Book Expo America Attendance Up
It was a sea of people … well, not all people. SpongeBob SquarePants was there. So was the Pillsbury Doughboy with his endearing giggle. More than 27,000 attendees and a few fictitious characters sifted their way through the mobbed aisles at New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center on June 3-5 to browse the booths of some 1,200 publishers at BookExpo America (BEA). Major U.S. publishers, many university presses and independent presses of all sizes were there. Other vendors helped fill the massive floor space, with some 2,000 exhibits in all.
"The overall numbers for BEA this year are terrific, and this certainly provides encouragement for when the show is back in New York in 2007," notes Chris McCabe, vice president and show manager of BEA. (BEA is scheduled for Washington, D.C., in 2006.) "Attendance at BEA has remained relatively consistent over the past few years, with slight variations depending on what city we are in. There is no doubt that New York, home to so many book professionals and a nice attraction for international participants, provides a boost to attendance."
Kathleen Watson, vice president of marketing for Palo Alto, Calif.-based Klutz, publisher of activity books for kids, also commented that the New York location is ideal. "Given that New York City is the heart of the publishing industry, we always experience a positive lift when BEA is in the 'hometown,'" she says.
Show management estimates that 7,701 attendees were book buyers. Compared to BEA 2002, the last time the event was in New York City, BEA '05 had a 10-percent increase in registrants, and a 9-percent increase in book buyers. The total number of librarians who registered in 2005 was 2,242, compared to 1,942 who registered in 2004, and 802 who registered in 2002.
In addition to publishers, exhibitors included wholesalers and distributors, domestic and foreign printers, publishing software solutions providers, multimedia service providers, and packaging and marketing services providers.