I did visit the Ghana International Book Fair 2010 at the Ghana Trade Fair site in Accra twice, but didn’t attend any of the related functions, so of course what I have to say is purely limited to the actual exhibition space, rather than any of the associated activities.
This year the venue of the GIBF shifted back to the Ghana Trade Fair from the National Theatre where it has been held for the last several [I’m afraid I don’t remember how many] years.
I guess each venue has its advantages and disadvantages – and being on several floors at the National Theatre could definitely be considered a disadvantage, with some members of the public being unwilling to move upstairs. Similarly some may have found it a bit of an effort to move out of the main exhibition space to where one exhibitor – EPP – usually had its space. I guess also if there were a lot of visitors, then it could seem to be a bit crowded.
So, obviously one of the main advantages of the Trade Fair is that it is big, with plenty of space – but it seems to me to be almost be tooo much space. Although stands were allocated, according to the Fair brochure, to companies, there were lots of empty spaces, and even on the last day, the venue could hardly be called crowded!
As there was no admission fee, I also wondered how the organisers were able to get a tally of numbers of visitors…
My other “beef” is with the attitude of some of the people working on the stands, and this is not just at the Book Fair, but other events at the Trade Fair. I know that it is warm, and perhaps nothing much is going on, but to me “sleeping” while on duty is not really acceptable, and in my view reflects on the company an individual is supposed to be representing. Of course exhibitors could make sure that those manning the stands run shifts, rather than “working” a 12-hour day?
I didn’t buy many books, but then that is not too surprising, as the orientation of the Fair was very much towards child literacy. Nevertheless, I look forward to the next one!