Addressing booksellers at this year’s annual Town Hall Forum, BEA show director Steve Rosato responded to questions about this year’s midweek BEA conference, which opened at 1pm on Wednesday and closes at 5pm Friday in advance of BookCon, noted, “Obviously this year was a lot different. We learned that the consumer piece doesn’t mix with the trade piece. Change is good.”

On the other hand, Rosato held out the possibility that things could change again next year, particularly the start time. BEA will have more wiggle room in Chicago, where the show moves for 2016. “We listen and adjust,” he said. “If people overwhelmingly tell us it did not work for them, we’ll change it. We’ll do what’s right.”

As for the pesky badges that don’t fit in traditional holders, Rosato said that the BEA would be moving to a print-your-own-badge system. It will likely mean that scanning badges when booksellers enter the show floor will be back. This year the badges were scanned once when they were printed to facilitate easier entry onto the show floor.

Although no one signed up to ask questions, several people spoke up, including Suzanne DeGaetano, co-owner of Macs Backs-Books on Coventry, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, who spoke up about the changes in education. “I really value this show wherever it’s at, and I feel education is part of that,” she said. “I don’t want to see this show suffer for education.”

ABA CEO Oren Teicher explained that the advisory council had asked the association to create more opportunities for booksellers to interact with publishers. As a result ABA decided to do more traditional education at Winter Institute and the regional meetings.

Christin Evans, co-owner of Booksmith in San Francisco and Kepler’s Books in Palo Alto, gave an impassioned talk in favor of paying a living wage. “There’s a lot of fear about what [impact] increasing minimum wage is going to have on bookstores,” she said. “We’re keeping up and keeping pace with those changes.” She encouraged other booksellers to do the same.

Even after the discussion of the board composition at Winter Institute, questions remain. Lucy Kogler, manager of Talking Leaves... Books in Buffalo, N.Y., pressed outgoing president Steve Bercu, owner of BookPeople in Austin, and incoming president Betsy Burton of The King’s English in Salt Lake City, about actively seeking greater diversity. Bercu suggested that booksellers submit nominations and explained that the board does actively seek diversity.