Below is part of an article that appeared in Knowledgespeak, a free daily news reporting service published by Scope eKnowledge Center for the STM publishing industry. I thank them for their kind permission to reproduce this important news from the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor
While last year saw the entry of enhanced e-books, what’s clear this year is that multimedia content is the future, according to Frankfurt Book Fair Director Juergen Boos. He further says the phase of exploration experienced by the global industry is now over, and that the focus today is on actual business strategies as well as the development of completely new forms of cooperation involving the creative industries of film, games and books. The Book Fair, projected as the world’s largest meeting of the publishing industry, expects to welcome 7,500 exhibitors from 110 countries, as well as 280,000 visitors.
Boos believes that the swift changes taking place in the content business are creating a huge demand for knowledge and, above all, for exchanges of ideas on equal terms. The Frankfurt Book Fair has responded to this by working with the German Publishers and Booksellers Association to establish the new Frankfurt Academy conference brand, and by maintaining the digital initiative, Frankfurt SPARKS, which it launched in 2010. The topics covered by the nine conferences will range from new forms of storytelling and story-selling (Frankfurt StoryDrive Conference/ SPARKS, Open Space, Agora, October 12-13) to “Metadata and Rights Management” (TOC, October 11, Marriott Hotel). All in all, more than half of the roughly 1,100 industry events at the Book Fair will address aspects of digitisation.
To do justice to the new standards of the content business, this year, for the first time ever, the Frankfurt Book Fair will dedicate an entire exhibition hall to buying and selling intellectual capital. In addition to the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg), Hall 6.0 will now feature a new trading floor called the StoryDrive Business Centre. This is where content dealers and creative work experts from the film, games and publishing industries will come together to generate business.
The importance of ‘knowledge’ will also be addressed in the new-look Hall 4.2. This has traditionally been home to scientific, specialist information and educational publishers, who first began using digital production processes in the 1990s, and whose products are already nearly 100 percent digital. Various events will illuminate the role and working processes of these publishers and their customers, among whom are information professionals from private companies. The topics covered by this varied programme will range from the “open access” debate and metadata, to a presentation of the control room of the Large Hadron Collider by the European nuclear research centre CERN.