Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PA to meet Bologna after fair cuts dates
26.08.09 Caroline Horn writing in The Bookseller

The Bookseller The Publishers Association is to meet with the organisers of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair next week to discuss an unexpected reduction in the number of days of the 2010 exhibition.Organisers of the Bologna Fiere have reduced the fair from four to three days, blaming a busy exhibition programme next spring.
The fair will now take place from Tuesday 23rd to Thursday 25th March 2010, cutting back on the traditional Monday start day. Publishers were only informed late in July that the fair’s length would be reduced and the holiday period has made it difficult to communicate with each other or the fair organisers.
Children’s publishers and rights agencies have signed a petition calling for the organisers to reinstate the original length of the fair, which was promoted as four days. Sarah Packenham, rights director for Andersen Press, said: “People are feeling very cross about the lack of consultation over this reduction. Three days is simply not enough to conduct all our business. In effect, people will have to start packing up their stands in the middle of the third day so we will only have two and a half days at the fair. We will also miss an evening that we would normally spend networking.”Nor have publishers been offered a reduction in the cost of their stands to reflect a shorter fair, although the fair organisers have kept this year’s fair to the same cost as last year. Packenham said, “When you consider the costs of booking stands and attending the fair, it’s simply not cost-effective to go for such a short period. We wouldn’t be able to fly back on Wednesday evening either because of the time scales involved so we will still have the additional costs of hotels that night.”
Some publishers have already booked their flights to arrive on the Sunday or Monday, many of which will be non-refundable.Publishers who have signed the petition are calling for the lost day to be reinstated. Others are considering alternative opportunities. Spending longer at next year’s LBF could become a more attractive option for international visitors, while the Dubai fair is also competing for children’s business.

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