BookExpo America will introduce a new digital network at this year’s event in Chicago that organizers say will help facilitate communication among attendees. In addition to increasing networking opportunities at the show, the BEA Network will include access to PubMatch, the online service for those involved in the buying, selling and marketing of foreign rights.

Through the partnership with BEA, show attendees will have free access to PubMatch and will be offered a six-month free trial to the service. PubMatch allows publishers, authors, agents and other rights holders to list and view available rights and to connect with other buyers and sellers.

"PubMatch has made great strides in the past few years to help publishers, authors and agents manage and automate their available rights. We are very excited that BEA will offer the service to thousands more at BEA," said Jon Malinowski, president of Combined Book Exhibit, which is the co-owner of PubMatch with PW.

The other component of the BEA Network will allow attendees to create profiles similar to basic social networks and then search and message anyone else signed into the platform.

"As good as BEA is in making on-the-ground personal connections, we have so much more opportunity by accessing those digital and social platforms that connect us all every day,” said Brien McDonald, director of publisher relations for BEA. “The debut of the BEA Network and offering of PubMatch takes the core benefits of BEA – networking – and makes it even stronger.”