The London Book Fair 2011 celebrates successful 40th anniversary

Attendance up by 7%, IRC expanded, digital zone doubled and over 11,000 attending the biggest event programme in the Fair’s history

LONDON, 09 June 2011: An increase in international visitors and a vibrant digital and events programme, combined with the impact of an outstanding Russia Market Focus programme to boost total attendance at The London Book Fair 2011 to 24,802, up 7% from 2009* (23,096), show ABC audited figures released by Reed Exhibitions today.

The 40th anniversary The London Book Fair saw almost 44% of visitors attending from overseas, compared with 42% in 2009, representing 115 countries from across the globe. Notably there was an 8% growth in US visitors. 1,692 companies exhibited from 57 countries including Turkey, Iran and Iraq – all new for 2011. The International Rights Centre was sold out, with all 575 tables taken by 407 companies.

The digital offering was the biggest in the history of the Fair with the Digital Zone doubling its number of exhibitors (from 22 in 2010 to 46 in 2011), floor space and countries attending. There was also a hugely expanded programme of digital events including Sunday’s sell-out Digital Conference (The Digital Now: Creating Lasting Value), which featured outstanding speakers including representatives of Kindle, Kobo and Bloomsbury.

The digital events were one part of a larger, diverse programme of nearly 300 seminars and events addressing key industry issues during the Fair. These events featured over 500 speakers and were attended by over 11,140 people; by far the busiest programme to date.

This year saw the launch of the Children’s Innovation Zone dedicated to promoting new ideas specific to children’s publishing, within one of the Fair’s largest and most popular areas, the Children’s & Young Adult Publishing Zone. This zone featured 150 exhibitors, in addition to the 450 general exhibitors offering children’s content, and for the second year, The London Book Fair partnered with, to present a dedicated ‘Illustrators Corner’. The cream of children’s writing visited the Fair, including Philip Pullman; Roger McGough; and Wednesday’s Authors of the Day Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of Publishing and Books at Reed Exhibitions, comments:

“The London Book Fair’s 40 anniversary was outstanding with positive feedback from exhibitors, speakers and visitors alike. There was an incredible buzz on the show floor, with packed stands and seminar programme, as well as news of business deals across the Fair. With growth in visitor numbers, the Digital Zone doubling, the seminar stream packed out, Russia’s successful Market Focus presence and the buoyant IRC, it was, by any measure, a successful Fair. The London Book Fair is unmissable for anyone serious about the business of publishing.”

The growth in the number of international visitors attending was due in no small part to the continuing success of the Market Focus programme. This year Russia Market Focus 2011 placed a spotlight on contemporary Russian authors and Russia as an important publishing arena in the international community. Organised with the Market Focus Strategic Partners, British Council, and the collaboration with the Federal Agency of Press and Mass Communications and their partners, Academia Rossica, the Russia Pavilion was the largest Market Focus Pavilion to date, and featured over 60 major publishers from Russia.

The Literary Translation Centre, which launched at last year’s Fair, was expanded to provide translators, publishers, students, authors and agents with more seminars covering all aspects of the field. It combined a theatre, networking space, meetings area and display space for translation organisations and those interested in the business of literary translation.

Other highlights of this year’s Fair also included: Kazuo Ishiguro presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary publisher Sonny Mehta; vibrant Authors of the Day programme featuring Claire Tomalin, Boris Akunin and, the Cosmonauts on the international space station delivering a message to the Russia Market Focus pavilion at London Book Fair on the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight.

Visitors’ Quotes

“Livres Canada Books continue to see the London Book Fair as the premier spring publishing event. Over 40 Canadian publishers garnered attention for their titles in all categories. Canadian delegates feel that the event has a very positive impact on their company and with Livres Canada Books’ promotional support, the fair also contributes to increased visibility on the international stage. This professional and strongly organized fair are the keys to its success.”


François Charette, Livres Canada Books


*The London Book Fair 2010 visitor statistics were severely affected by the volcanic ash cloud that caused extensive disruption to international travel in April 2010 and are not an accurate representation of the normal LBF audience; therefore 2009 statistics have been used for comparison.


For further information about The London Book Fair 2011, please contact: Nicola Green at Midas Public Relations on 0207 361 7860 or

Note to Editors:


The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. The London Book Fair brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. The London Book Fair celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 and will took place from 11th – 13th April. Next year’s Fair will take place from 16 – 18 April 2012. For more details, please visit: China is Market Focus country in 2012, following Russia this year.

Figures breakdown

  • Total attendance: 24,802 (Attendance numbers are ABC audited. An ABC audit is an independent verification of a claim made for data relating to circulation, attendance or digital media activity.)
  • Total no. of exhibitors (stands and sharers): 1,692
  • Total tables in IRC: 575
  • Total exhibiting countries: 57
  • Total countries represented: 115
  • International visitors: 44%
  • UKvisitors: 56%

About Reed Exhibitions Books & Publishing

Reed Exhibitions Books & Publishing portfolio consists of six trade and public book fairs taking place in some of the most important and dynamic book markets in the world: Brazil, France, Japan, UK and USA. Bienal do Livro São Paulo, BookExpo America, eBooks, Salon du Livre, The London Book Fair and Tokyo International Book Fair, collectively attract over 770,000 participants and 2,600 primary exhibitors and rights centre table holders, interested in buying or selling intellectual property rights, buying, selling or specifying titles, discovering the latest trends in publishing, understanding new markets or meeting authors and discovering new titles.

Working closely with professional bodies, trade associations and government departments, Reed Exhibitions Books & Publishing portfolio ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to the book and publishing industry’s needs. As a result many of Reed Exhibitions books and publishing events are leaders in their markets.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions Books & Publishing portfolio is part of Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organiser, with over 460 events in 36 countries. In 2010 Reed Exhibitions brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billion of dollars in business.

Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer exhibitions, conferences and meetings, and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE 100 company.

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