London Book Fair 2020 will not go ahead after COVID-19 escalation

Major publishing trade event was due to run at London’s Olympia from March 10-12.

Reed Exhibitions – the organiser of London Book Fair – confirmed yesterday (March 4) that next week’s event would not be going ahead following the escalation of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Europe.

The event, which attracts thousands of international visitors from across the publishing industry – and is a key fixture for preschool and children’s publishers – was due to run at London’s Olympia from March 10-12.

It had been reported that leading publishers including Penguin Random House, Hachette and Pan Macmillan had withdrawn all employees from the event. However, as recently as March 3, Reed was steadfast that the event would go ahead as planned.

Yesterday’s statement read: “Reed Exhibitions has today announced that The London Book Fair 2020, scheduled to take place at Olympia, London, from 10 to 12 March will be cancelled following the escalation of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Europe.

“The effects, actual and projected, of Coronavirus are becoming evident across all aspects of our lives here in the UK and across the world, with many of our participants facing travel restrictions. We have been following UK government guidelines and working with the rolling advice from the public health authorities and other organisations, and so it is with reluctance that we have taken the decision not to go ahead with this year’s event.

“We recognise that business has to continue. With this in mind, we will of course support and collaborate with exhibitors and visitors to keep our world moving during this difficult period. We thank all those from the UK and a multitude of other countries who have prepared over the last year to deliver what promised to be a wonderful book fair showcasing, as ever, the exciting best of the global book industry. The London Book Fair will return, better than ever, in 2021.”

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