The Pragati Maidan book fair is the talk of the town right now. What used to be a biennial affair is now an annual event. All the bookworms and bibliophiles find their way to the event every year.
However, this doesn’t have to be a one-of-a-kind event. The hype behind this event leaves room for more such book and literary-themed events to come up.
If you’re an event planner who wants to organize such an event for a similar target audience, you’re in luck!
This event planning guide to organize events like the Pragati Maidan book fair summarizes all the notable features. It brings a nutshell version of what makes this event stand out. It’ll help you incorporate the same into your events.
A. About Pragati Maidan Book Fair
This famous book fair in India takes place in Delhi. The event has all sorts of book genres and even an international section for books. It is organized by the National Book Trust (NBT) in collaboration with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Pragati Maidan.
B. Contact Booksellers
Pragati Maidan Book Fair, with its years of network building, sends out invites to booksellers. This is done online through website notices and emails. Publishing houses then select authors too, to set up their stalls at the book fair.
If you’re not in touch with the organizing team, keep an eye out on the website for updates.
As for event planners, start reaching out to big and medium publishing houses and expect the invitations to spread.
C. Ticketing Partner
This year, Paytm Insider was chosen as the ticketing partner for the event. They not only issued tickets but representatives also scanned the tickets for entry at the venue.
The tickets were priced at an affordable price of INR 10. However, it is understandable that for non-government-backed events, it’s difficult to have such affordable tickets.
But there’s a ray of hope. Since there aren’t many such events throughout the year, book lovers will admire your event a lot.
In fact, here’s an amazing deal! You can avoid sharing profits from ticket sales with ticketing partners. How? Using this tool called Ticket Generator helps you create and customize unlimited safe tickets.
D. Promotion Practices
An event without sufficient promotion will not get you the desired turnout. The event industry is saturated and you must invest in standing out.
To do that, you may leverage the following as not only promotional strategies but engagement tactics too:
- Invite a notable author for a speech
- Have a book lunch event within your book fair
- Read the rest of the article to know what Pragati Maidan Book Fair did to stand out
You can also head to this article to see the best event marketing practices.
E. Sort by Genres
Plan your event map in a way that it is easily navigable. You can categorize on the basis of different publishing houses too. But even within that, try to have different sections for different genres.
F. Publishing Houses
This will definitely build credibility and also give your attendees some sense of familiarity.
G. Wholesale Booksellers
This is a must-have for book events. While big publishing houses help you get a good name, having this gets you more attendees.
Imagine buying books by the kilo!
One of the best USPs of the Pragati Maidan Book Fair is the sale of books in bulk at low prices.
You may go to your local wholesale markets and contact wholesale booksellers directly.
It’s not completely unexpected out of a book-related event, but definitely a plus point.
Being able to buy international, cute, or high-end stationery with lots of books is a match made in heaven.
This is also something that the organizers of the Pragati Maidan Book Fair realized. So, they provide various stationery shops here and there as well.
I. Unique Segments
Another creative segment that was noted was the rare books section. You could get your hands on books that you wouldn’t find at most bookstores.
The books looked old and used, but that only added to their importance. This section got a lot of crowd despite its expensive price tag.
There was also a segment where you could find books by child authors. You could even interact one-on-one. This was an exciting and inspiring segment for all the young attendees.
The books here weren’t just dabbling between fiction and non-fiction. The Pragati Maidan book fair also had publishers that would help school and college students.
For example, Arihant publications also had their stall up and it got a lot of attention from students.
K. Technology In Literature
Paper media has been losing its popularity in this digital age. Yet, no stone was left unturned at the Pragati Maidan book fair.
They had many books and stalls that brought forth a combination of technology and literature. For example,
- At this event, HP had its own minibus which doubled as a digital classroom
- Paytm enabled cashback on every third expense at the book fair
- Text-to-speech books were also popular at the event
- You would see lots of interesting QR codes at the event. These were to help people avail various facilities, make payments, visit author’s websites etc.
L. Engagement Activities
The Pragati Maidan book fair didn’t just have stalls selling books and stationery.
They had really interesting showcases of policies. This was to highlight this year’s theme for the book fair which was 75 years of Indian independence. You could witness original pages from the constitution of India. There were also huge displays explaining the New Education Policy.
There was also a stage where people could see singers and performers before the event closes in the evening.
In every hall, there was also one or another talk show going on. This included a panel of politicians and authors who graced the stage.
These ideas are really practical as you can’t expect your attendees to shop throughout the day.
Events within events didn’t only get more people to attend but also stay longer and visit frequently. Being able to interact with the country’s leaders and politicians one-on-one was definitely a crowd magnet.
M. Engaging Stalls At The Pragati Maidan Book Fair
The organizers were not the only ones who made attempts to make the event engaging. The stall owners also went out of their way. Here are some ideas to make stalls more attractive:
- Signs like “Buy 3 for 100”
- Quizzes with books as awards
- Freebies like anime posters on sale of three mangas
- Signed copies of books
N. Bring The Authors
Another inviting treat by some stalls was seeing the authors sell their books in person. Of course, these were some of the more indie authors. And not to forget, they were definitely great conversationalists!
Shout out to Mr. Viveik Pandit who roped in the attendees. How? He started off with a very strange greeting— “Can you help me, I made a big mistake?”
And then proceeded to show his book titled ‘By Mistake’.
We can’t stress how important is in-person interaction is for better sales at events.
The Pragati Maidan book fair had a dedicated corner for food as well. They had some leading fast food chains, as well as small restaurants that had their popup stalls.
They only had many affordable options but also ample seats, tables, and shade. This attracted a lot of crowds throughout the day.
O. Book Lounge
Paytm also introduced a book reading corner with comfortable cushioned seats. By scanning the QR Code and making a payment of INR 1, people could relax while reading their books.
This was new but definitely a crowd-pleaser as people had to walk a lot at the event.
Q. What are some of the rules at the Pragati Maidan Book Fair?
Here are some rules that this event had and we highly encourage you should too:
- Mandated for attendees to carry a valid ID proof
- Frisking and all other regular security procedures carried out as and when needed
- Hazardous objects such as fireworks and weapons were not allowed
- People could be denied entry on grounds of late entry or overcrowding
- Inebriated guests could be denied entry
- The tickets should not be refundable even in cases of rescheduling
With this, we hope you were able to get ideas for your next book event. Remember that these ideas are not ready to use by everybody. You will have to decide what will work best for your specific circumstance. For example, school book fairs will have to see what fits their budget and area dedicated to the event.
That being said, we hope you organize a very successful event. In the end, if you feel our ideas helped, do leave your email ID below for us to notify you about more information like this.