I have to admit that I could not have hoped, planned or imagined for a better event this week than what has unfolded for BEA 2010. The focus on quality over quantity delivered one fantastic event after another. I ran up to our show office to peck out this post after Jon Stewart's wonderful opening of the Adult Author Breakfast - I had a hard time pulling my self away from Condoleezza Rice's inspiring talk on her book that is about her upbringing and her parents. I am typing fast so I can get back to hear Mary Roach and John Grisham speak.
BEA this year was about change and making a good event great that served the publishing industry in a meaningful way. Moving to mid-week was absolutely the right decision. We also felt strongly that the 2 day format was the right thing to do because the value of BEA is in the audience we deliver. We executed a strong plan that we knew would deliver that audience for BEA 2010 and that the quality would prove that was the right choice as well. A lot of people genuinely like the 2 day format and it did work for them. However - I have to acknowledge while people liked the 2 day format - a lot of people genuinely need 3 days to meet their objectives at BEA. While our mantra has been quality of quantity - there is a reality of what people can accomplish in 2 full days. We will always do what will make BEA the best event possible for the people we serve.
In the end while many people liked BEA as a 2 day show - more people need BEA to be a 3 day show. We will remain mid week with the show days being Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday. My plan right now is to keep the conference program on Monday because the impact of the conference this year running on Tuesday without competing with the show floor was tremendous. There were great sessions that had overflowing audiences. I look forward to getting the CEO Panel that was the Plenary session with the ABA and the Editor's Buzz Panel video posted later today.
P.S. Lance - you were missed and talked about often.