In an unprecedented step for Frankfurt, the first of what is planned to become an annual conference on changes in publishing has been scheduled not one but two days before next fall's Frankfurt Book Fair (specifically, for the full day of Monday, October 8).
The conference should resemble many of the prefair conferences now being held at Reed trade shows (notably at BEA and the London and Paris fairs). Frankfurt's subject is "The Digital Publishing Revolution: Exploring the 'Big Questions' Facing Book and Journal Publishers Today." The event will be put together by fair management in partnership with the Idea Logical Company of New York, founded by publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin, who promises a "global view" of what the publishing business will look like five or even two years down the line. The conference will enlist a group of specialists to prepare position papers on major issues to be discussed.
Like the other prefair conferences, Frankfurt's comes with a fee: $549 before June 30, $649 thereafter. Attendance will be limited to 300 participants.
Another change: After announcing the elimination of the final Monday, the fair reverts to its traditional schedule after all (October 10—15).
For the fourth year, the Frankfurt Fair will accept applications for its Fellowship Program, which brings a group of young publishing folk to Germany for a week's orientation on the country's book trade, after which they will be guests of honor at the book fair itself. Expenses are covered by the fair organization, an affiliate of the combined publisher-bookseller association Börsenverein.
Applications for the program are available from the fair (fax 49-69-2102-286 or e-mail wolff@ book-fair.com); the filing deadline is April 30.