Organising a book fair: key steps

Organising a book fair: key steps

Organ­is­ing a book fair is a great way to cel­e­brate writ­ing, bring togeth­er peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about lit­er­a­ture, and share and dis­cov­er new styles and types of books. Whether it is an event for your local library, school or com­mu­ni­ty cen­tre, organ­is­ing a book fair requires prepa­ra­tion and organ­i­sa­tion.

Here are 7 key steps to organ­is­ing a suc­cess­ful book fair:


    1. Define the types of books and authors that will be exhibited.

    The first step is to decide what kind of books and authors you want to have a pres­ence at your fair.

    They can be fic­tion, non-fic­tion, chil­dren’s books, biogra­phies or any oth­er type of book that might inter­est your audi­ence. It is impor­tant to select titles that appeal to peo­ple of all ages and inter­ests. There­fore, it is help­ful to research your tar­get audi­ence’s tastes before you start tar­get­ing them. Once you have decid­ed on the types of books you want to dis­play, you can start look­ing for them at pub­lish­ers or whole­salers.

    2. The choice of venue

    When organ­is­ing a book fair, it is essen­tial to con­sid­er the loca­tion and the space need­ed to set up all the stands.

    You will need plen­ty of tables and shelves to dis­play the books. Oth­er ele­ments should also be con­sid­ered, such as seat­ing for vis­i­tors who want to stay longer and a bar and restau­rant area for those who want to eat and drink dur­ing the fair. You can also organ­ise a space ded­i­cat­ed to talks and book sign­ings with the authors present at your fair. There are many oth­er ele­ments to con­sid­er, such as a place that is eas­i­ly acces­si­ble, well lit and spa­cious enough for vis­i­tors to move around eas­i­ly.

    3. Organise your book fair by book category

    To make it eas­i­er for vis­i­tors to find their way around, the fair should be organ­ised by cat­e­gories of books and themes. For exam­ple, cre­ate a space ded­i­cat­ed to fic­tion, nov­els, comics, etc.

    Final­ly, a few days before the book fair, it is impor­tant to ensure all books are labelled and sort­ed by cat­e­go­ry. You can call for vol­un­teers to help pre­pare and organ­ise the event. Hav­ing a few extra hands can be cru­cial in organ­is­ing such an event.

    4. Search for sponsors

    To help you finance your book fair, it is essen­tial that you find a spon­sor.

    Col­lab­o­rate with pub­lish­ers, writ­ers, and retail­ers (Water­stones, inde­pen­dent book­shops…) to stay con­sis­tent and on top­ic. In addi­tion to a valu­able finan­cial endow­ment, you can use their image for your mar­ket­ing cam­paign in dif­fer­ent chan­nels. You can also make a more for­mal col­lab­o­ra­tion by buy­ing the books direct­ly from these retail­ers so that this col­lab­o­ra­tion is ben­e­fi­cial for all and can last for sev­er­al years if you intend to repeat the fair in the future.

    5. Preparing activities

    Also, think about what oth­er activ­i­ties could be organ­ised around the book fair. For exam­ple, you can invite local authors or experts to give lec­tures and book read­ings. You can also organ­ise work­shops for chil­dren. These activ­i­ties will help to attract more vis­i­tors by adding an extra attrac­tion to your event.

    In addi­tion to the book fair, you can con­sid­er set­ting up oth­er stalls, such as food stalls, gift stalls or zones where you can organ­ise work­shops or activ­i­ties. This will cre­ate an excit­ing atmos­phere at your book fair and encour­age more peo­ple to attend.

    6. Hiring the staff you need

    Regard­ing trade fair prepa­ra­tion, it is cru­cial to have suf­fi­cient staff on site before, dur­ing and after the trade fair to wel­come, pre­pare, col­lect, answer vis­i­tors’ ques­tions, etc. Also, con­sid­er imple­ment­ing a cash­less pay­ment sys­tem so vis­i­tors can quick­ly and eas­i­ly buy the books they like or even pay for drinks dur­ing their vis­it.

    7. Communicate about your fair

    For mar­ket­ing, use all avail­able chan­nels, main­ly social media (Face­book, Insta­gram and LinkedIn), press releas­es and even online reg­is­tra­tion for spe­cif­ic activ­i­ties or access to the fair. You can also cre­ate print­ed leaflets and posters to hand out in dif­fer­ent places.

    Final­ly, remem­ber: take pho­tos and post them on the inter­net with com­ments from vis­i­tors. This will allow you to effec­tive­ly pro­mote future events and encour­age more peo­ple to attend.


    By fol­low­ing the steps described above, your book fair will be a suc­cess.

    Make sure you plan the above steps well in advance, and do not hes­i­tate to con­sult oth­er expe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als who have organ­ised sim­i­lar events in the past. This will help you resolve poten­tial prob­lems before they arise, mak­ing the expe­ri­ence enjoy­able and stress-free for every­one involved. Also, find out in advance about all the nec­es­sary per­mits from the local author­i­ties (town hall, etc.) to organ­ise your fair smooth­ly. You may even be able to get finan­cial sup­port!

    Organ­ise your book fair with Weezevent and its dif­fer­ent solu­tions for tick­et­ing and reg­is­tra­tion man­age­ment, access con­trol, cash­less pay­ment and CRM.

    Learn more

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