Bologna visitor numbers increase 15%

Bologna visitor numbers increase 15%

More than 35,000 people attended this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which took place in Bologna, Italy, last week (29th March – 1st April), a 15% increase from 2014.

There were 1,200 exhibitors from 77 countries and the number of non-Italian visitors to the fair was 10% higher than last year, said the organisers.

This year the fair launched the Weekend for Young Readers, welcoming children and teenagers to events and workshops across the fair. More than 22,000 visitors took part, including a trip to see the Illustrator’s Exhibition for the first time.

Other new initiatives included the launch of the Strega Ragazzi Prize for children’s books aged 6-11 and 12-16. The winners will be chosen by Italian school children and announced at the Bologna Fair next year.

In terms of online and social media, the Bologna Book Fair website saw an increase in visitors of 15%, and the Facebook page attracted 11,000 fans.

Twitter generated 600 tweets featuring the hashtags #BolognaBookFair or #WEGiovaniLettori.

All of the major UK publishers exhibited at Bologna this year and most said business was “strong”.

Emma Hopkin, m.d. of Bloomsbury Children’s, said there was a “very positive mood”,  while Nosy Crow commercial director Adrian Soar said his stand was “fantastically busy”.