Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 set to take place

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Hessian government gives approval for book fair / Extensive virtual programme planned

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 will take place. A decision to that effect was made today by the Supervisory Board of BBG (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Beteiligungsgesellschaft / German Publishers & Booksellers Association).

The book fair is planned to be held on the fairgrounds, throughout the city and, at the same time, virtually. The 72nd Frankfurter Buchmesse will take place on the fairgrounds in accordance with a detailed health and hygiene plan which will reflect the regulations mandated this autumn by the State of Hesse, guaranteeing the safety of visitors, exhibitors and staff attending the fair. The hygiene plan developed jointly by Frankfurter Buchmesse and Messe Frankfurt has been approved by Frankfurt’s health officials and other public authorities. Due to rapidly changing developments, it is essential that the overall situation be reviewed by the relevant specialists on an ongoing basis and any measures taken updated to reflect the evolving legal requirements.

“Frankfurter Buchmesse is the showcase for the international book industry, which is one of the reasons why it has become increasingly popular in recent years – not only with trade visitors and for the rights business, but also with readers. It has become an international forum for intellectual exchange. We want to make use of this potential for discourse despite the pandemic, maintaining it on behalf of the book industry and its future,” said Siegmar Mosdorf, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

“This year, it is more important than ever that Frankfurter Buchmesse takes place,” emphasised Juergen Boos, director of Frankfurter Buchmesse. “Thanks to activities on the fairgrounds and to book events on site and virtually, we are putting a spotlight on our authors, industry and trends. Because of the corona pandemic, Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 will be a special edition – an on-site programme combined with a forward-looking digital offer. We would like to thank the minister president of the State of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, the state’s economics minister, Tarek Al-Wazir, its finance minister, Michael Boddenberg, and the mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann, for their extensive support.”

Frankfurter Buchmesse expects exhibitors from throughout Europe to participate in the event in Frankfurt and, depending on future travel restrictions, from further abroad as well. Details on programme planning and this year’s campaign will be made available at the end of June.

“Frankfurter Buchmesse is part of the DNA of this city and also an icon of the trade-fair sector. We are very pleased that the industry has decided to hold the book fair in 2020, thus sending a very positive economic signal. As is always the case at Messe Frankfurt, the safety and health of all participants are being given top priority. We have developed detailed measures for social distancing, visitor flow and hygiene and will adapt them to the latest developments and requirements. The implementation will be very structured and we will support Frankfurter Buchmesse with all the resources at our disposal,” said Uwe Behm, member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.

Digital programme

Frankfurter Buchmesse’s digital programme addresses the needs of both participants on site and those joining the fair online from all over the world, offering a range of options: company and product presentations, events and venues for initiating business deals, making contact with business partners, identifying market trends and engaging in further training. “We are currently developing a range of digital formats that respond precisely to these customer needs, enabling individuals and companies from the publishing industry and related sectors worldwide to participate in Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020,” explained Juergen Boos.

To inform book fans worldwide about new publications appearing in autumn 2020, Frankfurter Buchmesse will also take place virtually for one week. A number of features are planned, including a BOOKFEST Centre, from which Frankfurter Buchmesse and its media partners will present new publications and authors and initiate related discussions.

The major German trade publishers – Verlagsgruppe Random House, the Bonnier Verlage, the Holtzbrinck Buchverlage, and Verlagsgruppe Bastei Lübbe – have worked with Frankfurter Buchmesse to initiate new types of events. They have been closely involved in the development and communication of this initiative, and will be a major part of its coming implementation.

Many initiatives have also been proposed by the book industry, which intends to contribute ideas for creating additional digital and physical formats and which has also been engaged in an active exchange with Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Guest of Honour 2020

Frankfurter Buchmesse is currently in discussion with the Department of Canadian Heritage, the organiser of the Guest of Honour activities, on a concept adapted to the current situation. A decision on this is expected shortly.

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 – current plans:

  • Dates: Frankfurter Buchmesse will take place from 14 to 18 October 2020.
  • Trade visitor days are from 14 to 18 October. At the weekend (17 and 18 October) Frankfurter Buchmesse will also be open to the general public.
  • Number of visitors permitted: The number of visitors permitted on the fairgrounds will be determined by the extent of the floor space used in October.
  • Admissions: Visitors will be admitted contactless after they have preregistered and provided a self-assessment of their state of health.
  • Halls: It is currently planned to use six floors of hall space (Hall Floors 3.0, 3.1, 4.0, 4.1, 6.0 and 6.1).
  • Stand locations: It is currently planned to finalise stand locations in mid-July.
  • Stand space: The smallest stand will be 8 m² in size. Exhibitors who have booked 4 m² will be given an additional 4 m² free of charge. All other stand sizes will also be expanded on a sliding scale free of charge.
  • Walkway widths: Each stand will also be given 1.5 metres of the walkway in front of the stand as additional “communication space”. The width of the walkways in the halls is between 6 and 8 metres.
  • Rights business: The literary agents’ centre LitAg (new location in Hall 6.1) can also be used this year by licencing managers from publishing houses.
  • Workspaces: In addition to the option of renting a stand, Frankfurter Buchmesse also offers interested parties the possibility of renting by the day workspaces located on each hall floor.
  • Stages: This year, the major stages will generally be replaced by digital options or more widely spaced physical venues.
  • Book sales: Visitors may purchase books at fixed retail prices on the Saturday and Sunday of the fair.
  • Registration and ticket sales are available online only. The trade visitor ticket shop is planned to be opening on 1 August 2020. To purchase tickets, visitors must complete a registration form and provide a self-assessment.
  • Press accreditation: Accreditation of journalists will also take place online only