The book world’s biggest annual event, Book Expo, has sadly been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This event’s cancellation comes on the tail of many others, as the world reacts to the pandemic.
In a statement by the event director, Jennifer Martin, this afternoon, the organizers express their regret for this cancellation and advise intended attendees of next steps:
To our BookExpo, UnBound & BookCon community,
Due to the escalation of COVID-19 globally, Reed Exhibitions has today announced that the next edition of BookExpo, UnBound and BookCon will now take place in the spring of 2021.
Initially, we were optimistic that our events could run in late July. However, as the pandemic has continued to escalate in the United States and we see the challenges it has brought for the book industry, it is clear that 2020 is no longer a viable option for this community.
We have worked closely with the venue, hotel community and contractors to identify workable new dates. Unfortunately, the available options do not meet the necessary criteria to support the business needs of our industry. This led us to make the difficult decision to wait until 2021 to deliver a vibrant BookExpo, UnBound and BookCon.
The events, originally due to take place next month, were postponed to late July initially, but as the situation has been unfolding, that date has been deemed more and more unlikely. As we have seen today, this proved to be true.
This cancellation is hardly surprising, but still devastating for authors, publishers, merchandisers, and members of the wider book community. The BookCon is normally a hugely integral member of the publishing calendar, and its cancellation spells upheaval for many that rely on its opportunity for exposure or revenue.
For ticket holders, refunds will be issued, requiring no further action on their part, as the statement reads “Your tickets for the 2020 event will be automatically refunded. No action is required on your end.”
Despite the fact that BookCon, Unbound, and BookExpo events will not be going ahead physically, the organizing teams are intending on finding new and different ways to bring much of the event’s content to the public, however virtually these measures will need to be executed.
The BookCon Read-A-Thon was recently produced by ReedPop, which gives readers the opportunity to experience live author readings and associated discussions. This project is accompanied by a donation drive for independent bookstores, utilizing #SaveIndieBookstores as the affiliated hashtag. More information on this campaign, and the statement in its entirety can be found here.
The good news is that the team behind the event are excited to bring BookCon, Unbound, and BookExpo to the Javits Center in Spring 2021. We can’t wait.
feature image via hollywood reporter
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