London Book Fair returns as in-person event in April!

After two years of being apart, three years since the last LBF, and countless video calls later, there is a palpable sense of excitement that the global publishing industry will be reunited in person at long last, shares Andy Ventris, Director of The London Book Fair.

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As April approaches and life adapts to a new normal here in the UK, the reality that The London Book Fair (LBF, April 5-7, 2022, Olympia, London) is only a few weeks away is truly sinking in. LBF was one of the first major events to be cancelled in early 2020 as the pandemic hit. Now, after two years of being apart, three years since the last LBF, and countless video calls later, there is a palpable sense of excitement that the global publishing industry will be reunited in person at long last. Nothing beats being in the room where it’s all happening, and we cannot wait to reconnect with publishers, agents and authors from around the world, sharing experiences and doing business in person once again.

Stellar line up…

We are delighted that 95% of exhibition space at the Fair has sold out, with 750 exhibitors from 56 countries confirmed to attend, a true vote of confidence in the importance of LBF for the industry. The International Rights Centre is also fully booked with a waiting list, demonstrating the eagerness within publishing to meet up again in person to work, network and share expertise in person.

COVID safety measures and ongoing redevelopment works at Olympia (which will also affect the 2023 Fair) mean that LBF will look a little different this year to its pre-pandemic iterations, but we are confident that attendees will enjoy returning to experience the same excitement, connection and knowledge sharing for which the Fair has always been known.

Many of the most popular elements of the London Book Fair will be returning for attendees to enjoy this year, including Market Focus, Authors of the Fair, the English PEN Salon and more. We will also run our popular conferences alongside the main Fair programme, with expert advice being shared at Introduction to Rights, The Writers Summit, and the Research & Scholarly Publishing Forum. We will reveal more details about our exciting conference programme in the coming weeks, which will once again bring together experts from across the industry to tackle the most pressing and timely issues in publishing.

Knowledge-sharing as always…

I am thrilled to have so many brilliant authors and industry experts sharing their knowledge and experience in this year’s programme, with more to be announced in due course. Bestselling authors such as Peter James, Milly Johnson, and Louise Candlish will be joining our Author HQ theatre to talk about their careers and writing process, and to give tips to aspiring writers. And we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Maggie O’Farrell to LBF 2022 as our Adult Author of the Fair. Maggie’s profile has expanded significantly over the last couple of years, with the game-changing publication of Women’s Prize winning novel Hamnet rocketing her remarkable career to new heights. We are absolutely delighted to be the first in-person event that Maggie will be taking part in since the announcement of her highly anticipated, upcoming novel The Marriage Portrait, and I hope this will be a wonderful opportunity for the global publishing community to discover more about Maggie, her incredible backlist, and the books coming from her later this year.

In-person event…

As with other global events, the London Book Fair was significantly impacted by the pandemic and various lockdowns, but these experiences have reminded us what it is that makes LBF so special and these lessons will shape our outlook as we proceed with this year’s Fair. Some aspects of last year’s Online Book Fair will live on in this year’s physical Fair, particularly the provision of-demand access to key sessions from the seminar programme for an international audience.

Of course, visitor safety is our number one priority, and we are implementing COVID measures to ensure that everyone feels confident in their safety during their time at Olympia. Details of our updated safety guidelines, including travel advice and information about Covid-19 status passes for those attending, can be found here: https://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/en-gb/help/safety.html.

For over fifty years, LBF been a key date in the publishing calendar, bringing together the global industry to work together and connect, and this has not changed in a post-pandemic world. We cannot wait to open our doors on 5th April and welcome everyone back again.

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