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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New York, New York, Chicago, ?????

It is not a secret that BEA will be in Chicago in 2016.  There is a tab with Future Dates in the Show Info drop down where this has been posted for almost 2 years.  It has been interesting as people inquired about the rumor that BEA is moving to Chicago... 

To be fair, this has not been overtly promoted, making it understandable that BEA in Chicago in 2016 is not common knowledge.  It is not a rumor, it is fact.  Still that is 2 1/2 years and 3 show cycles away.   BEA's present focus is on a few core items that insures BEA remains a compelling and critical event for the whole industry.  The biggest two are:  
  1. Creating a unique, unparalleled pop culture event for consumers that is centered around books and authors
  2. Protecting the B2B value prop for BEA exhibitors and attendees.

That is deeper fodder for another time, this post is all about the WHERE for BEA after 2016.  We are asking the question and doing the due diligence on where BEA should be after 2016 so that continues to be the best event possible for the most people.  There is a quick survey at the top of this page. 
Please weigh in with your vote
       
HOWEVER, before you do vote, I ask that you to sit in my seat for a minute and weigh all the factors to be evaluated to make a decision that serves the most people best.
  • BEA depends heavily on the results from our annual exhibitor and attendee research and NYC continues to perform extremely well - with the worst scores from NYC beating out Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles (well - anything short of prison camp might  beat the scores from LA).
  • Venue size and availability - BEA happens at a prime time of the year in terms of trade show activity - this makes getting some venues more of a challenge and where BEA will fit along with a high need for a big meeting room inventory.
  • Hotel inventory and pricing - while BEA might be smaller than it was 10 years ago, BEA still draws a similar number of attendees as it did in 2004 and BEA has to have a sizable hotel inventory with a variety of price options. I know, that does not sound like NYC, but there are many options around $200 or less and cities like San Fran are tough because they would actually be harder than NYC.
  • Press/Media - BEA draws an enviable amount of media both in numbers and in coverage and that remains one of the most valuable pieces of BEA and BEA has to weigh this in any location, which heavily favors NYC.
  • Access:  It is critical that most of BEA's constituents can get travel to BEA with easy options for direct flights domestically or internationally.
  • Is a city a destination for BEA??  San Fran, Boston, Seattle all offer attractive cultural scenes with rich literary histories but go back up the list of items and the dings come in.  Suffice to say - BEA Orlando, BEA Dallas, BEA Atlanta - well I will start looking at prison camps first.  All great cities in their own right, but not cities that BEA exhibitors or attendees would seek as a destination.
We are here because people are increasingly voicing the sentiment that BEA needs to move from New York for a variety of reasons - one being needing variety away from NYC and the big one being the cost of NYC. Make your voice heard, but also think of all the voices and the needs each constituency has vested for participating in BEA.

BEA Future Dates
2015 Thursday May 28 - Saturday May 30th - Javits Center, NYC
2016 Thursday May 12 - Saturday May 14th - McCormick Place, Chicago


39 comments:

  1. I would love BEA to stay on the East Coast. It's a relatively easy train ride or bus ride for me, and I realize that sounds selfish. But I also look at the fact the the majority of the publishing world is based out of NYC - which has to make setting up booths and such easier.

    Also NYC is just an amazing city. There is always something going on and always something to do. Transportation is never an issue because the city is full of taxis, subways, and buses.

    I do hope it stays in NYC, or is there every few years.

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  2. I definitely think BEA should come to different cities, so as to give people the opportunity (who can't make it to NYC) to go. Los Angeles would be a great choice but there's Veags as well ;)

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    1. At the very least we have Chicago in 2016 and I think that will be proof that moving is good (or bad) but I do think as Lexie said below) that NYC as a hub, and moving every few years will be the answer.

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  3. I voted 'yes', but its a conditional yes. I think if BEA were to switch to another major city every 4th year (so 2017, 2018, 2019 in NYC, 2020 in a new city) this would be good. While I adore NYC, there are so many cities out there that can offer so much for not only book lovers, but for the show in general.

    With the changing face of the publishing industry--smaller niche publishers, authors living not just in the NYC area, but all over, e-publishers not being able to justify the expense--it wouldn't hurt to have a show in say Boston or in Texas or wherever you want.

    Plus if the show becomes more open to the public (I havent' seen how the 'Power Readers Day' went this year) moving to a new city only every so often would give other readers a chance to see the wonder that is BEA.

