Osman to deliver keynote speech at BA conference with Faulks headlining Gardners

Osman to deliver keynote speech at BA conference with Faulks headlining Gardners

Richard Osman will deliver the keynote speech at the Booksellers Association (BA) annual conference while Sebastian Faulks will headline the Gardners Trade Show this September.

The Gardners Trade Show will open on the 12th September at the new venue of the Jury's Inn Hotel and Conference Centre in Hinkley Island, Leicestershire, with speeches by Faulks and broadcaster Dr Hilary Jones. There will also be an afternoon tea sponsored by HarperCollins with Girl A (HarperCollins) author Abigail Dean, Aisling Fowler, whose debut Fireborn (HarperCollins Children's) is out in October, and Kasim Ali, assistant editor at PRH, of debut novel Good Intentions (Fourth Estate).

The Trade Show will feature over 50 publishers showcasing key upcoming releases, exclusive competitions, and the launch of the '12 Weeks of Christmas’ promotion, offering attendees the opportunity to discover new lines, network and meet publishers and the Gardners team. 

This will be followed by a drinks reception sponsored by Batch and BatchLine, and a conference dinner and party for all delegates sponsored by The Independent Alliance.

The Thursday Murder Club author Osman will give a keynote speech at the BA conference on 13th September in an event chaired by Cathy Rentzenbrink. Organisers said they were conscious there may be some people who who do not wish to attend an in-person event, and all keynote sessions will be streamed to the Booksellers Network Facebook Group.

The BA conference will also include BA m.d. Meryl Halls in conversation with Allison Hill, c.e.o of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), hosted by The Bookseller editor Philip Jones. The pair will discuss trends, challenges and opportunities within the book world both in the US and UK. Other sessions include an exploration of booksellers as "'place makers" and their role as leaders on the high street and within their communities as well as 10 practical skills labs focusing on a range of bookselling topics, sponsored by Bookshop.org. 

Halls said: “We are delighted to announce the programme for the Booksellers Association Conference in September, including a keynote speech from one of the UK’s top selling authors and sessions exploring the topics which matter most to booksellers today. It has been a challenging period for booksellers and the wider industry, and we are excited to meet up again in person to share stories, reconnect and look ahead to the future.”

Nigel Wyman, sales and marketing director at Gardners added: “After the confinement of the past 18 months, we are thrilled to have an in-person event in the pipeline.  We are naturally a sociable trade, so while virtual connectivity has helped, it hasn’t been quite the same. We are looking forward to mingling with the bookselling community again in a face-to-face environment. With so many new bookshops having opened in the least year, we can’t wait introduce ourselves in person, and welcome them through our doors. This combined event with the Booksellers Association will truly be a celebration of resilience.”

Gardners will be sponsoring booksellers to attend the conference and trade show for free. Booksellers interested in attending can register to attend here.