Futurebook 2021

How we took The Booksellers publishing conference hybrid!

"Having seen the magic that hybrid can bring, I cannot see an event person walking away from that now - particularly in conferences, because all of a sudden you have so many more people to choose from. We were really, really happy with how it worked out and had a survey afterwards that said 96% of people would recommend the conference and would consider coming next year which is all we could ask for." - Emma Lowe, Director of Publisher Relations

In November 2021 it was possible for Futurebook to move back to a physical event. But the Bookseller wanted to carry over the benefits of digital. The hybrid event was able to bring in industry leaders from India, Australia, United States and Scandinavia to join the live discussion on the stage. 

The online audience watched via Silverstream’s streaming platform embedded in the Bookseller’s event website, where delegates could post questions and network. Post-event they could watch sessions as video on demand.  The in-person audience also had access to the VOD, so they could watch sessions they’d missed in other streams. 

During the networking breaks, the online audience was treated to live supplier sessions to learn about new innovations in the world of publishing and audiobooks. They were able to ask questions live. 

There were three streams of live content each with a dedicated chatroom. A key objective was accessibility and reducing environmental impact, while giving the London-based industry a forum to meet.

Futurebook 2021 exceeded the sponsorship revenues of the previous 3 years, with 15 sponsors enjoying the opportunity to meet both in-person delegates and also present to the online audience. They’re now using their online presentations as part of their own marketing. 

94% of those who attended said they would be recommending the event to a colleague and were likely to return next year.

Julie Farrell appeared as a virtual speaker. She’s a founder of Inkclusion, based in Edinburgh, which campaigns for accessibility of events for disabled people.

“For us, hybrid events are the new normal and we shouldn't be going back - 1 in 4 people are disabled and many of them can't access in-person events. By appearing remotely from home in Edinburgh, we didn't need to travel and stay in London, which would have been costly and challenging due to my disability.”