    On a selfish note I live close to NYC and I like that its only a train ride away for me.

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    1. No matter what, I think NYC will always be the 'hub' - thanks for the comments, they are appreciated.

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  4. BEA in NYC was great, but BEA in Boston would be amazing.

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    1. Boston is on the list of cities to see if we can make it work. Thanks for the comment!

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  5. BEA is New York City for me - I will not attend Chicago's event, however, Boston would be very interesting although hotels are relatively expensive there as well.

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  6. Philadelphia isn't that far from New York and it's easily navigatable with public transpo as well.

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  7. Love it in NYC! It's the publishing capital and I love attending! Boston would be an interesting site too - but keep it in NYC!

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  8. I wonder if it's possible to have the annual event in NYC, with one or two smaller "satellite" events in other cities during the summer or early fall. Perhaps such an arrangement could satisfy the majority of readers, buyers, librarians, etc.

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  9. True, NYC is the publishing center, but Chicago, being more centrally located, might be an easier destination for many from the hinterlands to reach. And McCormick Place just completed a major renovation, so...

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  10. I will be honest and say that I love that BEA is so close to me. It makes things very easy as far as commuting, although I did stay a few blocks from Javits this year. I would not be against another city, although I'm not sure if I could attend then. Chicago is more central. But there's something about NYC and how it draws people that just makes sense to have it in NYC.

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  11. Orlando? Definitely a destination. Plenty of hotel rooms and large enough convention center. And sunshine. Lots of sunshine.

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  12. I agree. BEA should definitely stay in NYC. I believe the event is able to host the most amount of publishers and authors due to it's proximity to their homes and offices. It would be a shame to move this fantastic event out of New York City.

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  13. I think BEA should definitely stay in NYC. Many of the industry contacts, including authors, are there, and it simply makes more sense. Also, it is centrally-located for East Coast traveling. Boston is too far north and Atlanta too far South. Philadelphia may be a good alternative, but it does not have the panache and sophistication of New York. Please keep BEA in New York.

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  14. I think ALA and BEA should combine. The show might have to be a bit longer to accommodate the educational programming needs for both booksellers and librarians, but it would save publishers a lot of money in the long run not to have to go to 2 shows and would increase foot traffic and create a much more dynamic show. In this economy, it seems foolish to continue to have 2 major industry shows a month apart. Many librarians can't afford to do both BEA and ALA and end up choosing one over the other. Keeping it in NYC benefits mostly larger houses, but with Random basically forgoing a booth for a reception desk (and who knows how that will impact Penguin in 2015 and beyond), it seems foolish to cater just to larger house "supporters" of BEA. More medium and small presses (who are not all based in NYC) would come to BEA if it moved around a bit (NYC and Chicago could always be the the anchor cities and occur every 3rd year or so) and especially if it was a growing dynamic show, combined with ALA. I have worked in big houses in NYC in the marketing dept for 13 years and now as a marketing director for a distributor of over 100 small presses for the past 8 years and I cannot see a truly compelling argument to keep the shows separate. There would of course be some cons, and library marketing staff at big houses are going to push to keep their autonomy and the shows separate, but I think the pros outweigh the cons overall.

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    1. I couldn't agree with Anonymous more - economies of scale would be gained by combining ALA & BEA. Reed may loose a little cash upfront but if you revive both shows, it could be a net win. I've been attending BEA yearly since 1994 mostly in a rights capacity and unfortunately the year London Book Fair moved back a month to April started the slow decline of international visitors to BEA. While Frankfurt & London continue their status as "must do" for rights sellers/buyers, it is important that the largest English language book market in the world host an event that has compelling reasons for international folks to attend. One of those reasons would be moving the show around the country. The Los Angeles BEA wasn't that bad as many Asians attended. Let's get BEA moving again!

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    2. Thanks "Rights Professional"! The easiest way for me to comment here without creating a new account of some kind was as "anonymous." But I'm happy to reveal myself as Jennifer Swihart at Consortium:). I'd be happy to chat with you at BEA next year, if you're going! My email is JSwihart@cbsd.com.

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  15. It should stay in NYC. The general consensus seems to be that it is easier to get to, and publishing mainly centers in NYC. The other cities would, most likely, lose most of the traffic in favor of those who are asking merely to get it closer to them.

