More than 207000 users from 106 countries attended the two-day event, the first-ever digital Delhi Book Fair.
In an industry which is still struggling to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi Book Fair 2020 came as a much-needed breather.
While most of the stakeholders in the Indian publishing industry look with bated breath towards each other to take digital initiatives, the organisers of the yearly event, The Federation of Indian Publishers wrote history by taking the entire event online. And given the reception, it is safe to say that the first-ever digital campaign of the Delhi Book Fair didn’t disappoint.
From virtual stalls to futuristic presentation
As the dates of the events were announced, there was a bit of apprehension as to how it would all pan out. And questions like these persisted in most minds, to some degree:
How would participants find and interact with each other?
How would industry reps network?
How would it all feel without the physical presence of books and handshakes?
But on the first day, as one landed on the virtual gates of the events, it all seemed so inviting and most importantly simple. All the participants were classified in simple categories based on the kinds of books and opportunities they were open to. Each publisher was just one click away. One could get all the important details with just one scroll-down.
From Catalogue Downloads to Contact Details to people actually being available based on their availability, Delhi Book Fair 2020 seemed like a break-out event for the publishing industry as well as the event management sector.
Network Zones & Proposal Request Boxes
The hassle of gathering one’s courage each time before approaching a bunch of intimidating company reps and ultimately getting entangled into who is the right person or who is not, a simple e-stall dedicated to a publisher or a participant decluttered all the unnecessary hassle. The contact details were there for anyone to use. And more importantly, there were no uncomfortable questions that preceded it.
People could actually network without being affected psychologically by the size of the stall or the number of reps present in it. One just had to go to the virtual Network Zone and find the available person to exchange e-business cards with. Similarly, Proposal Requests were just one click away, just near the Network Zone.
Type away your pitch and get noticed… it’s that easy!
Some Interesting Insights that came one’s way:
As of 2PM, on the second day of the Delhi Book Fair 2020:
- General/Trade Books had nearly five times the visitors of Higher Education Books
- School Books attracted the most attention in academic publishing with footfall being nearly double that of higher education
- Hindi & Regional Languages books rivalled Higher Education segment on equal footing for the attention of the visitors
- Academic & Reference Segment performed honourably well, attracting nearly as much attention as that of Higher Education
With numbers keeping a consistent strain all throughout the book fair, it suffices to say that the digitalisation of the event is already yielding much more insight with in-depth data both vertically and horizontally.
We are looking at a much more dynamic future…
Now, it is true that there can be no replacement for physical events, but digital initiatives have to be taken into account from now on. The publishers need to be digital-ready for such future events where their presence attracts more and more participation from all verticals and means involving people all over the world.
As participation from countries like USA, Germany and France added to the global appeal of the Delhi Book Fair, one can only hope for increased participation and openness to digital from Indian Publishers in the coming future.
Until next time!