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Activists from publishing, edtech start-ups, etc. can compete for a Wildcard until 31 May 2020

It’s that time of year again: For the sixth time, Frankfurter Buchmesse (14-18 October 2020) is awarding its Wildcard. Businesses and start-ups that have not yet exhibited at Frankfurter Buchmesse (14-18 October 2020) are invited to submit winning answers to three questions about their exhibition concept. The grand prize is an 8-sqm stand at the world’s biggest fair for content. Two Wildcards will be awarded once again in 2020: one for a German exhibitor and another for an international contender. In the last five years, a total of 1,300 businesses from 20 countries have competed for a spot at Frankfurter Buchmesse.

In addition to traditional publishing houses, all innovative content creators may apply: authors, illustrators, activists in publishing, game developers, corporate publishers, vloggers, bloggers, bookstagrammers, photographers, content distributors, content developers and many others.

The deadline to apply is 31 May 2020.

Application: in a new window)

The winners of past Wildcards have included children’s-book activists, blockchain publishers, travel bloggers & YouTube publishers, edtech providers, literary communities and AI publishers. Here is what a few of them have had to say:


Prof Dr Sandra Niehbur-Siebert, president of the KIMI jury for diversity in children’s books (winner of the Wildcard 2019 for a German exhibitor)

“Our participation at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019 thanks to the Wildcard was incredibly enriching for our initiative! Conversations with many authors and illustrators, publishers as well as the public provided us with new inspiration and numerous contacts, which we have continued to maintain.”


Christine Joly, Chief Commercial Officer von Scenarex (winner of the Wildcard 2019 for an international exhibitor)

We are a small team from Montreal with big ideas and even bigger ambitions and we were delighted to be chosen as a Wildcard winner. We firmly believe in the power of blockchain to tackle some of the challenges in the industry! And participating at Frankfurter Buchmesse was the perfect opportunity for us to share our knowledge and make connections.”


Marianna Hillmer and Johannes Klaus, Managing Publishers at Reisedepeschen (winner of the Wildcard 2018 for a German exhibitor)

With our travel books, we bring together creative minds from the travel-blog and publishing worlds. The Wildcard gave us the amazing opportunity to make new contacts in the book sector and to bring together all these people from completely different domains.”


Michael Upshall, Head of Sales & Business Development at UNSILO (winner of the Wildcard 2018 for an international exhibitor)

“We consider Frankfurter Buchmesse the most important publishing fair of the year, hands down, and presented a series of strategic solutions there for utilising machine learning for new internal workflows.”


Terms and conditions for participation/General terms and conditions

As part of this Frankfurter Buchmesse contest, participants may win the following package: An 8-sqm inline booth, environmental and energy fees, marketing flat rate, “Furniture & Light M” package and ten trade visitor tickets. All companies that have not yet exhibited at Frankfurter Buchmesse are eligible to participate.



About Frankfurter Buchmesse

Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,450 exhibitors from 104 countries, around 300,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and some 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers in attendance. It also brings together key players from the fields of education, film, games, STM, academic publishing, and business information. 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. Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association). in a new window)