Monday, 13 October 2014

Internationalism at Frankfurt

Frankfurt crowds this year

The Frankfurt Book Fair, which has just closed,  is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair.This year it featured 7,300 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 280,000 visitors, and over 3,400 events.

Those who were there say this year has been notable for the sense that once-insular publishers are now crossing international boundaries as a matter of course.

“Book publishers are expanding the scope of their opportunities to the maximum. They are experimenting with content and technologies.” Said Juergen Boos, Director of the Fair. He added: "The world belongs to enterprising people. For publishers, this means having the courage to cross boundaries, perhaps even to relocate mentally to other countries or industries.” 

The rapid  internationalisation of the publishing business was particularly evident at the Business Club, where  around 3,000 visitors from more than 50 countries benefited from conferences, consultations and networking services. In more than 70 sessions, approximately 150 speakers examined the issues and trends of the international publishing and media industries. 

Meanwhile, almost 100 tech-based innovators from all around the world made use of the Hot Spot exhibition areas for digital innovation. Boos said: "After an initial moment of panic the publishing industry is now demonstrating an astonishing level of mental agility, in the face of digitisation.”

As for the content providers - the writers - Frankfurt Undercover brought together more than 20 international writers who met over a period of three days to address political issues. Danish author and initiator of the project, Janne Teller, said: “There is obviously a strong interest on the part of writers to share ideas among themselves, and to assume a more active role vis-à-vis society and politics.” Juergen Boos concurred, saying that: “exchanges between politics and literature can be fruitful. Perhaps the power of words and the power of politics should meet more often?”

Especially, it could be argued, in Asia. 

Were you at Frankfurt?  If so, please do share your experiences with the Blog.

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