BA conference line-up revealed

<p>Industry names including W H Smith&#39;s Rachel Russell, Canongate&#39;s Jamie Byng and HarperCollins group sales and marketing director David Roche will speak at the &quot;new look&quot; Booksellers Association conference.<br /><br />The conference has been altered this year and will only run over one and a half days instead of the usual two. It has also been designed to be shorter, with increased focus. Graham Rand, president of the Booksellers Association and Ian Hudson, president of the Publishers Association, will open the conference on 1st June at 2 p.m.<br /><br />Industry masterclasses and debates will follow over the next day and a half, with the British Book Industry Awards on the Monday night. Book industry consultant Damian Horner will be the chair throughout and author Alain de Botton will deliver the closing address.<br /><br />Ian Hudson said: &quot;This leaner, shorter and more focused conference programme, devised through cross-industry collaboration, reflects the need of our industry both to work together and to be fleet of foot in identifying the opportunities to be found within the challenges of the current recession. </p><p>&quot;I look forward not only to the debates the occasion will facilitate but also the recommended actions to come out of them.&quot;<br /><br />Graham Rand, who will hand over the reins of the BA presidency at the a.g.m. on 1st June at 10.30am said: &quot;This conference has been designed from the bottom up to address the issues of the day, namely how can we ensure that the book trade weathers the economic storm and survives the recession. If there was ever a time that the whole industry needs to work together it is now and this is the forum where the debate will happen.&quot;<br /><br />The conference was previously scheduled to take place in Gateshead in May, but was delayed two weeks and moved to Cambridge in a response to the worsening economic climate.<br /><br /><br /><br /></p>