BEA Expands Boundaries
EXTRA: This year, a custom online community was created for attendees, speakers, exhibitors and press called MyBEA. Do you believe MyBEA was effective this year?
FENSTERMAN: Over 60 percent of individuals who were invited to participate in MyBEA (meaning anyone attending BEA that provided us with an e-mail address) logged onto MyBEA at least twice. I would consider that a success. For future years, it’s data that will help me quantify what participants need from a show-planning and social-networking site that will help us craft an even better experience. MyBEA was clearly the first step in a bold, new direction for how BEA can help bring people together, interact and share information.
EXTRA: As BEA Event Director, what was the most impressive part of this year’s BEA in your opinion?
FENSTERMAN: I am most impressed by the rich diversity that BEA attracts and the staggering amount of energy the event creates. BEA really does bring the entire global book industry together in one place, and that is a sight.
EXTRA: Describe your blog, “Blogging with BEA Director Lance Fensterman,” and how you use it?
FENSTERMAN: As a bookseller, one of the keys to my store’s success was outstanding service and, in particular, personal service. I felt that BEA was lacking some of the personal connection that is so common in our business. The blog was an attempt to bring a more personal face to BEA, share my observations and insights, and to extend the reach and value of the show beyond three days in June. Other than that, I try to simply be myself, which usually involves plenty of humor, a smattering of typos and a casual writing style.
EXTRA: I noticed you are in the process of renaming your blog. Why do you feel it’s important for a blog to have a powerful name, and what are some of the names you have been considering?