Frankfurt Book Fair 2021
1st November 2021
This year was the 73rd Frankfurter Buchmesse. And a special one. Not least because it was a fresh start for the book industry after a challenging 18 months of cancelled events and meetings taking place online. But also because there was a sense of optimism in the air, that things were starting to return to normal after the many setbacks and disappointments of 2020.
The Eurospan stand was in Hall 6 this year, alongside other international exhibitors. Sadly, no books or catalogues on display for health security reasons, but we made use of QR codes on the back of postcards printed specifically for the event. These included separate Eurospan-branded information for booksellers, publishers, and anyone wishing to join our mailing lists, as well as publisher-branded cards linking to their international rights catalogues (American Mathematical Society, Brookes Publishing, Brookings Institution Press, Infobase, SLACK Inc, and Society of Exploration Geophysicists). These were handed out to visitors to the stand, so they could access materials online.
The reduced capacity at the fair this year meant more space in the Halls for pop-up workstations and meeting points, which was greatly welcomed. (In normal years, you struggle to find any space off stand to meet with someone). This year, we happened to be close by to the Canada stand – the Guest of Honour at the fair.
Over 73,000 people attended this year over the five days, and there was representation from 105 countries. (By comparison pre-pandemic years have seen 300,000 attendees over the five days.) The theme of the fair was ‘Re:connect’. And we certainly did that. We met with some of our client publishers who were able to attend the fair as well as with prospective publishers looking for international representation; fellow friends and colleagues in the industry; and booksellers and agents from around the world. Whilst it was a bit quieter than usual, this year was an opportunity to have in-depth conversations about plans for marketing, sales and distribution, and opportunities for POD.
Thanks to a comprehensive hygiene plan in place by the German authorities, vast amounts of space to comfortably walk the aisles, and the chance to explore more of the Fair than before, this year made for a very pleasant Bookfair. We look forward to next year, when hopefully, more of our friends and colleagues across the industry can join us in Frankfurt again.The 74th edition of Frankfurter Buchmesse will take place from 19th -23rd October 2022 and the Guest of Honour Country will be Spain. Viva la España!