I’m heading to the London Book Fair this weekend. Although this show has been happening for many years, this will be my second trip to the confab. The home of the event used to be the Olympia Exhibition Centre, but last year they moved it to the ExCel Exhibition Centre way out at Docklands. If you’re familiar with London, you’ll know that Docklands is out east and (ahem) not really in the city. My flight landed at Heathrow, and after going through customs, gathering luggage, taking the Heathrow Express and then the Tube, I ended up at my hotel in Silvertown almost 4 hours later. I guess the worst part of it was deciding what to do at night. London proper is 45 minutes or more via the Tube from Docklands. Most of the time I was stranded at my hotel.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought the ExCel was less than convenient. After complaints and threats, the show moved back to London this year, and will be held at Earl’s Court. My lodgings are only a 3 minute walk from the hall, so that’s great. Plus, I’m minutes away from the standard London fare – Piccadilly Circus, Westminster, and my wife’s favorite place. She’s not coming with me on this trip, but her gift list is made.
As for the show itself, I attend to visit with current partners and scout out new relationships. LBF is much more manageable than Frankfurt. Besides being about 1/8th the size, the exhibitors are primarily from the UK and USA. That makes communicating much easier. I won’t blog about Frankfurt just now, but I’ll definitely address that subject sometime soon.
I leave on Saturday night, arrive on Sunday and stay through the end of the show on Wednesday. I’ll be blogging from there too.