The London Book Fair is holding its first in-person show in three years Tuesday–Thursday, April 5–7. The fair was canceled abruptly in 2020, just a week before it was scheduled to start, and then offered as a virtual event in 2021. Now with industry members returning to London, fair organizers have high expectations for 2022, even if it is scaled back from the 2019 event.
The number of exhibitors registered for this year’s LBF is 860, down somewhat from the more than 1,000 registered in 2019. Of the 860, 477 are coming from 56 countries outside of the U.K. Currently, 156 exhibitors are from the U.S. In addition to stands from the U.K. and Canada, the LBF will have large pavilions for China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, is the market focus country and will offer a robust program of literary and cultural events. The fair will also feature a special program highlighting authors from Catalonia.
In all, organizers expect 15,000–20,000 attendees, down from the typical 25,000. Some of this is the result of lower attendance from the U.S. Americans will be required to show CDC-approved proof of vaccination and a passport to enter the fair, and masks will be required.
In all, LBF will host 120 events, seminars, presentations, and panels. The fair’s Main Stage is presenting a series of panels focusing on best practices and trends in book publishing. The International Publishers Association is also sponsoring three sessions focused on sustainability in book publishing.
According to publishersweekly