BookExpo America (BEA) has ended for another year. Although Publishers Weekly reported that it drew mostly high marks, one change was not met with widespread approval: reducing the exhibit floor time from three days to two. A quick decision was made by BEA executives at the event’s conclusion to go back to the former format of a mid-week three-day convention, however, this met with mixed reactions.
On his blog, event director Steve Rosato confirmed reports that the exhibit hall will return to its former schedule of three days beginning next year. He wrote:
“BEA this year was about change and making a good event great that served the publishing industry in a meaningful way. Moving to mid-week was absolutely the right decision. We also felt strongly that the 2 day format was the right thing to do because the value of BEA is in the audience we deliver. We executed a strong plan that we knew would deliver that audience for BEA 2010 and that the quality would prove that was the right choice as well. A lot of people genuinely like the 2 day format and it did work for them. However — I have to acknowledge while people liked the 2 day format – a lot of people genuinely need 3 days to meet their objectives at BEA. While our mantra has been quality versus quantity – there is a reality of what people can accomplish in 2 full days. We will always do what will make BEA the best event possible for the people we serve.
“In the end while many people liked BEA as a 2 day show — more people need BEA to be a 3 day show. We will remain mid week with the show days being Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday. My plan right now is to keep the conference program on Monday because the impact of the conference this year running on Tuesday without competing with the show floor was tremendous. There were great sessions that had overflowing audiences.”
New York-based publishers actually liked the two-day event. The majority of other attendees and participants, particularly booksellers, librarians and international publishers, preferred a return to a longer show, Publishers Weekly reported. In particular, international visitors complained loudly about the shortened convention, and many were questioning whether they would spend the money to make the trip next year unless the third day was restored.
That said, the staffs of the New York publishing houses generally liked the shortened show; it gave them enough time to do what they needed to do at BEA without cutting into too much of the work week.
You can read more, here.