The London Book Fair (LBF) has announced it will hold the next edition of the fair from June 29 to July 1, 2021. It was originally scheduled for March. In addition, the London Book Fair has announced Andy Ventris will serve as the event's new director.

Ventris joined Reed Exhibitions, the company that owns the fair, in 2013 and was responsible for marketing and managing B2B events for the luxury travel market. The LBF had been without a director since the retirement of Jacks Thomas from the job this past summer, shortly after the 2020 fair was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We have made the decision to move LBF to June 2021 to create the best opportunity of hosting a live event," said Ventris in a press release. “Given the dynamic nature of the pandemic we will continue to closely monitor the situation, and if the current outlook changes will make a final decision on the live event’s feasibility by the end of March 2021 at the very latest. We want to give all our partners, exhibitors and visitors this date to work towards, as we appreciate how much planning and resource goes into preparation for a trade fair of this scale." The LBF is scheduled take place at the Olympia London and the organizers are promising "a safe event environment that meets the needs of visitors and exhibitors."

The fair's move to June has potential to created a crowded fair schedule for the start of summer next year, with BookExpo in New York traditionally scheduled for the end of May and start of June. Reed Exhibitions, which runs both the LBF and BEA, has yet to announced dates for BookExpo 2021. That said, the fairs tend to have different focuses for Americans, with the London Book Fair primarily attracting Americans working on the rights side of the business, while BookExpo has typically been focused on booksellers and the trade.

Last month, the RELX Group, parent company of Reed Exhibitions, said revenue for the exhibition division was down 70% through the first nine months of 2020 compared to 2019 because of widespread cancelation of fair due to the pandemic. RELX said it expected that the exhibitions group will finish the year with revenue of £330 million to £360 million, while total costs for the year are expected to be £530 million -£540 million, excluding one-off costs related to restructuring and cancellations.