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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BEA 2012 - Defining Consumer Participation - Prepare for Power Readers

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.

6 comments:

  1. When will power readers have access to the BEA floor?

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    1. They only day will be Thurday. the final day BEA exhibits are open.

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  2. How as an avid reader can one apply to be one of the 1000?

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    1. We will post the stores carry tickets in the next 2 weeks and you will be able to order through them. Thanks for asking!

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  3. I have a solution for consumers to attend and buy books. dacosta_rafaelAThotmailDOTCOM

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    1. I am traveling to †he London Book Fair and will be out all next week, but if you want to e-mail me your suggestion, I am happy to explore it. Our challenge is the ability to make sure any possible vendors can collect NY sales taxes and enforcing that they do. Also - we run the NY ComicCon shows and they typically partner with retailers to be able to have on-site consumer sales. We don't have any space options to organize retailers in a similar way for BEA this year, but will plan for 2013. Still - I will be interested in your suggestions.

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