CCBF 2020 opens its doors on 13-15 November. A presential book fair with a digital touch
Held every November since 2013 as one of the last events of the global book fair yearly calendar, th The China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) is set to take place from 13 to 15 November at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center.
This eighth edition of the CCBF takes place in the challenging context of the global pandemic COVID-19. After a few months marked by the health crisis, Shanghai is once again a natural hub for cultural events and trade fairs. However, current restrictions on travel abroad prevent most international visitors from coming to Shanghai in person.
In recent months, trade fair organizers around the world have struggled to redesign their projects according to new and changing circumstances. Nevertheless, a broad consensus has emerged on this difficult period when book fairs still play a key role in the development of the publishing industry and cannot clearly be replaced by virtual solutions. With these reflections in mind, the CCBF’s organizational team has developed alternative schemes to preserve the fair’s presence dimension while continuing to bridge the gap with the global publishing community. The fair was therefore conceived as an “offline” event whenever possible, with online elements wherever needed.
A total of about 350 companies from 30 countries joined the Shanghai fair in November. While the most important national stakeholders will physically participate in the book fair, international publishers will either join the CCBF through their local representatives, or display their books from a distance at the international book showcase. Bringing together over 100 companies from countries such as France, the UK, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Australia or Korea, this innovative formula will allow local CCBF exhibitors and visitors to discover new titles firsthand, just like a traditional book fair. Locally trained CCBF staff will be responsible for collecting contact details and inquiries on behalf of exhibitors, who will then receive a personalized activity report. This offline showcase will be complemented by an online matchmaking system. This newly created digital platform will be launched in a few days to allow exhibitors and visitors to plan their fair agenda, network and connect in real time. Detailed catalog descriptions, live chat, business meetings, on-site business appointments are some of the services offered by the system. In the week after the fair, a one-to-one online video call system will also be available as a digital extension of the physical fair.
Book fairs are also necessary because they offer a premium space for knowledge exchange. The CCBF is known for the high quality of its program of events, which will also include digital and presential elements to respond to current circumstances.
A comprehensive Professional Conference will take place during the three days of the fair and will include ten sessions, many of which aim to offer a global understanding of the transformations in the post-COVID marketplace. All CCBF seminars and events will be held at the fairgrounds, with most foreign experts participating remotely through videoconferencing. Conference sessions will be partially broadcast on the digital channels of the fair in the week following the event. Similarly, a series of activities of the Illustrators Survival Corner and the Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Exhibition will be available for online viewers.
The SHVIP Publishers Fellowship, initially scheduled for 6-14 November in Shanghai, will be the program most affected by the current pandemic. The fellowship has built its success on the strength of the human and social factor: face-to-face networking, practical experience, etc. that not even the smartest online tools can reproduce. Therefore, SHVIP 2020 has been postponed and the eleven publishers selected this year will be back next November.
Online registration for professional visitors is now open. If you plan to visit the Fair or would like to benefit from CCBF Online Matchmaking services, please pre-register on the official CCBF website www.ccbookfair.com to get your free Fair Pass. The Pass Program that allows you to participate in OnsiteConference and Survival Corner Illustrators Survival Corner events is also available for sale on the website.