BISG Postpones Its Annual Meeting to September
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Posted by: Brian O'Leary
The Book Industry Study Group has elected to postpone its Annual Meeting of Members, originally scheduled for April 24. The ongoing news about the spread of the COVID-19 virus made it clear that we could not commit to providing attendees, speakers, sponsors, and honorees with a safe and conducive environment for a meeting next month.
The annual meeting of members has been rescheduled to September 11. The venue (Harvard Club of New York City) is unchanged, and we expect to deliver the program already announced for this meeting. Closing keynote speaker James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble, has confirmed his continued participation, and we will work with other speakers and panelists over the coming weeks to confirm their availability.
We've reached out to those who have registered for the meeting to offer refunds to those who want to cancel their registrations. We have also re-opened early bird registration and extended its availability through the end of May, 2020.
The original date for the annual meeting represented the last in-person program hosted by BISG in the first half of 2020. A day-long ONIX Essentials workshop remains open, and we will be talking with EDItEUR's Graham Bell and the several people registered for that workshop to assess their ability to keep that schedule.
We still plan to deliver four other in-person programs this fall, including three programs in New York and a day-long "Concept to Consumer" overview of the supply chain in Minneapolis. If those plans change, we will communicate our decisions as quickly as we can.
While our in-person events are an important part of what BISG does to share information, foster dialogue, and ultimately solve problems that affect the industry, they have represented less than a third of all programming delivered since the start of 2017. In the last three-plus years, we've hosted more than 75 webinars on a wide range of publishing topics. This work will continue, and we expect to adapt the schedule to more frequently deliver useful information to members of the book industry supply chain who have had their ability to convene or travel necessarily restricted.
With the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we've heard from members who have suggested programming about: options to sell education products as colleges, universities and K-12 schools suspend operations; how publishers can help K-12 schools and colleges prepare online courses from their materials; and how publishers are adapting workflows to produce books remotely. We've already added a rights webinar originally scheduled for London Book Fair to the April calendar.
Finally, it's important to note that we will continue to host five standing committee meetings each month (60 across the year). The metadata, rights, subject codes, supply chain, and workflow committees always offer virtual participation. It's really the norm at this point.
We've been operating on platforms that include Zoom, GoToMeeting, and GoToWebinar for several years, and we will rely on our experience to shape how we continue to engage with BISG members and the broader supply chain. If you have any ideas you'd like us to consider, call (646) 336-7141 - the phone finds me wherever I am - or email me. I'd love to hear from you.