The Frankfurt Book Fair is consulting with international publishers and agents about changing the schedule of the fair and so far has received a mostly positive reaction, according to press spokesperson Holger Ehling. Among the changes being contemplated: opening the fair a day earlier to allow international visitors more time to conduct business before the weekend and closing the fair on Sunday rather than Monday, which is, to put it diplomatically, a quiet day.
The fair traditionally opens on a Wednesday morning, and although it runs through the weekend, international business is conducted mainly during the first three days at a notoriously nonstop speed.
While Ehling emphasized that fair management has made no decisions yet, he said most publishers want the fair to close Sunday evening and that a majority favor opening earlier than Wednesday. Stung by criticism that management hadn't consulted foreign exhibitors about a late opening this year on Friday evening (an experiment that will not be repeated), Frankfurt management is carefully seeking opinions in person from major publishing and rights organizations, most significantly in Germany, the U.S., U.K., France and Italy. "We're taking soundings from people around the world," Ehling stated.