To add to the inevitable, this year’s BookExpo/BookCon shows have been officially postponed until 2021, Reed has announced. Unbound, a marketplace for book-related merchandise will also move.

BookExpo is the biggest trade show of the year for the US publishing industry, and BookCon – a more consumer facing show – was added a few years, and had gradually become a popular event in its own right. Both are traditionally held at the end of May and were postponed until a July date – but even that is now unfeasible, as social distancing will last far beyond that.

Most major publishers and Ingram had already pulled out of both shows, so the cancellation was particularly inevitable.

Adding to the trouble: the Javits center had been transformed into a field hospital ward in recent weeks – photos providing an eerie feeling to those who usually went there for fun events. Although beds had not been filled up as anticipated, there have been more patients treated in recent days.

Reed’s statement follows:

To our BookExpo, UnBound & BookCon community,

Due to the escalation of COVID-19 globally, Reed Exhibitions has today announced that the next edition of BookExpo, UnBound and BookCon will now take place in the spring of 2021.

Initially, we were optimistic that our events could run in late July. However, as the pandemic has continued to escalate in the United States and we see the challenges it has brought for the book industry, it is clear that 2020 is no longer a viable option for this community.

We have worked closely with the venue, hotel community and contractors to identify workable new dates. Unfortunately, the available options do not meet the necessary criteria to support the business needs of our industry. This lead us to make the difficult decision to wait until 2021 to deliver a vibrant BookExpo, UnBound and BookCon.

While we cannot move forward with a physical event in 2020, we are finding new and different ways to connect our exhibitors, attendees and readers to celebrate books virtually, and we look forward to coming back stronger in 2021. We stand with you and we will do everything we can in the coming months to highlight your business, bring our community together and support you.

Your tickets for the 2020 event will be automatically refunded. No action is required on your end.

To all of our fans and customers – our hearts are with you and we thank you for your patience and support as we all navigate these challenging times.

Thank you,

Jennifer Martin
Event Director
BookExpo & BookCon