BookExpo America 2010: 21,919 'Verified' Attendees at This Year's Event
By: Jim Milliot - Reprinted with permission of Publisher's Weekly
Explaining that it has a new way a measuring participants at the show, BookExpo America executives reported that total attendance at this year’s event was 21,919. The “verified” figure includes all those who attended BEA; in the past BEA had verified attendees, but not exhibitors. In 2010 the number of verified exhibitors was 8,047 and the number of attendees was 13,872. In previous years, total attendance was gauged using the number of registered exhibitors plus a verified count of attendees. In 2009 that figure was 29,923 compared to 27,211 in 2010, a decline BEA said was due to the shortened show.
Participants in the attendee group this year include book buyers (including librarians), press, licensing and rights professionals, non-editorial media, authors, film and TV production personnel. Given the way the show has evolved to include more than publishers selling their fall books to booksellers, spokesperson Roger Bilheimer said BEA will not be breaking out the book buyer numbers as it has in the past. “We feel it is an outdated standard of measurement,” Bilheimer said, emphasizing that people now use the show in a number of ways to leverage their content.
“Moving forward, I think it is in the best interest of everyone who participates in BEA to have an attendance number that accurately reflects the activity at the show,” said Steven Rosato, show manager for BEA in a statement. “Of course, we do realize that this makes it difficult to compare this year’s show with previous years, but this would have been the case under any circumstance since this year’s show was a day shorter. For instance, we were tracking ahead of last year until our final day when we suddenly had to make up for the shortfall of not having a third day to count attendance. That said, next year we will continue to release an overall ‘verified’ attendance number and this will be our new standard of measurement for the future.” The 2011 show will also return to a three day event.