Publishers' mixed reactions to LBF's dedicated children's area

Publishers' mixed reactions to LBF's dedicated children's area

Children’s publishers at LBF have told The Bookseller Daily at London Book Fair that the first-floor kids’ section is an improvement on 2015, but many feel they are still too far from the main action of the fair.

Upon LBF’s return to Olympia in 2015, many kids’ publishers criticised a floorplan that "cut off" the designated children’s area from the rest of the fair. LBF responded this year by opening up the front of the children’s area, adding more signage and extra bars, cafés and "go-to" areas.

David McMillan, group export manager at Walker, said the area was "lovely" but that he would "still like to be downstairs—it feels like a busy fair but there’s more footfall downstairs".

There was some disagreement over how easy the children’s area was to find from the main floor. Stripes publisher Jane Harris said it was "well signposted", but Andy Stafford, export manager at Miles Kelly, disagreed, stating: "The signage is fairly poor...you can’t find us easily."

LBF director Jacks Thomas said: "We took on board exhibitor feedback from last year and we cleared the stands in front of the Upper West Hall so there are clear site lines from both Grand and Central Hall. To encourage greater footfall we also placed a bar in the centre of the hall— with daily networking [events] that have been well attended—plus three other show-floor features, including Author HQ. We look forward to reviewing post-show feedback."