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The Discovery Show: Why Face to Face Matters

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, July 17, 2015
It may be high summer outside, but at SIBA we are already thinking about fall, as we finalize plans for our annual Discovery Show. The event formerly known as “The SIBA Trade Show” is one of the largest industry book shows in the South, if not the country. Some 500+ booksellers, exhibitors, authors and press attend the show each year to talk books and bookselling and how to become more successful in the industry. It remains the most popular of SIBA’s long list of programs, and the one that booksellers and vendors alike consistently cite as the most valuable thing SIBA offers.

So why should you take the time to attend SIBA’s Discovery Show?

Well there are the 100+ authors you can meet. The entire day dedicated to education, author panels, and workshops. The stacks of advance reading copies available to attendees. The 100+ exhibitors that will fill the show floor with books you didn’t even know you wanted to read. There’s the mediocre food. (Just kidding – meals at the show are usually designed to showcase new cookbook releases, so they can be pretty awesome). All great stuff. But what’s the most important reason to come to the Discovery Show?

Networking. The biggest resource at the show isn’t the tables filled with books or the authors you get to meet. It’s the other people who are attending the show. If you are a bookseller, you can talk to your peers about common problems that you each face running a small business. Whatever issues you are dealing with, the odds are your fellow booksellers have run into the same problems, and maybe even found solutions. If you are a vendor, then you can meet with potential new accounts, find out what they are looking for, and figure out how to meet their needs. And of course, no matter who you are, you can talk to people about what they’ve been reading. 

In the end, it’s all about the importance of face-to-face communication. If you are a bookstore looking to convince an author to visit you on their tour, then you can talk to their publisher about how to make that happen. If you are a publisher trying to convince stores to try a new novel, then the booksellers you need to talk to will be walking right by your booth. The doors you’ve been struggling to open, the people you’ve been playing phone tag with, they will all be on site and in a mood to listen.

The book industry is still despite all its innovation an industry that is driven by word-of-mouth buzz. “You’ve got to read this!” is still the magic phrase that makes readers pick up a new book and The Discovery Show is a weekend filled with back-to-back “You’ve got to read this” moments.

See for yourself:
The 2015 SIBA Discovery Show
September 18-20, 2015
Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown
Raleigh, NC

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