CCBF 2020 Opens its Doors on 13–15 November, a Presential Book Fair with a Digital Touch

Held every November since 2013 as one of the last events of the global book fair yearly calendar, the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) is set to take place from 13 to 15 November at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center.

This eighth edition of CCBF is taking place in the challenging context of the global Covid-19 pandemic. After a few months marked by the sanitary crisis, Shanghai is back to being a natural hub for cultural events and commercial fairs. However, the restrictions currently applying on overseas travels are impeding most international visitors to come to Shanghai in person.

In the past months, fair organisers around the world have struggled to redesign their projects according to new and changeable circumstances. Nonetheless, a wide consensus has emerged out of this difficult period—physical book fairs still have a key role to play in the publishing industry’s development, and they cannot be plainly substituted by virtual solutions. With these thoughts in mind, the CCBF organising team has come up with alternative schemes to preserve the presential dimension of the fairwhile continuing bridge distance with the global publishing community. The Fair has therefore been designed as an “offline” event whenever it is possible, with online-driven elements wherever it is necessary.

All in all, about 350 companies from 30 countries have subscribed to exhibit in Shanghai in November. While the most important domestic stakeholders will be attending the book fair physically, international publishers will be joining CCBF through their local representatives, or will exhibit their books remotely at the International Book Showcase. Bringing together over 100 companies from countries like France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway,Australia orKorea, this innovative formula will allow CCBF local exhibitors and visitors to discover new titles first-hand, just like in a traditional book fair. CCBF staff trained locally will be in charge of collecting contact details and enquiries on behalf of the exhibitors, who will later receive an individualised activity report.This offline showcasewill be complemented by an online matchmaking system. This newly created digital platform will be launchedin a few days for exhibitors and visitors to plan their fair’s agenda,network and connect in real-time.Detailed catalogue descriptions, live chats, business matchmaking, onsite business appointment are some of the servicesoffered by the system. In the week following the Fair, a one-to-one online video call system will also be available as a digital prolongation of the physical fair.

Book fairs are also necessary as they provide a premium space for knowledge exchange. CCBF is known for the high quality of its event programme, which will also encompass digital and presential elements as to respond to the current circumstances.

A comprehensive Professional Conference will unfold over the fair’s three days and comprise ten sessions, several of which aim to offer a global understanding of the market’s post-Covid transformations. All the CCBF seminars and events will be held on the fairground, with most foreign experts taking part remotely through video conference. The Conference sessions will be partially broadcasted on the fair’s digital channels in the week following the show. Likewise, a number ofactivities of the Illustrators Survival Corner and the Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Exhibition will be available to online viewers.

The SHVIP Publishers Fellowship, which was initially scheduled from 6 to 14 November in Shanghai, will be the most affected programme by the current pandemic. The fellowship has built its success on the strength of the human and social factor—face-to-face networking, hands-on experience etc.—which even the smartest online tools cannot reproduce. Therefore, the 2020 SHVIP is postponed and the eleven selected publishers this year will be reconducted for next November.

Online registration for professional visitors is now open.If you are planning to visit the Fair or if you want to benefit from the CCBF Online Matchmaking services, please pre-register on the CCBF official website www.ccbookfair.comto get your free Fair Pass.The Programme Passesallowing you to attend the onsiteConference and Illustrators Survival Corner events are also available for sale on the website.