Though my lower back is no longer punishing me for not having ordered that extra booth floor padding and my intake of dietary fibre is sure to increase (unless green lifesavers somehow qualify as roughage), I can’t help but already feel a certain longing for the days of Book Expo. Meeting Jean Chretien was not the most important face-to-face encounter of the last four days for me but it might be the best story—particularly since both Pam and I were compelled by our Canadian humbleness to point out to an American publisher in our booth that the gregarious man being swarmed by cellphone camera-users was in fact our former Prime Minister. The publisher let us know that actually, yes, he was already aware of that…but thanked us gently for our totally unnecessary (and unwittingly condescending) Who’s Who.
The BookNet booth was filled with engaged and savvy individuals with excellent feedback about how we’re doing and what we could do in the future to create even more opportunity in the industry. Hot topics included GDSN, the Returns intiative and our upcoming Media Study (what did you expect, Paris Hilton? We’re BNC, for gosh sakes. GDSN can and will be defined as a hot topic).
Good natured controversy over how chromosomes influence online buying habits erupted at our retailer sessions during Super Saturday and the high level of engagement in the room prompted discussion among staff as to whether Michael Tamblyn needs to start calling out to crowds for ‘Hallelujah’s in years to come.
Congrats to everyone who worked on Devices and Desires as well. It was a jam-packed day with tons of useful information. Wayne MacPhail gave a particularly compelling presentation on Web 2.0 and what it means to you and your business—and he even managed to work in the fact that some Second Life users use squirrel avatars to live out some rather…unsavoury…fantasies. I think I’ll stick with Facebook for the time being.