Frankfurt Book Fair Releases Facts and Figures from 2016

In News by Porter Anderson

Citing especially strong response to its Literary Agents and Scouts Center and to the Business Club offering, Frankfurt Book Fair found 90 percent of its exhibitors to be players in purchasing decisions.

An shot from Hall 6 at Frankfurt Book Fair 2016. Image: Marc Jacquemin for FBM

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

Attendees in 2016 Were From 125 Countries
In October, the sprawling Frankfurt Book Fair (FBM) included 4,150 events. Of those, 3,250 were held in German, and 900 in English.

This chart from Frankfurt Book Fair indicates growth in the Literary Agents and Scouts Center (LitAg) to 2016.

In its release this week of the annual Facts and Figures information prepared for each year of the fair’s operation, we learn that FBM was attended by 278,023 visitors—172,296 of them in the publishing trade, and 105,727 or 38 percent members of the public. (The Buchmesse is opened on Saturday and Sunday of fair week to the general public. A popular outing, the weekend draws many families and friends, some dressed in elaborate costumes.)

The attendance figures comprise representatives from 125 countries, and some 10,000 journalists from more than 75 countries, prompting the fair to renew its characterization of itself as the publishing industry’s largest media event.

Around 2,400 bloggers were accredited for fair attendance in 2015, as were 120 news agencies from 40 countries.

In social media, the fair’s personnel report:

  • 10 million impressions anually at
  • 56,500 fans of the German and English Facebook pages for FBM
  • 31,500 followers on Twitter
  • 4,200 Instagram subscribers, and
  • 7,200 members of its LinkedIn group.

As Publishing Perspectives reported, FBM opened the LitAg, the Literary Agents and Scouts Center, for the first time on Tuesday before the Wednesday opening of the show floors, allowing meetings and transactions to begin at the Buchmesse on the “pre-day” for those who didn’t want to continue the tradition of meeting at nearby hotels.

The LitAg, itself, was sold out early in the spring—460 tables over 2015’s 452 tables. The center welcomed 708 agents (over 2015’s 669) from 300 agencies (over 2015’s 299), a total representation of 33 countries.

In the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 Literary Agents and Scouts Center, LitAg. Image: Marc Jacquemin for FBM.

Business and the Club

THE ARTS+, a specialized pavilon with extensive programming, was staged by Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time in 2016.

The Business Club, set on the ground floor of Hall 4, drew some 3,400 visitors from more than 75 nations. The international aspect of the Business Club—the setting for FBM’s The Markets: Global Publishing Summit and many other progamming elements—is reflected in the fact that 70 percent of its visitors were from outside Germany.

Of the total set of visitors to the Business Club, 41 percent are in management, 19 percent in business development, 9 percent identifying themselves as being in digital business, 9 percent in programs and editing, and 8 percent in rights and licensing. Some 33 percent of the Business Club visitors in 2016 were publishers, 27 percent in information services and consulting, 10 percent in media, 10 percent in tech, and 8 percent from public institutions.

At the higher level, 69.9 percent of visitors to Frankfurt Book Fair in 2016 were from Germany; 22.2 percent were from elsewhere in Europe; 5 percent were from Asia; and 2.3 percent were from the Americas.

The ratio of German to international exhibitors, however, runs strongly the other way, with 2,432 Germany exhibitors (34 percent) and 4,721 international exhibitors. All told, the exhibitor in 2016 represented 106 nations.

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 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.