Total attendance at the 2015 edition of BookExpo America rose 5.2% to 20,895, event director Steve Rosato reported in a post on his blog.
The increase came despite a slight decline in “verified professional attendance,” which fell 1.2% to 10,832. Total attendance includes exhibitors as well as all other attendees, while the professional number excludes exhibitors but includes all book buyers, media members and other attendees.
Rosato said the show—in its new two-and-a-half day format—“unfolded exactly as needed.” Although Rosato admitted that “not everyone was thrilled” with the 1 p.m. opening of the floor, he said the main hall remained busy late into Wednesday and exhibitors benefited from solid Friday customer traffic.
As reported earlier, BookCon attendance rose by 80% for the two-day event, and publishers sold a lot of books. Rosato pointed to the example of Cider Mill Press to demonstrate the retail success some houses had; is sold over $2,000 worth of titles. He confirmed that in addition to the BookCon planned for May 14 in Chicago (set to run after the three-day BEA), Reed is looking at the possibility of a New York show.
“I am proud to say that BEA gave the vast majority of exhibitors and attendees the event they needed,” Rosato said. He then added: “Like anything, there are adjustments to make. But we are eager for the unique opportunities Chicago presents. We expect a nice uptick from ABA members, as we are out of NYC for the first time since 2009.”