Thursday, June 7, 2012

BEA Numbers

One number to share is that I have logged 23+ miles within the confines of Javits since arriving on Sunday. It has been an incredible BEA which was punctuated by the eloquent and impassioned speech by John Green. It is important that you hear it for yourself as I cannot simply summarize his words without losing the impact. You can go to the player on the BEA home page and Mr. Green starts at the 26 minute mark of the Children’s Book and Author Breakfast. He perfectly lauded the power and importance of the act of reading. That it is a singular experience that transcends and trumps everything. I teased people with the title of BEA numbers knowing there is a clamor to know: what are BEA's numbers?!?!? yet I am writing about John Green??? My point is that BEA is a singular experience for every attendee and every exhibitor that cannot be replicated. It is a process to deliver accurate numbers for the attendance. Since Sunday I have gotten reports that had BEA's attendance up as high as 12% and as low as down 5% in comparison to 2011. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, know that BEA will fully disclose all of our figures as we always do and will not hide from anything, but I cannot for the life of me understand why people will not judge or stamp their success or 'failure' of BEA until they can attach an arbitrary number that we post against the business they conducted, the books they discovered or the new contacts they made. BEA is what it is, the largest gathering of trade professionals in the largest book market in the world - there are over 1,000 exhibitors from more than 25 countries and more than 12,000 attendees from more than 85 countries that are librarians, booksellers, retailers and publishing professionals along with more than 2,200 members of working media. These numbers are a given- the question will only be if we are up a few percent or down a few percent. I am not dismissing the value of metrics, but I do think that it is an old way of thinking and publishing is moving into very new territory that I strongly believe BEA is leading the way for. We now have to calculate the number of viewers watching events simultaneously which was consistently more than 1,000 from all over the world tuning in for the breakfasts and author stage events + the viewings that will take place for the next 6 months.

All of this said, I DO understand that people want some sense of size and the media need to report a number back to their readers.  I want to share BEA's raw numbers that includes BlogWorld, which means there will be a slight variance after everything is processed and are likely to go slightly up because this is as of 12:00 noon on June 7th.
  • Total Industry Professionals 2012 = 22,365 - Up 1%
  • Total Industry Professianals 2011 = 22,233
  • Total Attendance 2012 = 14,057 - Up 5%
  • Total Attendance 2011 = 13,412 


  1. I'd love to see the John Green speech but there are only two tabs on the player: Author Breakfasts & Editors' Buzz and then Author Stage. I'm about through the Tuesday Author Breakfast but there's no way to navigate via this player. I tried to get to the streaming channel but of course it's blocked from work!