Acknowledging that Reed Exhibitions is disappointed about Penguin Random House's decision to withdraw from BookExpo and BookCon, which were set to run from May 27–31 at New York City's Javits Convention Center, event manager Jenny Martin said Reed is hoping to find new dates for the event.
Martin told PW that Reed has been working to finalize alternative dates for BookExpo, BookCon, and the gift show Unbound, and that it could announce its plans as early as Thursday afternoon. "Of course we would prefer that all of our publishing partners be present at the show, but our mission and commitment to bring this community together and provide business solutions that the industry desperately needs remains unchanged," Martin said. "We look forward to joining together with the rest of the community and will provide further updates as soon as possible. “
In making its announcement yesterday that it would not attend the show as scheduled, PRH cited New York City and New York State guidance "to substantially limit the size of events and number of participants in public gatherings" in the wake of the continued spread of the new coronavirus outbreak. PRH said it regretted making the difficult decision to not attend BookExpo and BookCon, and said the company "will be exploring additional ways to connect with booksellers, librarians and readers going forward."
New York City has nearly 1,900 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday morning. Politico has reported that New York City Hall has asked New York state for permission to use the Javits as a “potential medical surge facility.” The request reflects fears that exponentially rising coronavirus cases in the city threaten to overwhelm its hospitals.