by Leigh Anne Williams -- Publishers Weekly, 12/21/2009 10:52:00 AMThe Canadian Booksellers Association has chosen a new name, time and location for its annual conference. The CBA National Conference will take place from May 28 to 30, 2010 at the Toronto Delta Airport West hotel.
CBA executive director Susan Dayus said she hoped the timing, immediately after BookExpo America in New York, would be convenient for booksellers and help them reduce costs if they were going to BEA. “Someone who is coming from Vancouver or Edmonton … can swing around back this way, so they can come to our conference before going home and they’ve saved the cost of that extra flight,” she said. It is also just before the Canadian Retail Council’s conference, which some members have expressed interest in attending, she added.
Last year’s event, the CBA Summer Conference, was hastily organized for June 20 and 21 following the demise of Reed Exhibition’s BookExpo Canada. The Summer Conference stood in as a national industry gathering, but it was a much smaller two-day event held at a downtown Toronto hotel. Modeled after the ABA Winter Institute in some respects, it featured professional development seminars for booksellers and events such as “speed-dating” with publishers highlighting their top few titles. Instead of booths, publishers were invited to set up table displays, but the number who participated in the inaugural event was relatively small, with Penguin Canada as the only multinational represented.
Dayus said details about the shape of this year’s National Conference are still being worked out, and there is no indication yet of what publisher participation will be like. Multinationals such as Random House of Canada and HarperCollins Canada have said that they favor regional fairs. Random House will be holding its own public-focused event for the second year as well. The Globe and Mail Open House Festival, which will spotlight Random House authors, will be held from April 30 to May 2.