The quick decision by BookExpo America executives to return to a three-day show next year was met with mixed reaction that was pretty much divided between the New York-based publishers who liked the two-day event and most everyone else, particularly booksellers and librarians and international publishers, who favored a return to a longer show.
"BEA has always been a great opportunity to see booksellers, reviewers, and others. It puts us all on the same floor. I don's see why they cut the show," said Allan Kornblum, head of Coffee House Press. Neil van Uum, owner, Joseph-Beth Bookstores, said it was excellent news about the return to the three day format. "We need a certain time set aside for meetings,” he said. “Two days didn't give us enough time to walk the floor and soak up what's new, the trends, e-books, and stuff like that. We were rushing from meeting to meeting -- and you find more good things if you take some time to just wander around." International visitors had complained loudly about the two days, and many were questioning whether they would spend the money to make the trip next year unless the third day was restored.
The staffs of the New York houses generally liked the shortened show, feeling it gave them enough time to do what they needed to do at BEA without cutting too much into time to do their day-to-day jobs.