Vince Cable, Michael Tamblyn and Youngsuk Chi are among the names speaking at the Independent Publishers Guild's annual spring conference this year.
Held on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd March at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire, the conference's keynote speakers will be the former business secretary Cable, who will consider the opportunities and challenges facing small and medium sized businesses, and Elsevier chairman, Chi, who will reflect on change in the publishing over the 21st century and look ahead to prospects for the next few years.
Other plenary sessions on the first day of the conference will focus on the new ways publishers now have to reach readers, with Kobo’s Tamblyn, Unbound’s John Mitchinson and Historic England’s John Hudson among those discussing new business models, and Elizabeth Baldwin of the Harvard Business Review Group looking at the evolution of e-commerce. The after-dinner guest on the first night is comedian, writer and soon-to-be Unbound author Andy Hamilton.
As well as Cable’s keynote, the second day will bring sessions on many of the issues raised in the IPG’s recent Independent Publishing Report, including "tips on cashflow and the secrets of enduring businesses" from publishers including Toby Faber and Pavilion’s Polly Powell.
Other themes include modern retail, the strategic use of data and contract negotiations, while a range of break-out sessions will look at audio, online discoverability, the strategic use of data and opportunities in north America. Round-ups of trends in trade and academic publishing and legal advice from Fox Williams’ Mary Elliott will wrap up the day ahead of the IPG Independent Publishing Awards.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “We strive to make every year’s Annual Spring Conference our best yet, and 2016 is no exception. We are really looking forward to welcoming members for a hugely stimulating and enjoyable 48 hours.”
The 10th IPG Independent Publishing Awards will be given on the second evening, and the IPG’s Annual General Meeting will follow on the morning of Friday 4th March.