The Frankfurt Book Fair, scheduled for October 20 to 24, confirmed today there will be 1,500 exhibitors, representing 70 countries, and more than 200 authors participating in this year's fair. In addition, 41 nations will also be hosting national stands. Seventy tables have been booked at the Literary Agents and Scouts Center, with numerous other professionals opting to pay for single-day use workstations, a new hot desk concept Frankfurt has introduced this year.
In-person participation in the fair will be more modest than in previous years, with a total of 25,000 people admitted to the fairgrounds on a daily basis. And while many in publishing have expressed solidarity with Frankfurt and hope for its success, many large publishing companies from the U.S. and U.K., including Penguin Random House and HarperCollins, have opted out of attending in person -- though, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Juergen Boos, the Frankfurt Book Fair director, estimated that 60 publishers from North America and U.K. will be present. In all, he said he believed that 800 non-German exhibitors would be present at the fair. Among Asian exhibitors, Boos noted Chinese publishers will be represented by local affiliates as well as with a national stand.
Canada, the Guest of Honor country, will bring nine authors to the physical fair, with another 50 participating in virtual events. October 20 has been dubbed "Canada Night" and will feature a large slate of digital events. In addition to the traditional large scale Guest of Honor pavilion, Canada will be presented in a "virtual pavilion" online as well.
New this year will be an all-virtual, digital professional program conducted in English, running October 11 to 15. The Frankfurt Conference will feature an academic track on October 11 and a trade track on October 12. New this year will be a series of free Masterclasses. Another highlight will be "The Future of Independent Publishing" event, a virtual conference on October 21 beginning at 2 p.m. CEST hosted by Frankfurt Book Fair director Juergen Boos.
“The focus of this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse will be reuniting with colleagues and authors from around the world," Boos said. "Books proved themselves to be particularly resilient and popular as a medium during the pandemic. Anyone who wants to comprehend the complexity of our times appreciates the creativity and expertise exhibited by writers and the editorial care required for producing books. Literature connects readers all over the world. This year, the book fair will once again bring together the global industry for one week in Frankfurt – and, naturally, people everywhere around the world will be able to follow all the action live."