The Frankfurt Book Fair on Sunday reported that total attendance at the fair rose modestly for the second year in a row. On the trade side, attendance was up 1.3%, with 142,300 trade visitors this year, compared 140,474 in 2015. In total, including the public day of the fair, attendance topped 277,000, a modest increase over the 275,791 that attended last year.
Although a modest increase, the uptick in attendance is the second straight year of growth, reversing a trend of declining attendance over the past decade. Overall, since 2009, when the effects of the global recession began to really hit the industry, professional attendance had dropped by down more than 6%. The fair drew 152,530 professional attendees in 2009.
Fair officials also said that the Frankfurt Business Club, now in its third year, also posted a bump in attendance. The 2016 Business Club attracted 3,400 visitors from 74 countries, up from 3200 in 2015. Over five days, the Business Club hosted 45 events, and more than 1,200 appointments were made using the fair’s online booking tool. Fair director Juergen Boos said the club is especially appealing to innovators who want to explore working with the publishing industry but do not need to take a booth on the show floor. The rights center, known as the LitAg also set another record, with over 700 agents attending, and some 460 tables.
In a statement, Boos highlighted the first year of the fair’s Arts+ conference. “With many high-profile exhibitors, speakers and visitors, the new ARTS+ area was, from the very first minute, every bit as lively and dynamic as we had hoped," he said. “That just serves to underscore the relevance of intellectual property for the worldwide media industry.”