The news is surprising in a way, but also gives a little hope for more "normality" in the autumn: the supervisory board of the BBG (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Beteiligungsgesellschaft) decided today that the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 will take place. In order to manage this and at the same time ensure the best possible security for all exhibitors* and visitors, the Frankfurt Book Fair (14-18 October 2020) is to be held not only on the exhibition grounds, but also decentrally in the city and also virtually.
The staging of the 72nd Frankfurt Book Fair on the exhibition grounds is based on a detailed health and hygiene concept that implements the protective regulations of the State of Hesse that will then be in force. The hygiene concept jointly developed by the Frankfurt Book Fair and Messe Frankfurt has convinced the Public Order Office and the Health Department of the City of Frankfurt. However, due to the very dynamic situation, this concept will have to be continuously adapted until October. In addition, a professional evaluation of the overall situation is essential, which in the worst case could of course still lead to a cancellation should the situation deteriorate significantly again.
"The Frankfurt Book Fair is the showcase for the international book industry and for this reason, too, it has become increasingly popular in recent years - not only with trade visitors and the rights trade, but also with readers. It has become an international agora of intellectual exchange. We want to use this discourse character even in the crisis and preserve it for the future of the book industry," says Siegmar Mosdorf, chairman of the supervisory board.
Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, emphasises: "This year, it is more important than ever to hold the Frankfurt Book Fair. With our presence on the exhibition grounds, book events on site and virtually, we are creating awareness for authors, for the industry, for our themes. The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 is a special edition due to corona - an on-site programme combined with forward-looking digital formats. We would like to thank the Minister President of the State of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, the Minister of Economics, Tarek Al-Wazir, the Minister of Finance, Michael Boddenberg, as well as the Lord Mayor of the City of Frankfurt am Main, Peter Feldmann, for their great support."
How many exhibitors will be able to come to Frankfurt is of course still written in the stars at the moment. But in any case, exhibitors from all over Europe are expected. Everything else will then depend on future travel restrictions - and on the willingness of international publishers to then again take the risk of participating in the fair in Germany. Details of the programme planning and this year's campaign will be announced at the end of June.
"The Frankfurt Book Fair is part of the DNA of this city and also an icon of the trade fair industry. We are delighted that the industry has decided in favour of a 2020 Book Fair, sending a very positive economic signal. As is always the case at Messe Frankfurt, the safety and health of all participants is a top priority. We have developed sophisticated measures with regard to distance rules, visitor guidance and hygiene, and will adapt the concept to current findings and requirements. Implementation will be very structured, and we will do everything in our power to support the Frankfurt Book Fair," says Uwe Behm, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt.
Digital Supporting Programme
More important than ever in 2020 will be the digital supporting programme. It will cover the requirements of both on-site and virtually connected participants* from all over the world with a wide range of offers: company and product presentations, occasions and formats for business initiation, contacting business partners, market trends and further education. "We are currently developing a range of digital formats that address precisely these customer needs and enable the participation of companies and players from publishing and related industries worldwide at the Book Fair 2020," continues Juergen Boos.
In order to inform book fans worldwide about the new publications of the book autumn 2020, the Frankfurt Book Fair will also take place virtually for one week. Among other things, a BOOKFEST centre is planned, from which the Frankfurt Book Fair and its media partners will present new publications and authors and initiate relevant discussions.
The major German trade publishers - Verlagsgruppe Random House, the German Bonnier publishing houses, Holtzbrinck Buchverlage and Verlagsgruppe Bastei Lübbe - have initiated the idea of a new event concept as part of the Book Fair in exchange with the Frankfurt Book Fair. They are closely involved in the conception, communication and later also the implementation of this idea.
In addition, there are numerous initiatives from the book industry, which wants to contribute with many ideas on digital and physical formats, and which is in lively exchange with the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Guest of Honour appearance 2020
The Frankfurt Book Fair is currently consulting with the host of the Guest of Honour appearance, the Canadian Ministry of Culture and Canadian Heritage, on a concept adapted to the situation. A decision is expected shortly.
The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 - current planning status at a glance:
Date: The Frankfurt Book Fair will take place from 14 to 18 October 2020.
Trade visitor days are from 14 - 18 October.
On the weekend (17 and 18 October), the Frankfurt Book Fair will additionally be open to the public.
Number of visitors admitted: The number of visitors* admitted to the site at any one time is based on the gross area occupied in October.
Admission: Admission will be contactless after pre-registration and self-report of health.
Hall occupancy: Currently, scheduling is focused on six hall levels (Hall Levels 3.0 and 3.1, 4.0, 4.1, and 6.0 and 6.1).
Placement: Placement is expected to be completed by mid-July.
Booth Space: The smallest possible booth space will be 8 m<x>ampersand</x>sup2;. Exhibitors who have booked 4 m<x>ampersand</x>sup2; will receive an additional 4 m<x>ampersand</x>sup2; at no extra cost. All other stand sizes will also receive a cost-neutral increase on a sliding scale model.
Aisle widths: In addition, 1.5 metres of the aisle width in front of each stand will be added as additional communication space.
Aisle widths in the halls will be between 6-8 metres.
Stages: Large stages will be largely replaced by digital or equalized physical offerings this year.
Book Sales: Visitors* will be able to purchase books at the legally bound retail price on Fair Saturday and Fair Sunday.
Registration and ticket purchases are available online only after full registration and self-disclosure.
The ticket shop for trade visitor tickets is expected to open on 01.08.2020.