First Time at London Book Fair?

The London Book Fair (LBF) is one of the most prestigious and influential events in the global publishing industry. It attracts thousands of publishers, authors, agents, distributors, retailers, and media professionals from over 100 countries every year. It is a place where deals are made, trends are spotted, and connections are forged.

Some of the Mare Nostrum Group team will be attending LBF for the first time this year. We asked them about their preparations for their first time, and for any tips they might like to share with others. Here is what they said:

Ege – Marketing Executive in the Human Kinetics unit

> What tips have you already been given to prepare for LBF? Is there anything you’d still like to know?

In my first year in the publishing industry, I’m very excited to experience London Book Fair for the first time. I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent Mare Nostrum Group and Human Kinetics at one of the biggest book fairs in the world.

Although I’ve already been going to conferences over the past year, this will be the biggest business event I’ve attended in publishing. Meeting colleagues from our partner Human Kinetics—with whom I’ve only worked remotely so far—will be a highlight, as well as the chance to expand my network in publishing.

In the weeks leading up to the book fair, I’m aiming to find out more about the event from my more-experienced colleagues. Some of the tips I’ve received so far are:

  • To plan my agenda in advance and prioritise meetings and sessions that are most relevant to our goals and interests;
  • To research the exhibitors and speakers that you want to meet or hear from;
  • To prepare an ‘elevator pitch’ and to be ready to network with anyone and everyone;
  • To dress professionally but comfortably;
  • To bring snacks, water, and a portable charger;
  • Remember to have fun and enjoy the experience!

Lucy – Marketing Executive

> How I am preparing for LBF:

To prepare for the bookfair, I made sure that my travel arrangements were in place well in advance, so that my day runs as smoothly as possible. I have my train tickets on my phone, and I’ve made a note of how I’ll be getting to LBF from Kings Cross. Once I arrive, most of my day at LBF will be spent in meetings so I’ve double-checked the meeting locations and my schedule. My main aim is to make sure that I’m as prepared as I can be, and that anything I’ll need throughout the day is organised and easily accessible.

I asked a few of my colleagues for some tips about the best ways to prepare. I think “bring snacks” is, by far, my favourite advice, so I’ll be making sure to prep for that! Some other tips I’ve heard are:

  • Check the LBF website and social media for the latest updates and news about the event and the industry;
  • Take notes and photos of the key takeaways and highlights from the meetings and sessions you attend;
  • Follow up with the contacts you make at LBF and thank them for their time and interest.

Georgia – Key Account Sales Manager

> What do you hope to get out of your visit to LBF, personally and professionally?

As an LBF first-timer, I’m most looking forward to the opportunity to meet with customers face-to-face. In particular, the chance to meet and speak to online retailers in person will hopefully be a great way to strengthen existing relationships and find new ways to collaborate.

Personally, I hope to learn more about the current and future trends in the publishing industry, especially in the academic publishing world. I’m also keen to discover new and innovative products and services that would help me to gain a broader perspective in my own role.

Professionally, I hope to achieve the following at LBF:

  • Showcase our latest and upcoming titles and generate interest and orders from potential buyers;
  • Develop the relationship with existing and new customers;
  • Identify and explore new opportunities and markets for our books and authors;
  • Build and maintain rapport and trust with our key accounts and partners;
  • Exchange best practices and insights with other sales professionals in the industry.

Liv – Talent Acquisition, Mare Nostrum Recruitment

> How will you make the most of your time at LBF?

I haven’t been to an event of this size for quite some time and I’m pretty sure once I arrive and start wandering around LBF I will be blown away by the sheer size and number of people, so for me, as a first-time attendee, it’s all about preparing beforehand.

I’ve spent a lot of time familiarising myself with all the exhibitors and looking at floor plans, as I have a tendency to get lost easily!

We’re also busy booking in our client meetings, so I’m looking forward to seeing our clients face-to-face, and hearing about their business plans and recruitment needs for the year ahead.

I’ve picked my shortlist of the seminars I will be attending; as a recruiter in publishing, it’s vital to stay informed on the current trends and challenges the industry faces so I’m really interested to hear what the experts have to say.

As a side note, I’ve been advised to wear comfortable footwear as I have a feeling I’ll finally be able to hit my daily steps quota!

As a talent acquisition specialist, I’m always on the lookout for talented and passionate people who want to progress their career in the publishing industry. LBF is a perfect opportunity for me to meet and connect with potential candidates and showcase the benefits of working in the industry.

Some of the things I hope to achieve at LBF are:

  • Network with industry professionals and talent pools, and build a pipeline of talent for current and future roles;
  • Provide career advice and guidance to aspiring and experienced publishing professionals;
  • Attend relevant seminars and workshops and learn from the best practices and innovations in talent management and development.

Melissa – Marketing Assistant, Combined Academic Publishers

> What are you most excited about, going to LBF?

The London Book Fair isn’t just a gathering of book enthusiasts, it’s a meeting of industry professionals. I can’t wait to connect with those who share a passion for storytelling, exchanging ideas, trends, and forging valuable partnerships. Whether it’s striking up a conversation at a stand, watching a panel discussion, or simply going for a tea during a networking break, I’m excited to learn from the best!

I’m a marketing assistant, so I’m responsible for supporting the marketing activities and campaigns for our books and authors in our University Press unit. LBF is a great opportunity for me to learn and gain new skills and knowledge that can help me improve my performance and creativity.

Some of the things I hope to get out of LBF are:

  • Discover new ways to promote and sell our books and authors to different audiences and channels;
  • Meet and network with team members from our client presses, and other marketing professionals in the industry to exchange ideas and feedback;
  • Attend sessions and panels, and hear from the leading voices and visionaries in publishing and marketing;
  • Have fun and enjoy the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of LBF!

As you can see, our colleagues are all very excited and eager to attend LBF for the first time, hoping to make the most of the opportunity and come back with valuable insights, contacts, and memories!

If you are also going to LBF for the first time, we hope you find their tips useful. We would love to hear from you and share your experiences.

You can find us at the Mare Nostrum Group stand 7C30, or contact us via email or LinkedIn.

See you at LBF!