Frankfurter Buchmesse presents its digital concept

In October, books, literature and authors are traditionally the focus of life in Frankfurt. To ensure that remains the case in the year of Covid-19, Frankfurter Buchmesse (14–18 October 2020) has developed a wide-ranging digital programme to complement the face-to-face meetings that will take place on the fairgrounds and at the many events in the city. The digital programme of Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 will be co-created by publishers and will be accessible by trade visitors and literature fans all around the world. The digital events and services of Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 will be available free of charge thanks to funding provided by Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Minister of State Monika Grütters.

29 Jul 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

“We would like to thank Minister of State Monika Grütters for her support and are particularly pleased that, thanks to the financial assistance, we are able to make our digital offerings available free of charge this year,” said Juergen Boos, director of Frankfurter Buchmesse. “Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 will be a unique book fair – a ‘special edition’. Digital events and services cannot replace in-person meetings, but in a year when exhibitors and trade visitors from many parts of the world cannot come to the fair because of travel restrictions, digital venues are essential. Under the motto 'All together now' we want to offer publishers and partners, culture enthusiasts and trade visitors from all over the world the opportunity to engage with each other and celebrate authors and stories at the fair and in a virtual environment.”

Frankfurter Buchmesse’s website will be the platform on which all digital formats — for both trade visitors and culture lovers — will be made available. During the book fair week (12-18 October 2020), a huge digital event will be taking place on that site, on the fair's social media channels and on numerous partner channels under the hashtag #fbm20. All events will be listed in the online calendar of events at

Companies can create a digital presence on the book fair's website in the online exhibitor catalogue, the calendar of events and on special theme pages for both trade visitors and culture fans. Also, publishers are invited to submit ideas for digital events for BOOKFEST digital. They will also be given access to a rights trading platform and a matchmaking tool. The professionals' programme includes digital conferences and further digital events during the book fair week, which will also be made available at From mid-August on, companies and trade visitors can register for participation in the digital formats of the fair, using an online form at

Digital offers for trade visitors

Frankfurt Rights is Frankfurter Buchmesse’s platform for trading in international rights and licenses. This is where publishers can present their company, titles and rights catalogues, and where they can create a rights catalogue. Programme managers at publishing houses can use the platform which is completely indexed by keywords, to find promising titles and new business partners from around the world. They can also use it to contact rights holders directly and request preview materials.

“Frankfurter Buchmesse is the platform for the international rights business. That’s why it’s especially important for us to provide our customers with effective digital services, in addition to our physical venue. This allows literary agents, editors and rights and license managers from around the globe to be present and drive their business forward,” said Jenny Kühne, key account manager, rights & licences and project lead, Digital Book Fair at Frankfurter Buchmesse.

All trade visitors will be able to access the platform as of mid-September and will be able to use it for free for nine months thanks to the funding by Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Frankfurt Conference

The core of the curated, digital offerings for trade visitors at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 will be a digital conference programme. The new Frankfurt Conference will offer discussions, Q&A sessions and brief presentations with international experts in the areas academic and scholarly, rights and licensing, publishing insights, and audio on four days. Publishing professionals from these fields can attend the events to expand their knowledge and make new contacts. The digital conference format is the result of Frankfurter Buchmesse’s successful experience with the Frankfurt Audio Summit and the Frankfurt Rights Meeting.

In addition to the conference programme, additional digital events during the fair will offer publishing professionals worldwide the opportunity to expand their knowledge and dialogue with each other. Frankfurter Buchmesse’s thematic areas – The Arts+, Frankfurt Audio, Frankfurt Kids, Frankfurt Academic, Frankfurt Authors and Frankfurt EDU – are organising digital talks and curated networking sessions for international trade visitors.