, often planned weeks ahead of the event. For the most part, these meetings run on a rigid schedule, so if your time with someone is up, it is time to move on (and if your meeting is in another hall, it is likely time to get moving, as it takes much longer to walk through the buildings when so many people fill the hallways).
For Bookmasters, we meet with a lot of international publishers looking to break into the US trade market. They know it is a huge market, and they don’t want to miss out. This kind of partnership works out very well. The show also gives us a chance to catch up with some of our international publishing partners to see if they have any questions or to go over their upcoming releases.
If you will be at the show, I recommend that you try to arrange a time to meet before leaving, though you can always drop by our booth at Hall 8.0, stand R905. We will look like this:
See the post from our Bookmasters blog to learn more about what Bookmasters will be doing at the show and how we can help you and your business.