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Exclusive international insights at the kick-off conference of the Book Fair

Frankfurt, 19 October 2016 - After a successful first event last year, this year’s second outing for the conference “THE MARKETS - Global Publishing Summit” once again provided a resounding start for the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The conference opened with a keynote speech by Mark Allin, CEO of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Titled “The New Customer Relationship,” Allin’s presentation discussed how the digital transformation has upended how Wiley and the publishing and education industries at large interact with the customer. This year, the focus was on established markets like Brazil, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK, but it also examined less familiar places with great potential, such as the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines. Some 53 publishing, book and media experts from 12 countries provided the audience with exclusive facts, analysis and forecasts, at 22 events held in the Business Club of the Frankfurter Buchmesse. More than 300 participants from 34 countries attended the event. For the first time, conference visitors were able to prearrange personal talks with the 28 speakers of the “Market Player” sessions. In all, 500 new contacts were made in this way.

“Detailed knowledge and forecasts of the markets are becoming ever more important for the international publishing sector. THE MARKETS fulfils this role with the right session formats and excellent opportunities to meet new people,” said Katharina Ewald, the conference manager.

Transcending the industry boundaries

First-hand information on the broadest variety of markets: that is what THE MARKETS is all about. For instance, the conference-goers learned that, between 2000 and 2013, the number of Arabic Internet users grew by an amazing 5,297 per cent. This suggests that digitisation represents a huge potential for the development of the book and media market in the Arab world. This is the view of Ala’ Alsallal (UAE), founder and CEO of, the largest online platform for Arabic and English-language books. He sees the United Arab Emirates as a bridgehead for future international trade throughout the Arabic world, with an estimated 350 million Arabic speaking people living in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa).

How do you reach a country where more than 100 languages are spoken, whose population is younger than average, and which has an unparalleled enthusiasm for online and mobile technologies? This is the Philippines, where almost 40 per cent of the roughly 100 million population are of school-going age. The best approach is through the sort of cooperation envisaged by the oldest children’s book publisher in the country, Adarna House, and the well-known games developer Synergy88. Their common objective is to develop new, up-to-date (i.e. digital) reading and learning platforms as well as child-friendly games, especially for children and young adults in schools. The context for this is a national reform launched by the government in 2011, including substantial annual investments in the education sector.

“In 2015, the Dutch book market recorded 3.5 per cent growth, the highest in Europe,” said Wiet de Bruijn, CEO of VBK Publishers Group, with satisfaction. All the same, the Chairman of the Dutch Publishers Association still wants to see greater innovation in terms of technology and business models, in order to cope with the challenges to come. Related to this, in Frankfurt he presented the initiative “Renew-the-book”, a competition open to all start-ups in the book industry around the world. Last year, five teams were selected to take part in an accelerator programme in Amsterdam.

THE MARKETS – Global Publishing Summit is organised in cooperation between the Frankfurter Buchmesse and the US industry journal, Publishing Perspectives.

Business Club 2016: Inspiration! Networking! Business!

With 80 speakers and around 40 events, the Business Club at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2016 will again be a central meeting place for pioneers and key players in the international content and media business. In the words of Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, “By combining meetings, events and networking activities, the Club offers our trade visitors an extensive range of business opportunities. It provides our guests with an all-round package of added value that is pretty much unique in this form.”

For an overview of the programme://

About the Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 275,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists – including 2,000 bloggers - in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurt Book Fair organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurt Book Fair offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.

Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurt Book Fair
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-138,
Kathrin Grün, PR manager, Tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-170,
> Press information online >
> Photos in print quality >