2020's BookExpo and BookCon cancelled

2020's BookExpo and BookCon cancelled

After an initial postponement until July, BookExpo and BookCon have now been cancelled for 2020 and are due to take place next in spring 2021, organisers have confirmed.

The New York-based events were originally scheduled for 27th–31st May 2020 and moved to 22nd–26th July 2020 at the Javits Center due to coronavirus, as reported last month. However, in a new statement on the BookExpo website, event director Jenny Martin said that despite being "initially... optimistic" the events could run in late July, 2020 was "no longer a viable option". New dates for the events in 2021 have not yet been announced.

"Initially, we were optimistic that our events could run in late July. However, as the pandemic has continued to escalate in the United States and we see the challenges it has brought for the book industry, it is clear that 2020 is no longer a viable option for this community," Martin's statement read. 

"We have worked closely with the venue, hotel community and contractors to identify workable new dates. Unfortunately, the available options do not meet the necessary criteria to support the business needs of our industry. This led us to make the difficult decision to wait until 2021 to deliver a vibrant BookExpo, UnBound and BookCon."

Publishers Weekly noted the decision follows withdrawals from all the Big Five trade publishers over the course of the past month.

Tickets for the 2020 events will be automatically refunded, and Martin said it is now looking into ways to connect exhibitors, attendees and readers "virtually".

Promising to be "back stronger in 2021", she concluded: "we stand with you and we will do everything we can in the coming months to highlight your business, bring our community together and support you... our hearts are with you and we thank you for your patience and support as we all navigate these challenging times."

The news follows cancellations of other major international fairs, including the London Book Fair and Bologna Book Fair.