10 Apr - 2020

Starting from May 4th, Bologna Children’s Book Fair inaugurates a new virtual hub. Offering the international community of the sector the chance to find themselves online between the exchange of rights and the sharing of creativity typical of the Bologna Fair


BolognaFiere S.p.A., one of the leading exhibition organizers in Europe, announces the launch of a digital version of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF). The most important event for the exchange of rights in the children’s and youth publishing market, initially scheduled for March and subsequently rescheduled, was finally cancelled following the Covid-19 emergency. BolognaFiere has thus decided to bring the business, atmosphere, content and opportunities of the Fair online for all professionals in the sector, through the creation of a “virtual BCBF” that will be available from 4 May with activities scheduled to take place in the following months.

The centre of this virtual fair will be Bologna Children’s Book Fair Global Rights Exchange, a hub for the exchange of online rights that will remain open throughout the year, created in collaboration with the consolidated PubMatch platform, based in the United States.

The full programme of BCBF’s virtual events will be announced on 23 April, on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day, with a special digital exhibition of children’s books dedicated to the pleasure of reading.

We feel we must continue to play our role as the main exchange point for content for children and young people – says Elena Pasoli, Exhibition Manager of Bologna Children’s Book Fairdespite the cancellation of the Fair. That’s why we are here, to offer the best business platform and the best creative offer in the sector in order to further expand the scope of the magnificent work of children’s publishers, agents, illustrators, authors and licensing professionals“.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair Global Rights Exchange will be as close as possible to the experience of a book fair, sitting around a table in a meeting, as the current situation allows – says Jon Malinowski, President of Combined Book Exhibit and founder of PubMatchwith the cancellation of international fairs due to the Covid-19 emergency, the need to create new and innovative ways to continue the business of selling and buying rights is more important than ever. We are pleased to be working with Bologna Children’s Book Fair to create the first online Global Rights Exchange for all those who normally attend the spring event, and to respond to the growing needs of the publishing industry in these difficult times.”

BolognaFiere offers the world some of the most innovative trade fairs, trade shows and conferences on an international scale. What the Covid-19 emergency invites us to do represents a further step forward: through the creation of the BCBF Global Rights Exchange we do not intend to make a simple replacement, but to face a challenge and explore new ways to expand our network. This time the appointment will not be a trade fair, but a global exchange platform, called virtual but very concrete in the business it will produce,” said Marco Momoli, Director of the Culture Business Unit of BolognaFiere.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair does not, therefore, renounce to the best of its offer, the same one that, combining practical services, international creativity and innovative stimuli in a coherent and homogeneous proposal, has been able to make it over the years the main world event for all those working in the sector.

The platform will allow the almost 1500 exhibitors registered for BCBF 2020 to present their titles, make and receive offers, and schedule video meetings with other registered participants. Publishers and literary agents who participated as visitors in 2019 and had already pre-registered for the 2020 edition will also have access to the platform.

But BCBF does not give up even on what is one of its main missions: to present, discuss, anticipate trends in the world publishing market, content, protagonists. The books, apps, publishers of the prestigious awards of the Fair will be presented online, with booktrailers, interviews, webinars and live streaming ads. A new part of the platform – which includes the website, social channels and app – will be developed into a dedicated blog, with continuously updated information about the Fair, including key appointments, interviews, guest columns, links to relevant articles and more. BCBF thus aims to transform the new hub into an opportunity for professionals from all over the world to participate, facilitating accessibility to a unique range of services.

There will therefore be a special digital version of the Illustrators Exhibition, available free of charge to online visitors from 4 to 7 May 2020: the best of international illustration with the works of 76 artists from 24 countries, chosen by a prestigious international jury that evaluated and compared the work of 2,574 candidate illustrators from 66 countries in January, for a total of 12,870 plates viewed. And again, the famous and highly appreciated Wall of Illustrators, where aspiring illustrators hang their business cards, postcards, posters, will be included in the online offer together with a virtual Illustrators Survival Corner. Created by BCBF and Mimaster Illustrazione, the Illustrators Survival Corner has become one of the Fair’s most successful events, hosting workshops, masterclasses and portfolio reviews, also at “sister” fairs, organized in collaboration with BCBF, China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair and Moscow International Book Fair.

The parallel Bologna Licensing Trade Fair (BLTF), in turn, will have its own online prominence, including the fundamental Property Guide, with over 600 IPs webinars and other virtual events. The numerous awards dedicated to licensing projects and promotions will be announced on May 4. BLTF is at the service of licensors, licensees and distributors from Italy and Europe as a showcase for the latest products as well as an extensive overview of the hot topics in the digital, media, editorial and entertainment sectors for children and teenagers.

The 57th edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair will therefore be transposed online and BolognaFiere has already announced that the international children’s publishing community will meet again in Bologna from 12 to 15 April 2021, to give life to a new major international children’s book fair.

For more information: http://www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com/ or by e-mail to exchange@pubmatch.com.

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