Premiere Bologna Children‘s Book Fair Moves to Virtual Online Hub Beginning 4 May 2020

Premiere Bologna Children‘s Book Fair Moves to Virtual Online Hub Beginning May 4, 2020

Milan, April 1st, 2020 – BolognaFiere S.p.A., the leading European exhibition organizer, announces the launch of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Global Rights Exchange, which will go live online beginning on May 4, 2020. The renowned children’s books trade and licensing show, originally scheduled for March in Bologna, Italy, was rescheduled then canceled due to the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. Now, organizers are pleased to bring the business, the atmosphere, the content and the magic of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair to an online environment, with events to continue through 2020. The core of the virtual fair is an online hub powered by the international rights platform PubMatch, based in the U.S. and dedicated exclusively to the international rights, distribution and licensing of content.

“The Bologna Children’s Book Fair Global Rights Exchange will be as close to being at a book fair, sitting across the table and having a meeting, as we can come in this environment,” said Jon Malinowski, president, Combined Book Exhibit, and founder of PubMatch. “With International book fairs canceling due to Covid-19, the need to create new and innovative ways to continue the business of buying and selling rights is more important now than ever. We are thrilled to be working with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair to create the first online Global Rights Exchange for all those who normally attend the spring event, and to respond to the growing needs of the publishing industry during these difficult times.”

“BolognaFiere offers the world some of the most innovative fairs, trade shows and conferences on an international scale. We’ve been invited to take a step forward by the worldwide Covid-19 emergency: creating the BCBF Global Rights Exchange is not meant as simply a replacement for the fair. We mean to meet the challenge and explore new ways to expand our BCBF event network. This time, the appointment is not a location or a fairground; it’s a global exchange platform, so-called virtual, but very much real in the business it will perform,”BolognaFiere’s Marco Momoli, the Culture B.U. director, said.

All Bologna Children’s Book Fair publisher and literary agent exhibitors registered in 2020 are invited to participate in the BCBF Global Rights Exchange free of charge. They each receive a unique log-in and dashboard, which will allow them to upload title information and PDFs of 25% of any book. Publisher and agent visitors registered in 2019 and 2020 are invited to join the platform too and will receive a unique log-in code to browse through the offers.

Meetings take place using the popular Zoom video conferencing service. With its easy-to-use “share screen” feature, rights buyers and sellers can view PDFs of available titles. Participants agree to terms of service focused on protecting individual privacy rights (in full GDPR compliance) as well as international copyrights.

The PubMatch system of unique identifiers permits users to take advantage of the full range of services offered by PubMatch, including the ability to make and receive offers to be stored in users’ personal profiles, schedule meetings with other registered participants, and more. The BCBF Global Rights Exchange opens on May 4, 2020 and will remain open through the end of the year.

Nearly 1,500 exhibitors from 80 countries were registered for the 2020 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. In 2019, nearly 30,000 participants attended the fair in Bologna.

Running parallel to the BCBF Global Rights Exchange, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is respecting its longstanding traditions of honoring illustrators, authors and other notables in the world of children’s book publishing.

Awards for books, apps and publishers will be announced on the BCBF virtual stage, along with webinars, interviews and book trailers. A new part of the BCBF platform, comprised of the website, social media channels and app, is a dedicated blog with continually updated information about the fair, including major appointments, interviews, guest columns, links to relevant articles and more.

A special digital version of the Illustrators Exhibition will be available for free from May 4 – 7, 2020, open to all online visitors. For 2020, a jury selected 76 artists from 24 countries to be included in the Illustrators Exhibition, drawn from a pool of 2,574 illustrators from 66 countries.

The famous and beloved “Illustrators Wall”, where aspiring illustrators put up their business cards, postcards and posters, will be featured online along with a virtual Illustrators Survival Corner. Created by BCBF and Mimaster Illustrazione, the international school of illustration in Milan, the Illustrators Survival Corner has become one of the most successful “flagship” events of the fair, so much so that BolognaFiere implemented the event at the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair and the Moscow International Book Fair. In the Illustrators Survival Corner, illustrators sign up to present their portfolios to publishers and have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of workshops and master classes.

The parallel Bologna Licensing Trade Fair (BLTF) will have its virtual stage too, including the essential Property Guide, featuring more than 600 IPs, webinars and other virtual events, plus the full basket of awards for licensed projects and licensing promotions, to be announced online on May 4, 2020. The BLTF serves licensors, licensees and distributors from Italy and elsewhere in Europe, offering a showcase for the latest products, extensive overview and trending themes in digital and media, publishing and children’s entertainment.

The full program of BCBF and BLTF virtual events will be announced on April 23, 2020, the World Book and Copyright Day, with a special digital children’s book exhibition dedicated to the pleasure of reading.

As the 57th edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is being moved online, BolognaFiere has announced that the international children’s publishing community will be meeting again in Bologna from April 12 – 15, 2021.

Interested participants may get more information and sign on to the BCBF Global Rights Exchange at or by emailing

About BolognaFiere S.p.A.
BolognaFiere S.p.A. is a leading European exhibition organizer with over 85 events. As a world leader in trade shows across a number of different sectors—including art, children’s publishing, cosmetics, agribusiness, construction and design—BolognaFiere has developed a cutting-edge portfolio of international exhibitions in key Russian, North American and Asian marketing, including China with eight exhibitions already established.

About Bologna Children’s Book Fair
The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the world’s leading trade show dedicated to the children’s publishing industry, attracting 1,500 exhibitors and around 30,000 professional visitors from around 80 countries. Created in 1964, BCBF brings every year to Bologna (Italy) a unique and diverse global audience, made of publishers, agents, developers, illustrators, authors, booksellers, librarians and all the other professionals involved not only in the book but also in the multimedia and licensing businesses for children’s content.

About PubMatch
Established in 2008, PubMatch is the first online platform and toolkit that empowers rights professionals globally to manage, organize and scale rights sales by using its intuitive and easy-to-manage online software 24/7/365 days a year. It also allows easy access for content that is not or has not been made easily available globally before. PubMatch is a joint partnership with the Combined Book Exhibit and Publishers Weekly.



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