Faced with the loss of a major exhibitor and widespread postponements of public events, Reedpop has rescheduled the BookExpo, BookCon, and Unbound events originally planned for late May to July 22-26 at the Javits Center.
The decision comes at a time when New York State is under an emergency decree to limit or cancel public gatherings in an effort to control the continuing spread of the new coronavirus in New York City. Earlier this week Penguin Random House announced that it would not exhibit in the May event.
BookExpo and BookCon event director Jennifer Martin said, “We have been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 in New York and around the country. Following the guidance of health officials, we are now complying with the State’s request that large gatherings be postponed to ensure the well-being of everyone involved with our event.”
American Booksellers Association CEO Allison Hill praised the decision: “ABA is excited that BookExpo will take place in July.” Hill said “Reed's announcement that the show will go on, just postponed, is a significant sign of support for our industry and what we do, and I have no doubt that this summer's show will be another example of our industry's resiliency.”
“It's been incredibly moving these past few weeks to watch the book community come together during this unprecedented crisis. I've been reminded over and over again of how important books and bookstores are to the world,” Hill added. “We are grateful to Reed for their commitment and for the opportunity for us all to gather together in the near future to celebrate books.”
Martin emphasized that all original BookExpo event registration and ticket information for the May events will be transferred to the July dates with no action required by attendees. Any questions can be directed to the BookExpo/BookCon/Unbound customer service team.
“We are committed to running a show for this industry and the fans this year," Martin said. "What will that show look like? We are not exactly sure yet. But we believe we will be on the other side of [the coronavirus] and ready to get together and do what we love to do: discover, discuss, celebrate and connect through books. If the situation changes again between now and July, we will change along with it. We run events, we pivot proudly. Right now, we remain focused on the goal of serving our community this summer with those who want to do the same.”