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  16. Stephen Bond GarvanOctober 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    It should shift ,with NYC every 3rd or 4th year-
    LA, SF, Chicago, Boston, Denver

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  17. I'm out if it moves….it just gets to pricey for me, besides New York has everything.

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  18. LA-based librarian here. I go to BEA every year and it's the highlight of my year. But it's prohibitively expensive and I have to save all year long just to afford it. I also usually treat it as my annual vacation, even though I'm working the whole time. Who needs actual vacations? So LA, for sure, though I'd love SF as well.

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  19. LA-based librarian again. Since NYC is the acknowledged hub, how about alternating years? e.g. NYC gets even odd numbered years (2015, 2017, etc), and you moved the even numbered years among some of the other publishing industry-centric cities (Chicago, LA, SF, etc).

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  20. I'd like to see Book Expo at Portland, Oregon

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  21. If your store is anywhere outside of the northeast NYC is NOT convenient. And if your store is small (like mine) it is way too expensive. Chicago will be the first time I'll be able to attend BEA in many years. Level the playing field for small stores and stores in other parts of the country by moving BEA around.

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  22. Moving BEA around is likely to interest new participants, while others who find NYC convenient may simply decide to skip it till it comes around to NYC again. Since it's walking distance for me, I prefer that it stay put. Also, I spend most of my time at the Expo, with occasional trips to evening events, so the allure of any particular city is less important to me.

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  23. Moving it around the country would afford more booksellers the opportunity to attend as it is expensive to travel and stay in NYC. I'm sure consumers would appreciate having the opportunity to attend future consumer days closer to home

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  24. What happened to Washington, DC? I went the year it was held there and it was wonderful. The convention center is much easier to get around, transportation is relatively cheap with taxis and METRO, tourist sites all over the place and it is a beautiful city. Please put DC back in the running.

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  25. It seems that the protests from those on the East Coast are the very same things that have been said by booksellers in other areas for years and years. Welcome to our world!! I agree that DC was fabulous, Hollywood was great, Chicago will be a wonderful experience. I thought Vegas was to be a site also.....talk about easy access, Vegas has it!! ABA's Winter Institute moves every year so that ALL people can afford to attend at one time or another. Spread out the opportunity! Steven Rosato, your justifications are SO East-egocentric! Take off your blinders and look around.....there's a whole country out here!

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  26. And it doesn't get pricey for people in the Midwest, Southwest, or West Coast? Costs me a grip to get to NYC each year. Not that I'm complaining but... well, okay, I'm complaining.

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  27. I can readily see the viewpoint of all the East-Coast literati and publishers, but...there are other cities in the U.S. with publishing concentrations! I advocate New York every other year, or some such compromise, but bouncing to San Francisco, L.A., Chicago, will give (especially lower budget) players the chance to participate.

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  28. Thanks for sharing important and useful information.
    "Chicago IT"

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  29. Can we please get a financial break over here in Los Angeles? Just once or twice every 5 years would help. I have made the trek and it's not easy to get a week off from work to fly to NYC. I would love BEA in LA or San Fran. West Cost would be great!!!!!!

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    1. FYI - From LA
      $360 plane tix roundtrip (at the cheapest going to Newark)
      $50 (about one way) transportation to NYC from Newark
      $250 a night hotel
      $250 registration to BEA
      then there is food and shipping of books home.
      I would love to have an chance to reduce the cost once in awhile since I am a book blogger and this is not a "business trip".

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    2. Hi Alysia: I love the West coast and it costs WAY less to run BEA on the West coast, but all of our surveys and research show that BEA in NYC is a better event and more valuable for our exhibitors. The last time we were in LA, it was our lowest attended BEA and our satisfaction score plummeted. I still feel the sting from 2008! We will be in Chicago in 2016. Also we just opened the Barnard room options - it is a shared bathroom, but it is $115/night and right next to the One subway line.

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  30. I think it's hard to beat NYC! Although, my home city of Richmond, VA would be pretty amazing- and Virginia has a wonderful literary history! Plus, it wouldn't have the expense of larger cities like NYC, DC, LA or Chicago. The city of Richmond is large and easy to navigate and there's so many authors already here (who doesn't want Maggie Steifvater right there?!).

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  31. What about the Bay area? The Moscone Center in San Francisco is big.

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