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Reed Drops Canadian Publishing Events  by Jim Milliot -- Publishers Weekly, 2/2/2009 11:33:00 AM

Following the defection of many of the country’s largest publishers as well as a growing number of independent houses, Reed Exhibitions Canada has closed BookExpo Canada, the annual publishing trade event. Reed will also not move forward with plans to start a new consumer-oriented event in the fall in Toronto.

While BEC was faced with a growing number of publishers who said they were not planning to attend BEC this year, as recently as a few weeks ago Reed had still hoped to put on BEC and launch the Toronto event. Greg Topalian, senior v-p for Reed Exhibitions, said, however, that it has become clear that there is not enough interest in the Canadian publishing industry to make either event a successful stand-alone operation. Reed was willing to run a smaller traditional business-to-business fair and complement that with a consumer show, but, “at the end of the day, there wasn’t enough signups for either,” Topalian said. “We’ve worked for a number of years to find ways to change the show or to have it evolve, but when you get to the point where your customers say you aren’t valuable any more it’s time to move on.” He said that while he would never rule out trying to do some book-related events in Canada in future years, “as of today, there will be no events in 2009.”

With the closure of BEC, Reed, parent company of PW, said it will now concentrate its energies on having BookExpo America serve the needs of the North America publishing and bookselling community.