Tuesday, September 27, 2011

US booksellers’ bodies join hands for expanded shows

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA) and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association are reported to be contemplating merging shows. The idea, in the air for quite some time, is believed to have gained momentum after the success of the MIBA’s and GLIBA’s joint spring meeting, held in Milwaukee which had drawn 60 booksellers from 18 MIBA member stores and 12 GLIBA member stores.

According to reports, MIBA’s seven-member board, on the sidelines of its recent trade show in Minneapolis, held a meeting with officials of GLIBA to form an exploratory committee to determine the feasibility of holding just one MIBA/GLIBA trade show each year.

The MIBA booksellers reported being polled by board members during the show and subsequent reception as to whether they liked the idea of one show that would rotate between Minneapolis and either downtown Chicago or Michigan each fall.

“The decision was made to decide if it’s a possibility. We have to decide if we’d gain more than we’d lose booksellers. MIBA does not want to be in Schaumburg [Ill.], but we’re committed to staying relevant,” Carrie Obry, Executive Director, MIBA, was quoted as saying.

Obry revealed that the two organizations will be “running financials and checking out contracts” before deciding whether or not to move forward with a joint trade show. The MIBA is contracted to hold its show at The Renaissance Hotel in the historic Milwaukee Road train depot in Minneapolis Oct. 4-5, 2012.

Deb Leonard, Executive Director, GLIBA, expressed the hope that by merging the two shows into one larger show, both organizations will benefit, including increased support from publishers.

“We are committed to seeing if it makes sense,” Leonard stated, adding that GLIBA has not contracted beyond 2011 in holding its annual trade show, so that MIBA could conceivably host a joint MIBA/GLIBA show in 2012, and GLIBA would host it in 2013.

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