Coronavirus Update: BISG’s Annual Meeting ‘Repositions’ Online

In News by Porter Anderson

The Book Industry Study Group—focused on supply chain in the United States—is reformatting its annual meeting to a series of digital events held over several weeks.

Image – iStockphoto: Jaco Blund

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

‘A Broad Audience With Access and Insight’
Even in interpandemic times, the United States’ Book Industry Study Group (BISG) is fond of webinars.

So it’s logical that what would have been its September 11 annual meeting—a postponement from the original April 24 date—is today (June 29) as being announced as a series of online sessions running from late July to that September 11 date in a “repositioned” format.

The repositioning of BISG’s program includes the advantage that staffers of companies—even those companies that are not BISG members—will be able to access the programming free of charge. The traditional program is a one-day ticketed event, normally at New York City’s Harvard Club. And this open format is thanks to Bowker, which is sponsoring the digital rendition of the program.

Also good news: James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble and managing director of the UK’s Waterstones, continues as keynote speaker and he’s to be interviewed by BISG executive director Brian O’Leary at 3 p.m. ET on September 11 in the final session of the series.

Events in BISG’s Online Annual Meeting Sequence

You can register for each session–and get it onto your calendar–by clicking on the session name.

An overview of all the events is on this page.

Brian O’Leary

In comments for the news media issued today, O’Leary is quoted, saying, “We’re committed to leading and sustaining a dialogue about building a smarter supply chain, but we don’t feel we can host an in-person meeting in 2020 in a manner that protects the safety of those attending.

The repositioned meeting provides a broad audience with access and insight at a time when conversations about workflow, metadata, and the supply chain have grown in importance.”

Andrew Savikas

And BISG board chair Andrew Savikas is quoted, saying, “As the leading trade association for the book publishing industry in the United States, BISG is uniquely equipped to bring together stakeholders and rise to the major challenges we face as an industry.

“Even though we won’t be gathering in person, this revised program offers vital opportunities for the kind of collaboration BISG is known for, so we can work together to come through all of this as a stronger industry and community.”

At this writing, the 6:33 a.m. ET update (1033 GMT) of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows that the news from the United States is not good. The market has passed the 2.5 million-infection point for a total 2,544,169 cases and 125,803 fatalities, roughly a quarter of the world’s loss of life to the pathogen.

New reporting from The New York Times’ rolling updates also indicates that ” the actual death toll in the United States and more than two dozen other countries is higher than has been officially reported. Limited testing availability has often made it difficult to confirm that the virus was the cause of death.”

More from Publishing Perspectives on BISG is here, more from us on the United States’ market is here, and more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here and at the CORONAVIRUS tab at the top of each page of our site.

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.