Göteborg Book Fair 2021 will be a hybrid event

The Göteborg Book Fair scheduled to take place on 23rd–26th September in Gothenburg, Sweden, will be recast as a hybrid event featuring interviews and conversations filmed in television studios at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre and broadcast live via Book Fair Play. The exhibition space, usually teeming with people, will be transformed into large, airy TV studios with space for seated audiences. The exhibition component of the Fair will return in 2022.

The Göteborg Book Fair, also known as Gothenburg Book Fair, is the most important literary event of the year in Sweden, acting as a hub for the Swedish publishing industry and forming a natural meeting place for education professionals and librarians. Today, the Book Fair is announcing its plans for the major cultural event of this autumn. There will be a physical event hosted by the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre in Gothenburg. Large, modern TV studios will be constructed inside the extensive exhibition halls, featuring space for a studio audience insofar as restrictions allow this. Additionally, the tremendously successful streaming service launched last year, Book Fair Play, will be further developed to serve digital audiences.

“We are now taking the Book Fair another step into the future through the creation of a hybrid event incorporating more than 10 studios at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre here in Gothenburg, with live audiences, new concepts and the development of Book Fair Play. Despite the uncertain times that we live in, there is a great deal of interest among publishers, partners and visitors. This is a sign that the Book Fair is on everyone’s minds and that it is very much the engine of the Swedish literary economy,” says Frida Edman, Director of the Gothenburg Book Fair.

Hybrid event with a focus on an enthralling experience
The 2020 Book Fair was a fully digital event broadcast live via Book Fair Play, a streaming service developed by the Book Fair team in the space of just a couple of months. In 2021, the Book Fair will be returning to the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre in Gothenburg as a hybrid event in which both the digital and physical experience will be the centre of attention.

“The programme of events is the beating heart of the Book Fair. Retaining a full focus on these events and conversations, we will further develop the format to suit audiences both on site and digitally. We have received almost 800 proposals and there is a huge amount of interest from both publishers and other contributors. The publishing schedule for this year looks most promising, so I’m sure it’s going to be a magnificent programme,” says Oskar Ekström, Programme Director for the Gothenburg Book Fair.

New! Book Fair Deals
Last year’s Book Fair Play success has put the Gothenburg Book Fair on the map for a wider audience across Sweden, the Nordic countries and further afield. 25% of viewers accessing Book Fair Play during the Fair itself had never previously visited the Book Fair in Gothenburg. The number of Nordic visitors to the site increased by 88% compared with 2019. In order to reinforce the offering to digital visitors to the Book Fair this year, the existing book sales channel via Book Fair Play will be enhanced by the addition of a new, digital marketplace headed by a new concept, Book Fair Deals. This will see an important aspect of the physical Book Fair transformed into a digital format. Visitors will be able to browse things such as books and education courses, which will all be available with the usual generous promotions that would be found on the stands in the exhibition halls. Book Fair Deals will open its doors on 24th August, at the same time that the Book Fair releases its programme, and exhibitors have the option to leave their offers in place or vary them until the end of the year. In order to provide a boost to book sales, plans are underway to facilitate some book selling on site.

2022 should see the return of the Book Fair familiar to many, featuring exhibitions, a wide range of speakers on the many stands and stages, and the usual range of seminars and discussion panels. However, the new formats developed during 2020 and 2021 will continue to deliver additional value to exhibitors and visitors in the future, both physically and digitally.

More news and details about this year’s Book Fair will be announced on an ongoing basis this spring. Tickets for the 2021 Book Fair will be released in May. The programme for this year’s Book Fair will be launched on 24th August.