Hong Kong Book Fair will launch on 16-22 December, 2020

 Friday, September 4, 2020 

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The 31st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, including the HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), has been rescheduled to run from 16 to 22 December 2020 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, following discussions with the fair’s supporting organisations and relevant stakeholders. The event was originally scheduled for 15 to 21 July.

Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “The HKTDC has been coordinating closely with the industry and exhibitors regarding the rescheduling arrangements for the Book Fair. To gauge exhibitors’ intentions and preferences, a survey was conducted earlier. More than half of the respondents preferred us to hold the fair before the end of 2020, if the pandemic situation allows, to help them seize the opportunity for promotions and sales. We will continue putting our best effort into organising the Book Fair, facilitating the industry to overcome the current challenges.”

In view of the continuing uncertainties amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, public safety remains the HKTDC’s top priority. Mr Chau said: “We will promptly notify all stakeholders and exhibitors of any subsequent changes to allow them sufficient time to get prepared. On 16 November, a month before the fair’s scheduled opening, we will assess if the event should proceed in light of the prevailing situation and risks. This will be followed by a final evaluation and decision on 9 December, a week before the fair’s opening and shortly before the exhibitors move in, with a view to minimising as far as possible any extra expenditure that might be incurred by exhibitors.”

Government offers funding support, capped at HK$100,000 per local exhibitor

Mr Chau said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has earmarked funding through the Second Round of the Anti-epidemic Fund for the Book Fair to fully subsidise local exhibitors’ participation fees, subject to a cap of HK$100,000 per local exhibitor. This subsidy will remain applicable to the rescheduled Book Fair. At the same time, the HKTDC will continue to support exhibitors through various discounts – including a discount for members of supporting organisations and an expansion incentive – which means that most of them will be able to participate in this year’s Book Fair free of charge.

The rescheduled Book Fair will continue with its original theme, Inspirational and Motivational Reading, with the tagline “Reading the World, Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul”. The HKTDC will showcase a thematic exhibition in the Art Gallery aligning with this year’s theme, titled “Words to Warm the Heart”. The Art Gallery will also feature another two exhibitions with the themes “Cherished Memories of the Children’s Paradise”, and “The Dragon Never Dies – Bruce Lee @80” co-organised with the Bruce Lee Club. Many noteworthy cultural events will be run during the Fair.

New Book Fair Online covers multiple online bookstore platforms at a glance

At the same time as proactively preparing for the physical fair in December, the HKTDC has also been enhancing its online promotional platforms to create a better online-to-offline experience for booklovers and make it easier for them to purchase books during the pandemic. The brand-new Book Fair Online section has been introduced in the Book Fair website and mobile app, bringing together exhibitors’ online retail platforms in the “Exhibitor Directory” webpage, so that booklovers can conveniently browse and purchase exhibitors’ books and products. As of 2 September, the Book Fair Online had already aggregated more than 210 exhibitors’ online retail platforms with over 110,000 books available for sale.

The HKTDC also encourages exhibitors to upload information on highlighted books, especially new books published in 2020, onto the website. With the “Buy Now” function linked to corresponding exhibitors’ online retail platforms, booklovers can easily purchase books featured on the “Exhibitors’ Favourites” and “New Book Releases” webpages.

To encourage the industry to utilise online platforms to expand business, and to help exhibitors learn more about online selling, the HKTDC has coordinated with several third-party online retail platforms to hold online briefing sessions for those exhibitors that do not have online outlets.

Revisiting popular seminars at Cultural Journey Online

Mr Chau also mentioned the introduction of the Cultural Journey Online webpage on the Book Fair website earlier this year, which has pooled together various e-reading resources, museum exhibitions and cultural activities. In addition, the HKTDC has recently uploaded around 140 recordings of selected popular seminars that have taken place over the past 10 editions of the fair. These seminars feature renowned authors such as Ni Kuang, Louis Cha, Lung Yingtai, Pai Hsien-yung, Jimmy Liao and Lin Qingxia Brigitte. Those who were not able to attend the events in person can now enjoy fascinating insights from renowned authors through this platform.

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