Thursday, May 27, 2010

BEA - Two Days NOT Enough

Reprinted with permission of Publishers Weekly.

While this year’s BookExpo America has drawn mostly high marks, one change has not been met with widespread approval--cutting the exhibit floor time from three days to two. On his blog, event director Steve Rosato has confirmed reports that the exhibit hall will move back to three days beginning next year running from Tuesday through Thursday.

A portion of the blog is below.

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.