BookExpo America (BEA) is the premier event for professionals in the publishing business. Admission to the largest trade event that brings together booksellers, librarians, retailers, and industry professionals has never included admission of the general public. All that may change by 2013 is BEA Event Director Steven Rosato has his way.
Posting on BEA’s blog Rosato writes: “This will not happen immediately, but are looking at 2013 to shift BEA to a Thursday – Friday – Saturday, leaving the trade portion exclusive to Thursday and Friday so the industry can continue to meet and conduct their B2B business that is inherent to BEA and open the doors on Saturday for consumers built around author events, but also allow them onto the show floor to look behind the curtain, see what new works from their favorite writers will be coming out like ComicCon does. This will also give a day of exhibits on the weekend that a small but vocal portion of librarians and booksellers miss.”
While it will take until 2013 to see the admission change, others will happen at this year’s expo (June 4 – 7, 2012). The date of the show has been moved to one week later than usual. A children’s books day has been added, it will take place on Wednesday, June 6th. Monday’s programming will begin later in the day to allow attendees to “sleep in a bit longer.” Plus, programming has been reduced to help prevent scheduling conflicts.
While these changes seem like a promising plan, there could be some glitches as Rosato noted; “Nothing is baked, and we have a ton of due diligence to conduct to insure that a BEA that includes consumers, is an event that serves the industry.”