Representatives of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), who are currently touring and participating in the largest cultural event and book fair - the Frankfurt Book Fair 2013 - in a bid to promote the SIBF in November 2013, as well as invite leading publishers, have made good impact.
The SIBF's participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair comes in line with its efforts to disseminate information pertaining to Sharjah Book Fair and its activities. Additionally, it was the management's primary objective to not only extend invitation to German and international publishers to take part in its upcoming 32nd edition, but also to broaden cultural communication with the outside world.
H. H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, as well as a large number of international publishers, visited the SIBF Stand, which was uniquely designed to reflect the Arabic identity.
The Frankfurt Book Fair has brought together around 7,300 publishers under one roof. A number of meetings were conducted during the book fair by SIBF representatives including Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Director of SIBF, Hind Abdullah Lenaid, Head of Exhibitions at SIBF and General Coordinator of the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, Salim Omar Salim, Head of Sales and Marketing at SIBF, Zaher El Sousi Sales Executive- Arabia, and Mohan Kumar, External Affairs Executive at SIBF with German and international publishers. The latter showed keen interest in Sharjah International Book Fair and hailed the endeavour of promoting the culture of reading.
Considering the SIBF as a great opportunity to break into the Arab market and reaching a wider Middle Eastern audience, international publishers praised the event as well as the management for its immense efforts to expand international participation, offering greater opportunities.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed Al Ameri, Director of SIBF, said, Sharjah International Book Fair delegation conducted a series of meetings and intensified efforts while participating in the Frankfurt book event primarily to promote the SIBF and urge publishers and intellectuals to contribute to its upcoming 32nd edition. The delegation also introduced offers and facilities for publishers ensuring bigger and larger participation." He added that the Frankfurt Book Fair offers a valuable opportunity for them to meet German and international publishers as well as key players in the literary world.
The SIBF's participation in Frankfurt Book Fair was a big success. Reaching a larger audience, important agreements were made.
Al Ameri pointed out that the SIBF highlighted key segments of the event including the Professional Programme which features a wide range of lectures, discussion sessions, seminars and workshops that are held prior to the Book Fair.
Highlighting the effect of their participation, Hind Abdullah Lenaid, Head of Exhibitions at the SIBF and General Coordinator of the Sharjah Children Reading Festival, remarked: "The delegation was very excited to attend the various events and lectures held alongside the Frankfurt Book Fair. These have indeed shed light on the best industry practices as far as organizing international book fairs is concerned." She added that keeping in view of the keen interest of the Emirate of Sharjah in issues pertaining to children's reading and book, the delegation also visited the Children's Book Corner at the Fair.
According to Lenaid, the delegation also familiarised itself with international cultural output and products dedicated to children and attended a number of children's literature-related events; acquainting itself with the latest international developments in these areas.
For his part, Salim Omar Salim, Head of Sales and Marketing at the SIBF, said, "The SIBF Stand received great attention and made its presence felt at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The delegation made the best use of its participation to promote the Sharjah International Book Fair through more than 15 publications and special posters and advertisements displayed on the Frankfurt Book Fair website.
Salim went on to say that the SIBF Management adopted a very carefully and well-studied marketing and promotion plan during its participation in the German book event. The primary aim was to attract a large proportion of German and international publishers.
The SIBF signed a new collaborative agreement with the American Library Association (ALA) which offers an opportunity to establish improved delivery of ALA's face-to-face, digital, and print products and services to the region in locally and culturally appropriate formats. Joint activities will also help raise visibility and use of libraries in Sharjah and the region.
The SIBF will immediately embark on this collaboration which aims at making the entity a strong international leader among regional book fairs. It will further promote the love of the written word, its creation, and help showcase the culture of the United Arab Emirates.
The Frankfurt Book Fair has a rich history - the first fair was held in the city by local booksellers more than 500 years ago. Scores of literati including intellectuals, authors, researchers and publishers from all over the world each year visit this fair which is widely regarded as the largest and most influential exposition on the publishing calendar.
The fair not only offers unique opportunities for meeting with industry's experts and expanding professional network, but also provides a platform to share knowledge and bring cultures closer.
The Sharjah International Book Fair was established in 1982 when the Department of Culture and Information was tasked to organise its first edition under the guidance and directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
The 10-day annual event now draws more than 924 publishers showcasing books from nearly 62 countries, and attracts over 600,000 visitors from all around the world.
The Sharjah Book Fair mainly aims to create a reading community, and has gained a global reputation locally as well as globally.
In recognition of its international reputation and success, the Sharjah International Book Fair has been awarded memberships to many international organisations, such as the Afro-Asian Book Council and the Arab Publishers' Association. SIBF is also recognized by the International Publishers Association.