Bologna moves to June 2021 as Thomas appointed for new conference

Bologna moves to June 2021 as Thomas appointed for new conference

The Bologna Children's Book Fair has changed its 2021 dates to 14th–17th June and appointed Jacks Thomas, formerly of the London Book Fair, as guest director of a new general publishing conference.

The fair, which was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, had originally been scheduled for April 2021.

Director Elena Pasoli said: “We continue to work in exceptional times and the book industry has once again proved itself to be hugely resilient. The children’s book market is arguably more important than ever before and we are delighted to be able to offer this date change in 2021, to give us the valuable opportunity to meet again as an industry, prior to moving back to our usual time-frame of April. Bologna is wonderful in April and even better in June—we are looking forward to welcoming everyone to our book fair in which al fresco meetings will be the norm!”

The next event will also feature BolognaBookPlus, a move into the adult publishing market, with Thomas, who stood down from LBF this year, appointing a UK-based team to create it. It will include a one-day conference and three-day exhibition running alongside the usual fair.

It is billed as conference for professionals from all areas of the publishing industry, examining “the key challenges from changing business models, technological enablement, accessibility, sustainability and inclusivity”. There will be an international line-up of speakers and delegates, the fair said.

Thomas said: “I feel immensely privileged to have the opportunity of working with the brilliant team at BCBF and the BolognaFiere on BolognaBookPlus. Children’s publishing is the launchpad of so much and the gateway to so many avenues of innovation and audiences. It is also fantastic to be able to work with talented colleagues here in the UK. Bologna in June is delightful and I very much hope that bringing the global industry together in this flexible venue will be a great opportunity to which we can all look forward after a long drought in European book fairs.”

Marco Momoli, director of business unit culture at BolognaFiere, explained: “Bologna Children’s Book Fair is a fantastic brand under great leadership and we are understandably proud of everything that has been achieved over the past half century. As publishing goes from strength-to-strength so do we and our ambition remains steadfast in being the premium destination for the children’s publishing world; as the alignments between publishing, digital developments, entertainment and knowledge sharing move ever closer we are enthusiastic about ensuring that we reflect that in our offering and are delighted to welcome Jacks as our guest director to drive this.”

Bologna's date change follows London Book Fair's shift to June 2021; LBF will run from 29th June to 1st July.