Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BEA Wades Into the Shallow End of the Public Pool

This is a note that BEA is sending to all of our current exhibitors today as well as posting it here:

BookExpo America (BEA) continues to exercise dynamic change to keep pace with the evolution of our industry and the opportunity digitization presents. Over the past year, BEA has transformed its exhibit floor—we are tighter, and more diverse. We have also transformed our attendee base with buyers that range from traditional book buyers, book club leaders, librarians, museum store buyers, specialty retailer buyers, and licensing and rights professionals.

And so the next change for BEA is to leap into Direct to Consumer engagement –
D2C to bring even more value to our exhibitors and pave the way for new book lovers to become genuine book influencers. BEA will bring in consumer readers to discover books, and ultimately impact books sales for the whole trade. This will be done in 2 ways. One is BEA’s ambitious initiative to stream many of the author events and make them widely available via the web. The other part of our strategy will be to welcome consumers to BEA. BEA is going to partner with publishers, local booksellers, and libraries as well as other industry players to make a very limited and exclusive amount of tickets available to BEA for Thursday in 2012. Tickets will be exclusive and present a unique opportunity for tastemakers and passionate readers to get a glimpse behind the curtain. There will be more information coming as we work through the details and logistics, but this is a bold leap forward for the publishing industry.

BEA is keenly aware of the need to protect the traditional needs that BEA has always served as the singular gathering place for the industry. BEA will continue to prioritize the value of the B2B element of BEA, delivering booksellers, buyers that are new non-traditional buyers, providing world class education, being the largest rights fair in North America while serving all the relevant components of the publishing industry that need a place to connect. And now we will strategically bring in consumers to help position the brand for growth and help to positively impact the contribution to our vibrant industry.

Steve Rosato
BEA Event Director


  1. Wish I had known this before I purchased my plane tickets. I would have returned home Wednesday night.

  2. I understand your concern, attending Frankfurt every year and even the San Diego Comic Con - I 'get out of Dodge' before the masses descend. We are limiting the amount of tickets to consumers to between 500 and 1,000. This is a very careful step towards engaging consumers without having them take over. This will have almost no impact on the B2B activity at BEA. The last day of any trade event sees reduced crowds - so even if we reach the ceiling of what we expect - it will be a small portion of the audience on that Thursday. PLEASE share your opinions post show as the overall opinions will drive how a consumer element at BEA is pursued going forward.

  3. This is amazing! My sister and I weren't sure if we were allowed to enter with my Mom (who is a librarian) or not. Do you know when the tickets will go on sale for the general public for the Thursday?

  4. I think it's a great idea. We have the room; why not? Ultimately, it's all about the readers anyway!

  5. There is no substitute for reading; whether books,magazine articles or news, it always pays to read.This move from the BEA is a very good one indeed, to inform people the value of education through books.Books remains indispensable means of education and learning, this, in spite of digitized world.

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