James Daunt, Graham Norton and Cathy Rentzenbrink are among the attendees of the Booksellers Association’s annual conference and Gardners trade show, which will take place September 18-19.
The combined event will open with an “author’s breakfast” chaired by Rentzenbrink and sponsored by Bloomsbury, followed by a welcome from new BA President Hazel Broadfoot.
Meryl Halls, BA doctor, will provide an update on the body’s activity, followed by keynote speeches from Waterstones doctor Daunt and author and broadcaster Graham Norton.
The BA will host two Skills Lab sessions, sponsored by Bookshop.org, which will provide development training for booksellers, with session topics to be announced shortly. The afternoon will see publishers present their flagship autumn and spring titles to booksellers, while the day will close with the Booksellers’ Trophies and an aperitif. A closing dinner will be held for BA members only, sponsored by Pan Macmillan.
A panel from Nielsen will present the results of research, commissioned by the BA, examining how books fared during the recession of the late 2000s and consumer attitudes towards books in the current economic climate.
The Gardners Show will open with a keynote address from Nigel Wyman, Director of Sales and Marketing, followed by guest speakers Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Raynor Winn and Andrey Kurkov, followed by a luncheon sponsored by Usborne Publishing.
During the afternoon, there will also be author signing sessions. More than 50 publishers will showcase their new titles at their event, while Gardners will kick off its ’12 Weeks of Christmas’ promotion. This will be followed by an afternoon tea and “New Voices” session, sponsored by HarperCollins, featuring three first authors, as well as an Independent Alliance conference dinner for all delegates.
The event will also have an app that delegates can access. The app, sponsored by Edelweiss, will provide attendees with additional details, program, schedule and speaker information.
Halls said: “We are delighted to welcome booksellers and publishers back to the BA Conference and Gardners Show in September. This year’s program offers a range of networking and learning opportunities, with best-selling author Graham Norton delivering the author’s keynote and James Daunt sharing his unique insights into selling books at the global scale. Our popular skills labs will also return, providing booksellers with tailored training opportunities to help them propel and equip their bookstores for today’s retail landscape. After several difficult years, we hope that this year’s event will provide an opportunity for booksellers to come together to share stories, offer ideas and reconnect as a community.
Wyman added, “The trade show is one of our favorite events on the calendar, we look forward to meeting again with our existing and new customers. We’ve built a stellar roster of guest authors and over 50 exhibitors on board, including some non-bookseller vendors. The Gardlink team will be on hand for all your inventory control and epos needs. We are delighted to once again be working with the BA on this event, we strongly believe that the partnership between Gardners and the BA provides booksellers with a few days full of value.
As in previous years, Gardners will sponsor booksellers to attend the annual event free of charge.
The show will take place at Jurys Inn Hinckley Island, Hinckley, Leicestershire. Interested booksellers can register now.