RX, which owns the London Book Fair, has announced that Adam Ridgway, previously commercial director at RX, will take over as the director of the fair. He replaces Gareth Rapley, who is stepping away from the role and moving to a new position within RX in the energy sector, where he previously worked organizing conferences in Abu Dhabi.

Ridgway is the third new director of the fair in the past four years. Rapley joined the London Book in September 2022, succeeding Andy Ventris, who left in May 2022 after having been appointed in November 2020. Ventris had taken over the job from Jacks Thomas, who left in 2020 following the cancelation of the fair due to Covid-19. Thomas now serves as director of BolognaBookPlus, a series of seminars for general trade publishing that is part of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Rapley directed two editions of the London Book Fair, in 2023 and 2024. Both were considered relative successes, and saw the event return to near pre-pandemic levels of attendance—some 33,000 people participated this year—despite ongoing construction at the fair’s venue, London Olympia, which limited growth of such key areas of the rights center.

"It has been a fantastic two years as Director of LBF, in which time it has been a privilege to be a part of the book industry and meet many of the incredible champions of reading and literacy from around the world, that make the industry such a unique and creative place,” Rapley said in a press release announcing his departure.

Ridgway has 36 years of experience working for leading conference and exhibition organizers across various industry sectors. He spent the last four years working with RX in a variety of sectors, including transportation and printing. Prior to that, he worked in sales in Bahrain, and also organized events for the oil industry.

"I'm excited to be stepping in to the role of LBF director and want to pay tribute to what Gareth has achieved over the past couple of years," Ridgway said in his own statement.

David Roche, chair of the LBF advisory board, added: "We welcome Adam Ridgway to the role and are confident that RX's and Adam's experience will ensure the requisite consistency and continuity as we move ahead with LBF."

The London Book Fair will return to Olympia London on March 11–13, 2025.