As the 75th Frankfurt Book Fair opens for business, we are already looking forward to the 2024 edition of the London Book Fair (LBF), which will take place next year between March 12 and 14. Bringing the dates of the fair forward by nearly a month means it will be effectively the first major international event in the 2024 publishing calendar. It will ensure publishing professionals are going into spring with focused business discussions, invaluable networking opportunities, and engaging panel events across the fair about the cutting-edge topics in today’s book world. Once again, LBF will be bridging the discussion across all areas of creative content, across print, audio, TV, film, and digital channels. Tickets for 2024 will be going on sale before the end of November, so we encourage all attendees to keep an eye out on early-bird registrations when they go live.

As ever, LBF will undoubtedly provide a rich offer to anyone attending, from global dealmakers to booksellers, literary agents to new authors and translators. While space is still reduced by the ongoing renovation works at Olympia, the team is working hard to give everyone the best possible experience next year. There won’t be any huge changes in terms of the core Olympia infrastructure that was used in 2023. As we work within the current venue constraints, we are focusing on delivering the best possible experience to our visitors over the next few years and are looking forward to having the venue renovation fully completed in 2026, which will allow us to maximize the potential of what the fair can offer.

We listen closely each year to the feedback from all participants. We have been looking through the results of the survey’s that were completed and key feedback from stakeholders, and we are striving to respond to as many points as possible. For example, we will be extending the International Rights Centre opening hours to 2.30 p.m. closure on Thursday. This will ensure that, within the limitations imposed by the Olympia working site, we are offering publishers and agents the maximum amount of meeting time possible.

In addition, we are taking concrete action to improve accessibility. We know that attending the fair can be an intense experience for some people, so we are going to set up a quiet room as well as adding color-coded carpets to each hall to improve navigation. There will be more initiatives in this area that will be announced in due course.

With our seminar program, we want to address the key issues that affect the publishing industry, with sustainability remaining at the center of our program. We will bring back the Sustainability Hub to host a focused set of talks and panel discussions around green initiatives and the UN SDGs. In addition, popular stages will return to the fair, including the Main Stage, Author HQ, Tech Theatre, Focus Theatre, Literary Translation Centre, and more.

In terms of Market Focus, we are planning to bring it back as a main part of the London Book Fair’s offering in the next few years, as the venue space at Olympia comes back and allows us to give the chosen country the best possible experience. In the meantime, we found the Spotlight program worked well in 2023, so we are exploring options for potential regions and countries to spotlight in 2024.

We wish everyone attending Frankfurt a great fair, and we are looking forward to continue working on the planning of an unforgettable London Book Fair 2024.

Gareth Rapley is the director of London Book Fair.