I want to share details as logistics are falling into place for opening BEA in a LIMITED way to consumers this year. Before I jump into specifics, some context will be helpful. The indicators for BEA pointed to this being the right idea at the right time to engage consumers on a more direct basis. This is an opportunity to spread the buzz and excitement of BEA to people that are reading evangelists and would deliver more value for our exhibitors as a whole. Still - we were prepared for opposition and expected to have to defend our decision. The silence has been has been heard loud and clear. To be blunt, I am shocked at how this is being embraced by publishers. I also want to emphasize the consumers attending on Thursday will not impact with the B2B portion of BEA. In fact, they might be hard to notice as they will only be a small portion of the people in attendance on Thursday, there will still be THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of booksellers, librarians, retailers, museum stores and industry people at BEA conducting business. We developed the plan below to allow BEA to substantively engage consumers without risking what has always been valuable at BEA
- This will be limited to 1,000 consumers who will pay admission. We want people who value this unique opportunity and are passionate readers. Their badge will show them as POWER READERS
- BEA is partnering with a number of local booksellers, NYPL and publishers to make this allotment of tickets available.
- We will communicate pre-show, on-site when they get their badge and using editorial in the PW Show Daily on day 3 to explain to our 'new' attendees: what to expect, what to look for and how to enjoy BEA.
- We will prohibit consumers from peddling manuscripts, stating that constitutes soliciting and will result in the loss of their badge.
- There will be some specific programming for consumers, like a Best of the Buzz panel and other events on the Author Stages, but we will mostly encourage them to visit publishers in their booths as well as autographing.
- We will highlight which publishers will offer give aways for the Power Readers.
- Selling directly to consumers is not permitted for 2012 as we do not have time to set up retail partners or to enforce tax collection laws. This will be addressed for 2013.