Every year in October, the German city of Frankfurt witnesses the largest gathering of academics and publishers from around the world. The city would be teeming with business executives, publishers, book agents, and the likes flying in from far and wide to attend the annual trade show for books – Frankfurter Buchmesse.
Known as the largest trade show in the world, the Frankfurt Book Fair, will be home to all the important people of the publishing industry for 5 days in the month of October. This year, the Frankfurter Buchmesse takes place from the 16th to 20th of Oct.
Although the event lasts for five days, preparations begin months in advance. The event takes place on a sprawling four million square foot space, and attracts over 280,000 visitors each year, with over 7000 exhibitors from 100+ countries and over 10,000 journalists.
The objective of the fair is the negotiation of rights for translations, publication in other countries, and for publishing houses to show their work.
In case this is your first time at the Frankfurt Book Fair, here’s some useful information to guide you:
Define Your Purpose for Visiting the Fair
Having a defined objective will help you plan your trip accordingly to make the most out of this trade fair.
- What is it that you wish to take away from this event?
- Do you want to build new contacts and look for business propositions?
- Learn more about international rights and licenses?
- Learn about new technology in the publishing world?
Or are you a book enthusiast who just wants to experience the energy at this event?
The first three days are restricted to professional visitors; the general public can attend the trade show over the weekend.
The tickets are priced at 22 euros for private visitors and 53 euros for trade visitors.
Students have a Campus Weekend option, where they have to pay only 19 euros on trade visitor days, and 15 euros on Saturday and Sunday.
The passes can also be used as tickets for travelling on the local public transport.
With over 7000 exhibitors and over 4,000 events, you really will have to prioritize the events you want to attend.
Have a careful look at the floor map, so that you know the quickest route to reach your destination faster. The event takes place at the Frankfurter Messe, which is a huge space, so a little planning in advance will help you get to your meetings and events on time.
Try not to make back-to-back appointments in different buildings as it will take time to go from one place to another, plus you have to jostle among the crowd.
You can download the Frankfurt Book Fair app free of charge for iOS and Android devices. It will provide you a list of all the events and exhibitors, along with digital guided tours and an interactive floor plan.
Book a hotel well in advance as there’s a very high probability of not getting rooms as the fair dates approach nearer. With tens of thousands of visitors arriving at around the same time, most of the hotels in and around Frankfurt will be booked. Also, the hotel rates may go skyrocketing around the fair dates. You can stay in nearby cities where you can find comparatively cheaper accommodation.
Keep Your Contact Information Handy
Keep your business cards and corporate information material handy. You will come across global publishers and agents among many other important people whom you might want to connect with after the event. So always have your business cards with you.
Book Meetings and Appointments in Advance
Do not rely on chance meetings. Secure and schedule meetings in advance. If you are thinking of going to the event first and then try to set up meetings, there’s a fair chance you may not get any. People prepare for this event for months in advance and would have already booked time slots for meetings and events.
You can go through the exhibitor directory on Frankfurter Buchmesse’s website and select and reach out to contacts whom you wish to meet at the event.
The Events Calendar will be made live in August on the official website of FBM, so do check it out to know about the latest update on events.
There are some panel discussions and workshops that are free to attend, while some of them are ticketed.
Watch what you buy. Keep in mind the airline’s baggage limits. Carrying a lot of books back home might not be viable, so buy digital copies instead.
Lastly, wear comfy shoes. It’s a huge space, and you most probably will have to walk a lot to reach various stands and exhibitions. So, it’s advisable to wear comfortable footwear to avoid sore foot at the end of the day.
Keep these simple things in mind and make the most of the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair. The sheer number of books in evidence is almost overwhelming to anyone who attends the fair. So, if nothing else, just network and marvel at the world of books. The attention of the international media will be on this event- with a number of emerging and leading artists, publishers, tech companies, start-ups, universities and research institutions in attendance at the FBM.
Whether you are in for a trade opportunity or to just enjoy the fair, there’s something here for everyone. From meeting industry insiders and make connections with people from around the world, you will be taking an amazing experience with you from Frankfurter Buchmesse.
We will be exhibiting at Frankfurt Book Fair 2019 from Oct.16th – 20th. If you too are attending the event, we can schedule an appointment at FBM. Let’s connect at Frankfurt!