A Day in the Life: Gareth Rapley, Director of The London Book Fair

A Day in the Life: Gareth Rapley, Director of The London Book Fair

Welcome to our  ‘A Day in the Life’ blog series, where we’ll be interviewing members of the LBF team, industry professionals, and special guests attending our next LBF event.

Our very first interview of the series is with none other than Director of The London Book Fair, Gareth Rapley.

Over the past 13 years, Gareth has worked for some of the largest and leading conference and exhibition organisers. His career has seen him work across multiple industry sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, technology, energy, and most recently the publishing industry.

Kicking off this brand-new series, Gareth discusses all things LBF, what a typical day looks like for him, and his alternative career in sports …

What’s the first thing you do after your alarm has gone off in the morning?

Usually, I get up and do my knee exercises as part of my rehab, and then I’ll make some breakfast. But it all depends on whether any of my children are up …

Tea or coffee?

Tea, without question. We are synonymous with tea drinking in our house!

What does a typical day look like for you?

This can really depend on where we are in the LBF show cycle and business year, but my day often involves various internal/external meetings, responding to emails, carrying out immediate priorities from my to-do list, reading the industry trade press, and catching up with the LBF team to see whether we’re where we need to be as an event. My day also involves parental duties such as taking my children to school, evening clubs for the kids, and any other elements to help my wife and family.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

There are so many aspects I enjoy; from the people I get to work with – both within the organisation and from the industry – but mainly I would say the varied nature of what I get to do as Director of LBF. Equal to this would be working first-hand with the book industry during the year to deliver what we have understood to be key needs and areas of focus.

If you weren’t the Director of LBF, what would be your alternative career?

Is this a dream or reality? The dream would be to work in sports – ideally football – but the reality would be closer to some kind of commercial role.

What opportunities do you see for the industry?

I think there are some exciting opportunities ahead as the world of creative content ever increases. From a content creator perspective, these opportunities present more channels to engage with books and content, such as turning books into screen, audiobooks and in more recent times, developing them into podcasts.

If you could only recommend one book/film/TV show to someone, what would it be?

For a book, I’d say The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters. It’s a very insightful read and source of help to understanding the way our brains work. I recently watched the film Air, which was an interesting look at one of the most iconic brands in the world. For TV it has to be Only Fools and Horses – a timeless British classic!

What are you looking forward to the most at LBF24?

Seeing the industry come together again and how much we have implemented against areas we are looking to improve or change from the feedback received from LBF23.

Stay tuned for our next interview, coming soon …

For more information on visiting or exhibiting at LBF24, click here.

Interested in book recommendations and reviews? Follow along with our LBF Book Club!

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