For three days every spring, London becomes a pilgrimage site for publishers, booksellers, literary agents, librarians and countless other industry experts from across Europe and beyond. The annual London Book Fair – the second-largest book-publishing trade fair in the world after Frankfurt – is a mesmerising modern-day marketplace that has to be seen to be believed. And with LBF 2015 kicking off next week at Olympia in West London, now’s your chance to grab a ticket and prepare for some serious networking.
Over the last few decades, this one-time trade show for librarians has grown into a media mecca on a truly global scale. The event attracts more than 25,000 people from at least 100 countries; it features 1,700 stand-holders and almost 600 individual meeting places, where back-to-back discussions take place almost seamlessly over the three-day period.
The event’s “market focus” initiative throws the spotlight on a particular country or region of note; on its publishing industry, trade links and potential for commercial and cultural partnerships. At LBF 2015, this role is fulfilled by Mexico, which has long literary traditions and boasts one of the most dynamic publishing industries on the planet.
Excitingly, this year will see the book fair’s first ever Scholarly and Research Publishing Forum – a half-day event designed to address the current opportunities and challenges in academic and scholarly publishing, from the disrupting force of digital technologies to the different approaches to funding higher education.
Other highlights include a digital-publishing conference and 300-plus seminars, talks and micro-events. Every year, there’s a reliably impressive line-up of speakers, from established and aspiring authors to experienced agents and booksellers to trailblazing technologists. The choice of where to go and what to see is dizzying.
And so is the atmosphere. In fact, the extraordinary event – at times – approaches sensual overload. In the vast exhibition space, the overhead lights are bright, the lively chatter is incessant and, at every turn, brash, bright logos scream out brand after bookish brand. For anyone with a stake in the publishing industry, the obligatory wander from stand to stand can be an almost intoxicating experience.
A hotbed of networking, publicity, rights negotiations and distribution deals, the eagerly anticipated event is – for many businesses and individuals – absolutely critical to making contacts and building future business. Whether it’s a scheduled meeting, an inspiring lecture or a chance meeting in the maze of corridors that works its way between the countless stands, doors tend to open at the LBF; this is a place where plans are made, deals are stuck and people gaze ambitiously into the future.
And that’s why the Out of House team will be there on each day of the conference – to talk about our business, hear about yours and discover exciting opportunities for collaboration. Whether you need support producing your next academic, education or reference title, advice on XML workflows and eBook conversion, or simply want to discuss digital trends and publishing news, we’d love to meet you!
Thanks to ActuaLitté for the image.