by Tyler M. Carey, Chief Revenue Officer
For the past few years, getting together at the end of the year to celebrate as we typically did pre-pandemic was challenging for a lot of folks for obvious reasons. Even last year, as I attempted to put together a small focus group meeting in mid-December for one of the markets we serve, I found that the 2021 Omicron surge was still front of mind for a lot of New Yorkers and we had a lot of last minute cancellations. All of this was completely understandable for everyone’s own decisions about their situation and the safety of themselves and their loved ones.
So, it was a refreshing, welcome opportunity to attend a packed house event hosted by the New York Book Forum on December 13, gathering together publishers, manufacturers, vendors, and other publishing thought leaders for some end of year conviviality in midtown Manhattan. I had the opportunity to reconnect with customers and vendors I had not seen in person since before the pandemic, and the old habit of trading business cards was even back for some of us.
I have to give the leadership of the New York Book Forum a lot of credit for filling the void from the former BIGNY, which in many ways was its precursor organization. The need for regional networking organizations for the publishing industry is even more important now due to the ways the industry has changed over the past few years in response to supply chain issues, increasing costs at all stages of a book’s life cycle, and emerging topics like the potential use cases for artificial intelligence in publishing workflows. The Book Forum’s regular events give a voice to publishers and vendors to share their experiences and practices, and I highly recommend checking out their event calendar for 2024 to find ways to participate in person — or virtually, if you’re not regularly in the New York area.
I would be remiss in not highlighting one of the most engaging conversations I had during the evening. The holiday event served as an opportunity for me to catch up in person with the Book Industry Study Group’s Brian O’Leary and Brooke Horn, as well as Linda Secondari of Studiolo Secondari, who played a big role in rebranding and launching BISG’s new website. BISG serves a different role from NYBF for our industry, as a formal trade association that explores topics of interest to our industry which affect segments like workflow, supply chain, and rights. BISG’s upcoming events are also worth exploring, as their committees regularly put out papers and webinars to help provide analysis and best practices that are practical and applicable to publishers of all types. Westchester is very active in the BISG workflow committee, and exploring having stakeholders join other committees to help us learn more and participate in discussions around different aspects of our clients’ work.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you likely received an email from us thanking you for your interest in 2023 and sharing that we have once again made an annual gift to the Connecticut Food Bank, which is part of the national organization Feeding America. US employee-owned Westchester continues to champion the cause of helping local communities combat food insecurity, and encourages you to join us by supporting a food pantry or charity in your community.
From me and all of the team at Westchester’s offices in the US, UK, and India, we wish you the happiest of holidays. When you’re back in January, let us know what we can do to help you in the new year by using the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page.