Thursday 2nd November 2017
It’s not every day that you get a head of state opening an event, so I was exciting to hear that not one but two dignitaries – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron – were opening the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – the Frankfurt Book Fair. Even more thrilling was the announcement that special guest writers such as Margaret Atwood and Ken Follett would also be taking centre stage.
So you can imagine the eagerness and anticipation I felt in the lead up to my first visit to the book fair and meeting publishers from all over the world. Well, it didn’t disappoint that’s for sure! I was amazed by the sheer size of the exhibition which caters for around 7,300 publishers from over 100 countries. Finding my way around was a feat in itself, but the organisers provided me with a directory and map to help me navigate the various halls. I later learned there is also an event app that includes an interactive indoor map and enables you to connect with people while you’re there.
What was different about this year’s book fair?
This year’s Frankfurt Book Fair was special for us as a team as we were celebrating the launch of our new content provider solution OpenAthens Cloud. As part of our launch activities, Service Relationship Manager Phil Leahy gave an informative product presentation at one of the Hot Spot stages in the hall. If you missed Phil’s presentation it’s available from our Slideshare account.
A year ago we made several promises in our Publisher Manifesto:
We listened to our publishing customers and developed OpenAthens Cloud to fulfil our promise. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to continue to engage with international publishers and keep the conversations going. This is so we can remain responsive and develop products and services that meet the needs of our customers, now and in the future.
Why publishers are important to us
A lot of our contact with customers is by email or on the phone, so the Frankfurt book fair is the perfect opportunity for us to meet some of the people we had been in contact with over the last year, and to network with new people we met there. I particularly enjoyed meeting some of the publishing associations to find out more about the key challenges publishers are facing at the moment. Piracy came top of the list, shortly followed by personalisation.
Our meetings and conversations with publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair are really important to us, so we’ve already booked our place for next year.
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