BEA Expands Boundaries
Lance Fensterman, event director of BookExpo America (BEA), has immersed himself in many areas of technology in order to promote BEA and gain valuable feedback from industry professionals. One of the ways he has done so is through his blog, BookExpo-Lance.BlogSpot.com, where he claims to blog from his travels around the world via his Blackberry. Prior to his current position, he was an independent bookseller for several years, and he says he draws on that experience frequently.
Book Business Extra spoke with Fensterman to discuss the theme of BEA 2007, its online community, his blog and more.
EXTRA: BEA 2007 had the overall theme of “Expanding Boundaries.” What did this mean, and why did you decide to expand on technology in 2007?
FENSTERMAN: “Expanding Boundaries” was a very simple and direct way to describe what has happened (and continues to happen) to BEA in a natural, evolutionary way. For instance, in the international marketplace, the world of books is being defined less narrowly by country and translation. Books in the English language are finding their way into many markets, and so there is an expanding boundary in this physical, geographical sense. BEA is in a position to take advantage of this change because we have a huge selection of English titles that are featured at our show.
At the same time, the world of books has found a new life in the endless stream of dialogue and literary criticism that takes place on the Internet. Social networking has become a critical part of how we conduct our business in the book industry, and social networking lies at the heart of what BEA is all about. So, again, this is another way for us to expand boundaries. BEA must harness the energy and ideas that come out of the show and put them to use over the course of the year through an active and sophisticated Web site presence. Our boundaries, both in terms of time and physical space, must be expanded to meet the needs of our customers so that we may service them throughout the year. Technology is one very obvious way of doing that.