At Frankfurt Book Fair’s Business Club: Programming Notes

In News by Porter Anderson

Created as a premium setting for facilitated meetings, Frankfurt Book Fair’s Business Club now is also a hub of specialized programming.
The Business Club at Frankfurt Book Fair. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse, Bernd Hartung

The Business Club at Frankfurt Book Fair. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse, Bernd Hartung

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

More Than 40 Events, 80 Speakers
The Business Club at Frankfurt Book Fair has become a popular hit both with serious deal-makers in international publishing and with industry leaders curious about complex issues and personalities in the books business today.

Now in its third year at Hall 4.0, the Business Club provides concierge services for the greeting and handling of guests; reserved tables for member meetings in a comfortable setting; food; drink; and more amenities that help trade visitors with an alternative to the display floors of the Fair for meetings and events.

But as a news release from Fair organizers sums up, the club setting has become a center of programming in its own right: some 80 speakers are to be heard this year in 40 events at the Business Club, raising its own programming to a new level of visibility and importance throughout the week.

Our Publishing Perspectives Talks series is part of this, with Wattpad’s Ashleigh Gardner on Wednesday (October 19), publishing entrepreneur Richard Nash on Thursday (October 20), and Jellybooks’ Andrew Rhomberg on Friday (Otober 21). We’re also talking with special guest Dominic Myers, who heads Amazon Publishing in Europe in a special live conversation on the Business Club Stage Friday (October 21) at 2 p.m.

And additional expert observations come from a range of specialists, from Milan’s Michele Foschini of BAO Publishing on marketing bestsellers in Italy, to a breakfast focus on literary trends in Ukraine, Slovenia, Georgia and Russia; and from a talk on the impact of literary awards on the market to a discussion on the effort to build young readership in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, with Claudia Kaiser and Salman Faridi.

In connection with young readers, Frankfurt Book Fair has renewed its support of six initiatives for young talent in cooperation with leading international trade magazines. The winners of those initiatives are speaking at 4:30 p.m. each Fair day on the Business Club Stage in the Newcomers on Stage series.

Today (October 18), the Business Club is the setting for The Markets: Global Publishing Summit, the conference co-produced by the Fair and Publishing Perspectives that features comments from analysts, visionaries and business players from seven pivotal regions: The Philippines, Brazil, Spain, Flanders and The Netherlands, Poland, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates.

For a taste of some of the wide range of astute, actionable commentary coming to The Markets, see our series of interviews with many of the key speakers being heard in today’s sessions and networking conversations.

At Frankfurt Book Fair's Business Club, 2015. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse, Bernd Hartung

At Frankfurt Book Fair’s Business Club, 2015. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse, Bernd Hartung

In other programming, the annual CEO Talks are a tradition now fully associated with the Business Club, in association with Vienna-based Rüdiger Wischenbart’s Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry. This year, these group interviews with newsmakers feature Bonnier Books’ Jacob Dalborg at 2 p.m. Wednesday (October 19) and Rizzoli Libri Trade’s Massimo Turchetta and Media Participations’ Claude de Saint Vincent on Thursday (October 20).

More activities run from a one-on-one conversation between Cengage’s Michael E. Hansen and Buchmesse’s Thomas Minkus to a morning-length Town Hall Event with Copyright Clearance Center and a workshop on generating innovative business models.

Perhaps of special interest to many will be a session on social reading with Peter Paul van Bekkum and Toine Donk on Friday (October 21).

And Francophones will have the Business Club’s Business Breakfast Thursday (October 20) on their calendars when next year’s Buchmesse Guest of Honor, France, is featured in a concentrated look at the most significant trends in the French market today.

As organizers tell us in a prepared statement: French is the native tongue of more than 200 million people. France–the country has produced the largest number of Nobel laureates in literature (15).”

That event is supported by EU’s ALDUS, the network of European book fairs, with support from the European Union’s Creative Europe program.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to be in touch with the 2016 Business Club Ambassadors group, the program comprises:

  • John Bond, Whitefox, UK
  • Catherine Fragou, Iris Literacy Agent, Greece
  • Erhardt Heinold, Heinold, Spiller & Partner, Germany
  • Jaime Ivan Hurtado, HiperTexto, Colombia
  • Michele Hutchison, Netherlands
  • Alison Jones, Practical Inspiration Publishing, UK
  • Nashwan Al Maghafi, Yemen Bookshop, Yemen
  • Hariza Mohd Yusof, USIM, Malaysia
  • Richard Nash, United States
  • Prashant Pathak, Consultant, India
  • Christine Seiler, Aufbau Verlag, Germany
  • Jose Fernando Tavares, Booknando Livros, Brazil

The full schedule of programmed events at Frankfurt’s Business Club is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.