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Frankfurt Book Fair presents digital concept

14.07.2020 | 11:17 Clock | Business
Frankfurt Book Fair presents digital concept

As we have already reported to you, the Frankfurt Book Fair is scheduled to take place from 14th to 18th October 2020 despite Corona. Of course under special conditions: In addition to the streamlined and spatially expanded physical event on the fairgrounds and many events in the city, the Book Fair has also developed a comprehensive virtual programme. It is co-designed by publishers and can be used by trade visitors* and literature enthusiasts all over the world. The free use of the digital platforms and services of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 is made possible by a grant from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), Minister of State Monika Grütters.

This year, it is clearer than ever before: only together can we overcome this crisis. That also applies to an event like the Frankfurt Book Fair. Director Juergen Boos says: "We thank Minister of State Monika Grütters for her support and are delighted that, thanks to the funding, we are able to make our digital services available free of charge this year. The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 will be a very special fair; a ‚Special Edition'. Digital events and services are no substitute for personal meetings, but in a year when exhibitors and trade visitors from many parts of the world are unable to travel because of current travel restrictions, digital formats are essential. Under the motto "All together now" we would like to bring together publishers and partners, culture enthusiasts and trade participants from all over the world in virtual space and offer the opportunity to exchange ideas and celebrate authors and stories.

The Frankfurt Book Fair website forms the platform on which all digital formats - for both professionals and those interested in culture - are offered. During the book fair week, a huge digital event takes place here as well as on the social media channels of the Frankfurt Book Fair and on many partner channels under the hashtag #fbm20. All events will be listed in the online Calendar of Events at Publishers can design their digital presence on the Book Fair website, in the online exhibitor catalogue, calendar of events and on special theme pages for both trade visitors and culture fans and submit digital event ideas for the BOOKFEST digital. They also have access to a rights trading platform and a matchmaking tool.

The trade programme also includes a digital conference and professional programme during the Book Fair week, which is also available at From mid-August, companies and trade visitors* can register for participation in the digital fair using the online form at; the Call for Ideas for BOOKFEST digital is already underway and will end on 15 July 2020. From September, culture and literature fans can register in the calendar of events at to find out about the programme.

Digital offers for the general public

>The Special Edition of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 includes a comprehensive, digital programme for the general public which, to a large extent, will also be broadcast in the media. A highlight celebrates its premiere in the Festhalle of the Frankfurt Fair: the ARD Book Fair Stage in cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair. The programme of events during the Fair Week is organised under the leadership of ARD and its institutions; other partners include ZDF, 3sat, ARTE, Deutsche Welle, Deutschlandfunk, DER SPIEGEL, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and others. The program is broadcast via livestream. Subject to the current regulations, events can be held in the Festhalle in front of an audience. One highlight will be the ARD Book Fair Night on Friday, 16 October 2020, which will be broadcast live nationwide over all cultural programmes in Germany.

Manfred Krupp, the director-general of Hessischer Rundfunk, emphasises: "Hessischer Rundfunk is delighted to stand by the Frankfurt Book Fair as an important partner in this special edition and, as the leading institution, to shape the ARD programme. Together with our media partners, we will take up this great challenge and seize the great opportunity to offer places of exchange for those interested in culture and the trade public. This year, the Frankfurt Book Fair will again be a platform for relevant discourse in its halls, on the ARD Book Fair stage and virtually, and will celebrate the medium of the book with its visitors.

Even on Friday, ZDF will be celebrating books and their authors with a big literary gala in the aspekte programme Bücher und ihre Autor*innen at 11 pm. In cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair, top-class national and international writers will be invited. Katty Salié and Jo Schück will introduce them in this special issue of the culture magazine with readings, conversations and portraits. During the gala, the aspekte literature prize 2020 will also be awarded.

Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and 3sat will set up the well-known literature format Das Blaue Sofa from 14 to 16 October 2020, parallel to the Frankfurt Book Fair, in the Bertelsmann Representative Office in Berlin, and welcome around 50 authors* at #DasBlaueSofaDigital. The talks will be broadcast live.

BOOKFEST digital: the cultural festival on October 17, live on the net

One day, packed with cultural highlights: The digital culture festival BOOKFEST on the Saturday of the fair, 17 October 2020, is aimed at culture and literature fans all over the world. A 16-hour digital live programme with international participants* is planned. This is where authors* and their fans meet online. Whether interviews, discussions or productions: The programme is curated by the Frankfurt Book Fair team. Publishers and partners are now invited to submit their authors* and themes for the BOOKFEST digital by 15 July 2020. Participation is free of charge for all interested culture fans and exhibitors*. More information for publishers and partners on the Call for Ideas:

World reception virtual: Europe - Connecting cultures

How can culture have a lasting effect in a global crisis? At Weltempfang, the Frankfurt Book Fair's centre for politics, literature and translation, authors, cultural practitioners, experts and opinion leaders from all over the world will discuss the impact of the pandemic on cultural life. Under the motto "Europe - Connecting Cultures", a dozen carefully curated online events are planned to be broadcast during the Book Fair week. The World Reception is a joint project of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Federal Foreign Office.

Guest of Honour Canada with a strong virtual presence

Due to current travel restrictions, Canada had to postpone its physical appearance for a year. However, numerous digital events are planned for 2020 - both as part of the public programme and at the specialist events of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020. Information on the programme will be announced later. As part of the digital formats, Canadian works translated into German in the last twelve months and their authors* will also be staged. More than 100 new publications in German have already been published in recent months.

Cross-media rights trade: THE ARTS+

THE ARTS+ is the Frankfurt Book Fair's trading place for Creative Intellectual Property (CIP), i.e. ideas, concepts, texts, images or audio content. THE ARTS+ thus forms the interface between the publishing industry and creative industries such as film and TV, art and museums, music, design etc. As part of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020, THE ARTS+ offers a digital programme consisting of lectures, master classes and pitches. The aim is to initiate partnerships and promote rights and licence trading. One initiative already launched by THE ARTS+ is Pitch your CIP. This is a closed Facebook group with over 800 members that brings together the publishing and creative industries. Here agencies, publishers and creative professionals can pitch their content to find partners for co-productions, screen adaptations, merchandising partnerships, etc. The aim of Pitch your CIP is to promote mutual exchange, build a B2B community and lay the foundation for content trading in the age of media convergence.

More information about these and other offers can be found at

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