The book industry’s largest event will likely add a fourth day in 2015. In a letter sent to exhibitors, Brien McDonald, director of strategic accounts for BookExpo America, notified publishers and other exhibitors that starting next year, companies can choose to stay in the trade area of BEA, with that event running from May 28-30. Alternatively, publishers can opt to be in both the trade show and consumer-oriented BookCon, with BookCon running May 28-May 31.
BookCon, which is making its debut this year, is being held Saturday, May, 31. By late Friday afternoon, BookCon executives were expecting over 9,000 consumers to attend the new 2014 event. McDonald said that the change in schedule was due to “enthusiastic consumer response” to the launch of BookCon. Although the show has been three days for a number of years (with a one-year exception when it ran for two days), the event had run for four days, usually over the Memorial Day weekend, for a long period.
A BEA spokesperson said while a final determination will be made once it gets feedback from its customers “we will begin the planning process with the assumption that we will expand. “
The addition of Sunday to what has been a Thursday-Saturday trade show means that Reed Exhibitions, parent company of BEA and ReedPop, the Reed unit that is organizing BookCon, is speeding of the booth selection process which will take place June 11 and 12. By June 10, Reed wants exhibitors to determine if they want a BEA-only or BEA/BookCon booth. The selection process, McDonald wrote, will begin at (a.m. Eastern Time on June 11).
Upon learning that BEA/BookCon will run from Thursday to Sunday, a publicist said, "my head is going to explode.”