Just as in the most industries there are great events that mobilize the whole trade in book industry as well. One of these events was the London Book Fair which I also could visit through PublishDrive. The 3-day exhibition is attended by more than 25,000 visitors each year and this year 1,500 exhibitors of more than 60 countries participated in it. PublishDrive arrived with 5 visitors including me.
However preparation for an event of such a large volume is started several weeks before. Our goal was to organize meetings with as many publishers and partners as possible and to this end we had to contact several hundreds of international publishers participating at the exhibition. We had to familiarize them with our service at least to the extent to induce them to sit and have a talk with us through e-mail marketing campaigns and Linkedin contacts. Such a meeting takes usually half an hour when the two parties introduce their product/service, exchange business cards leaving one another in the hope of future cooperation and agree on the next step.
In our case we had 4 types of meetings: publisher meetings aimed essentially at convincing the publisher to bring its e-books to us and to sell them through us. These are typical sales meetings where practically you sell your product. There are partner meetings where our existing sales representatives, such as iBooks or OverDrive, sit and meet us in the hope of as smooth further cooperation as possible and, if any difficulty arose previously, personal meetings would be a perfect ground for settling such.
We managed to arrange also a meeting important for PR with a writer/blogger/influencer whom we will work with—hopefully—on a guest blog post. And finally there are highly important investor meetings in the life of a startup. Their essence is to convince the investor why it is worth investing in PublishDrive.
It is important to note that usually no specific contracts are concluded at an exhibition, however, endeavour should be made to fix the next step and to start common work already from home. It occurs that it comes off smoothly during a couple of weeks but it also occurs that somebody withdraws from cooperation.
During the 3 days of the exhibition I attended numerous meetings but I had time also to look around and approach publishers personally and to collect business cards. Besides visitors could enjoy a very colourful program. Panel talks on various themes could be attended where the most renowned faces of the book trade have also appeared. Individual authors, publishers, bloggers and sales representatives all have come to establish relations and conclude deals. I think that the London Book Fair 2017 was, in any case, useful for PublishDrive and hopefully successful as well, however, to tell how successful it will be will be possible only based on the next weeks’ work.