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!