BolognaFiere, the organiser of Bologna Children’s Book Fair, is set to launch a new copyright trade and licensing show in New York City in May 2018. The show will be open only to trade exhibitors, and could mean it clashes with BookExpo America, which is usually also held in New York at the end of May.
The company is bidding to attract US publishers and agents across children’s and adult markets and their global business partners, as well as booksellers and librarians, to the event. The inaugural show will take place across 30th May-1st June 2018 in a “midtown Manhattan” location yet to be announced.
Marco Momoli, commercial director of BolognaFiere, said: “BolognaFiere is dedicated to fostering cross-cultural cooperation and international trade among publishers. With the debut of this new trade show, BolognaFiere extends its reach to cultivate new relationships and global business alliances among publishers.”
In a press conference held during the Bologna Book Fair, Momoli said the organiser wanted to build from its strong base in Italy and children's publishing to expand internationally and into the adult sphere. Without adding further detail, he said: "This is a first step, but then there will be a further step later."
He said that despite the higher costs of hosting a trade event in New York, when compared with Bologna, prices would be kept as low as possible to allow all types of publishers to attend. He said he expected the fair to be about a third as big as Bologna in terms of space--about 5,000 sqm--but initially it would launch with 2,000 sqm, with publishers able to take much smaller spaces than is currently mandated in Bologna. This, he said, would keep costs down and allow more publishers to exhibit.
There would also be a cultural programme running alongside the fair.
US trade magazine Publishers Weekly will partner with BolognaFiere on the event, along with marketing company Combined Book Exhibit. There is no name yet for the new show; Momoli said the company was "still thinking" about this.
BolognaFiere is not the first organiser to attempt to set up a rights trading fair in New York, in a part a response to publisher disgruntlement about the nature of BEA, which is much more oriented to booksellers and, more recently, consumers. The Frankfurt Book Fair launched Frankfurt in New York in 2001 but it failed to get off the ground.