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Friday, June 13, 2014

BEA & BookCon - Evolution is Speeding Up

While it seems like we have been in radio silent mode, we have actually been working at a fever pitch to address some substantive yet subtle changes for BEA and BookCon 2015 that we expect will have a significant impact that will better serve the vast majority of those vested in either BEA and/or BookCon - that will benefit exhibitors, attendees and fans.  
  • BEA will run Wednesday May 27th 1:00 - 5:30, Thursday May 28th 9:00-5:30 and Friday May 29th 9:00- 5:00.  BEA as a trade event is more compelling and better attended on business days.  This format provides 21 hours of exhibit time versus what had been 22 hours.    We will face some challenges with the conference program schedule and set up time, but this makes BEA a more compact event without cutting significant time and time does = opportunity.
  • BookCon will run full days (exact hours TBD) on Saturday and Sunday.  The main thing here is the companies that get value out of a consumer event cannot seamlessly interact with the trade at the same time.  There is a tremendous of efficiency by having BookCon follow BEA but they are really separate things.  That will also allow the companies vested in BookCon to staff properly and save on T&E by reducing some personnel. 
  • To those that had complaints about BookCon - with lines, crowding, etc... Those complaints were valid and this split will allow us to mitigate all of those issues.  It is a long list of items that need to be addressed, but every single issue will be fixed in order to make BookCon a safe and pleasant experience.  
  • I understand as I would make the same leap that people from the outside see BookCon as a big money grab.  Based on the additional investment needed for a separate ticketing system, separate website and dedicated app and additional marketing plan, additional costs for security and cleaning, BookCon barely broke even.  BookCon was launched to give books a platform in pop culture.  The expectation is it will be a profitable event going forward, but only if we deliver a great experience for fans and a valuable investment for publishers.
  • Power Readers - We heard your complaints and will look for a way that we can give you the experience you originally enjoyed in supporting BEA.  We recognize BookCon is a very different experience and that was intentional in order to draw consumers that are not thinking of or buying books.  We understand you are different and you have a  value that is incredibly important to the publishing ecosystem.  Please be patient with us and let us continue to sift through the feedback so we can find a way that let's us blend the events for this distinct group without upsetting the balance for BEA's trade activity.

8 comments:

  1. Will there be any changes for the BEA Bloggers Conference?

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    1. We do not anticipate any changes to the BEA Bloggers Conference, but will talk through with our advisory committee to see if they feel any changes would better serve bloggers. One of the primary reasons for having the BEA Bloggers Conference ahead of BEA is so bloggers can interact with publishers and learn about their important title for the upcoming seasons.

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  2. Good news. I love BEA and will be curious to see what a 2 day BookCon is like. Do you think BEA registration can allow admittance to BookCon? Thanks for all your hard work.

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  3. We plan to continue to for BEA badges include access to BookCon but have to admit we are going examine the logistics very thoroughly as we want to make sure in year 2 that BookCon is a much more pleasant experience for the attendees. Most of fixes will be dedicated space for queuing, wider aisles, etc.... I hope that makes sense, my point being this is so early in the process it is hard to be definitive. I would be surprised if this needed to change as nothing indicated that the BEA badges contributed to the challenges we had.

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  4. I'd agree that the BEA badges weren't the issue - it was very easy to define who was BookCon and who was BEA. And since BEA will not be during the same time, a lot of the problems the security people faced with BookCon attendees trying to go over to the BEA side won't be an issue.

    As an early working concept I think this sounds good. Thank you for listening to our responses and feedback, I look forward to seeing what this new plan brings to the table next year.

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  5. Could you please elaborate on this, "... in order to draw consumers that are not thinking of or buying books."

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    1. Many book bloggers are tweeting that next year Bookcon will be a book buying event. Is this true?

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