Madrid Book Fair 2023 will be articulated around science and will present design changes
Eva Orúe, director of the Madrid Book Fair: «as far as visitors are concerned, we would like to convince those who can come on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, because they would help us to balance the fair».
The 82nd Madrid Book Fair is already warming up. We have recently learned that they have renewed their visual identity and the functionalities of the website for both exhibitors and the average user. Being aware of the first novelties of the fair, Publishnews wanted to know a little more about how Eva Orúe, director of the event, is planning this new edition.
The Madrid Book Fair is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a new visual identity. What do you want to highlight above all?
First of all, I would like to highlight the fact that we now have a recognizable visual identity. We wanted to create one because an event like the fair needs to present itself with a perfectly identifiable logo and appearance (shape, colors). That is important for everyone, but much more so for an event that comes up for 17 days a year and disappears, that is, that does not have a continuous presence in the cultural life of the city.
In addition, we aspire to reflect what, on the other hand, is an obvious fact: we open our doors in a privileged, protected, world heritage site, and with the new logo we want, on the one hand, to thank the city of Madrid for allowing us to be there and, on the other hand, to underline our commitment to the Park.
The website has also been renewed. What improvements will both the average user and the professional in the sector find?
The average user will find the same information but better organized and more accessible, since we have respected accessibility standards.
The professionals, in the hidden part of the website, have the same services but also improved. In addition to registration, exhibitors enter to schedule the signings and activities they organize; well, the corresponding forms are now more complex than before. Please note that we have not done this to annoy you! We are guided by the purpose of obtaining more and better-categorized information. After all, it’s a way to improve the service we offer visitors to the fair not only on the website but also on the app, the screens…
«Our task is for the fair to change without giving up its essence. That’s what we’re working on.»
It was one of your goals since you took over the management of the event a year ago. What other short-term goal is close to being met?
We are still working on some changes that I can’t announce yet, and we certainly aim to minimize the footprint of our presence in the Park. I am confident that we will achieve this.
The figures for the last edition of the event were very good, what measures are planned to try to improve them this year?
They were very good, yes, both in terms of visitors and sales. As far as visitors are concerned, we would like to convince those who can come on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, because they would help us to balance the fair. Regarding sales, being a commercial event we would certainly like to see them increase.
Any new activity that was proposed last year and that this year returns with a renewal?
The game The Little Giants of Reading is back which, after the success of the pilot we programmed last year, will be extended to the whole Community of Madrid and will have the presence of contestants from other autonomous communities. In addition, in the final, the contestants will be accompanied by the authors of the chosen books and by the writer Begoña Oro, godmother of the project.
What will be the star proposal for the Madrid Book Fair 2023?
This year, the fair will be centered around science, which will be the backbone of our entire program. It is not the only star proposal but is the only one I can comment on at this stage of the year. Well, I can also say that there will be changes in the design of the fair… we hope they will be successful.
After the pandemic and after the massive digitalization of consumer habits, how do you see the near future of the book sector?
During the pandemic, the number of readers increased, as studies show. And those who read the most were teenagers. An ebb is understandable; once normality is restored, it is logical that leisure will diversify; the challenge is to attract those who came for the first time and those who returned to reading after years without doing so.
Publishers and booksellers have made an enormous effort in recent times to offer better books in both form and substance. Among other things, the former has opted for illustrated volumes, which have no translation to the digital world; and the latter have understood that to win the battle on the Internet, they had to unite and have created todostuslibros.com.
We must continue to work, of course, without despairing. A good book will always be an unbeatable refuge.
How would you like the industry and readers to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Madrid Book Fair?
By celebrating the fact, that an idea that is almost a century old is still valid. Today, as then, books take to the streets to meet readers. Today, as in all these editions, authors, and readers, the first and last step in the book chain, meet and talk. Our task is to change the fair without giving up its essence. That is what we are doing.
Text: Luis Miguel Rojas
Photos: Isabel Infantes and Isabel Wagemann