For five years now, the fairgrounds that host the Frankfurt Book Fair have been under renovation. The changes have prompted the book fair organizers to start shifting around exhibitors — a process that started in 2014 and will continue through at least through 2023.
The most important change this year is the fair's decision to move the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) from Hall 6 to the Festhalle, where it will reside at least through 2020. The news of the move, which circulated at the fair last October, irked several publishers, who complained the added time it would take to walk to the Festhalle — approximately five to ten minutes — would cut into their productivity; agents were inclined to circulate an impromptu petition to stop the change. The changes were necessary, the fair argued, to accommodate the growing demand for space: in 2018 the LitAg sold 538 tables, up from some 500 in 2017.
For 2019, the fair is also dedicating new exhibition hall space to audiobooks and expanding the exhibitors and programming for self-published and independent authors, all of which will be housed in Hall 3 alongside the majority of German trade publishers. Exhibition spaces dubbed Frankfurt EDU, for education publishers, Frankfurt Kids, for children's and YA-related media, were introduced last year and will return again this year.
A major change for 2020 will be the closure of Hall 5, which sits between Hall 6 and the Festhalle, and is home to the majority of European and non-English or German-speaking exhibitors. Those exhibitors will shift into Hall 4 in 2020, presumably displacing some of Hall 4's current exhibitors, which includes book dealers and several conferences. You can see the changes illustrated in the differences in the map for 2019 and for 2020, above.