Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: Day One

Alison T

Alison Thomson and Gemma Valpy standing at the Cambridge University Press stand at Frankfurt Book Fair 2013.

Alison Thomson and Gemma Valpy at Frankfurt Book Fair 2013

After several months of planning and our Cambridge University Press stand now built, it’s day one and I’m ready to welcome customers, colleagues, publishing professionals and visitors from guest country, Brazil to the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair.

It’s here, over five days, in which global key decisions-makers from the book, creative and technology industries gather and it’s also the number one trading platform for rights and licenses too.

..the Fair has it’s own police station, hairdresser, flower shop, fire brigade, supermarket and doctor

It’s my third Frankfurt Book Fair and I still find the scale of this event incredible. For five days, a multi-faceted community of publishing professionals descend on the Frankfurter Buchmesse in what can only be described as a self-contained mini town. Here are a few facts and figures to give you an idea of how big it really is:

  • There’s around 7,300 exhibitors from 100 countries
  • Last year there were 281,753 visitors from 141 countries
  • 9,000 journalists from over 60 countries reported from the Fair
  • There are 6 exhibition halls and hall 4 has 3 levels

But it’s perhaps the Fairground shuttle bus needed to transport visitors from Hall to Hall, or that the Fair has it’s own police station, hairdresser, flower shop, fire brigade, supermarket and doctor which really demonstrates the enormous scale of the Book Fair.

In three days, the enormous, empty warehouse-sized buildings are rapidly transformed by a plethora of skilled stand constructors, electricians and plumbers, into six well-defined halls hosting a variety of offerings, from Science, Technology and Medicine (STM), Academic and Education publishers, Children’s and Young Adult Media, Art, Literature, Non-Fiction, Rights and Licenses and even a Gourmet Gallery with a show kitchen! Our stand is located in Hall 8 (we’re at stand C1 – we’d love to meet you!), a central venue for the English-language market.

A forklift truck delivers furniture and books in a crate.

The scene from yesterday – more furniture and books are carefully delivered by forklift.


We have a great location here in Hall 8 (on the West wall), where our Cambridge University Press logo can easily be seen above the surrounding stands. This year, we will be highlighting some of our digital products, including many of our successful apps, along with recently published books: Rudyard Kipling, 100 Poems, Old and New and The Letters of Ernest Hemingway – vol 2.

It’s a long day and week ahead, but there’s such a buzz, time will fly….


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About The Author

Alison T

Alison is Communications Executive here at Cambridge University Press. She project manages our annual attendance at events such as the London Book Fair, and the Frankfurt Book Fair...

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