The Publishers Association, as ever, had a busy Fair—from social mobility to copyright, from rights fairs to award ceremonies — we could be found in all corners of Olympia supporting members, speaking for the industry and building relationships with visiting officials.
This year, we hosted a number of high-profile attendees to the Fair, including Baroness Rona Fairhead (Trade and Export Promotion Minister), Sue Owen (Permanent Secretary at DCMS), Jamie Njoku-Goodwin (Special Adviser to Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP) and Andrus Ansip (Vice President of the European Commission), as well as government officials from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for International Trade. We sat down with publishers associations from around the world, including the Singapore Book Publishers Association, Association of American Publishers, Federation of European Publishers and International Publishers Association, as well as local publishing collective the Northern Fiction Alliance. And last—but by no means least—we met with long-time partner Creative Access and formed a new relationship with Sutton Trust in advance of our continuing campaign to improve the diversity of the publishing workforce.
There were plenty of exciting highlights across the full range of our activity — including discovering Estonian folk-singing at the Market Focus opening ceremony and the launch of the XI Jingping book at One Great George Street—but the big moment for the week was the launch of our Blueprint for UK Publishing on Tuesday morning at our panel with publishing and export experts, including Baroness Rona Fairhead. The Publishers Association team worked hard to create something that tells the story of our industry and positions us well for the future so it was amazing to finally share it with the publishing world and in such esteemed company.
Also on Tuesday, Vice President of the European Commission Andrus Ansip gave us insight into global copyright policy at the Charles Clark Memorial Lecture. On Wednesday, we hosted a panel on social mobility and apprenticeships, at which Kaya Spencer—communications assistant at Cambridge University Press and former apprentice — charmed the audience with her passion for the role of apprenticeships in creating pathways for entry-level talent. On the last day of the Fair, we co-hosted the 10-year anniversary of our Accessibility Action Group and 150-years of RNIB, celebrating successes in accessible publishing for the UK.
In between all of this, we found time to sit down with member and non-member publishers to talk about a range of matters, including joining the Publishers Association and exhibiting at the New York Rights Fair and Beijing International Book Fair. Book Fair Services Manager Gloria Bailey met with representatives from Rio Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair and Vienna International Book Fair and our communications team convened with media partners, including Byte the Book and City AM.
The London Book Fair serves as a timely reminder of what an amazing diverse, creative and exciting industry we all work in. We want the world to know more about who we are, what we do and the amazing people who work in publishing and the Fair is a great way to showcase this—not only to other people on the publishing supply chain but especially to Westminster and Whitehall. The vibrancy of the show floor takes our export statistics off the pages of our briefings and brings them to life.
As we continue to broadcast our success story to the world, we feel incredibly proud to be part of such an amazing industry and, in particular, of the role that we play in protecting it.