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BC stalls at festivals

I will be helping karen07814 and other Colchester BookCrossers run a stall at the Colchester Free Festival on27th August http://www.colchesterfreefestival.co.uk/

The plan is to give away as many books as we can, explain BookCrossing to anyone who is interested and encourage people to come to our meet-ups. So far Karen has obtained sponsorship from The Layer Fox pub (a meet up venue and OBCZ) and is organizing a banner. Has anyone here got any tips or suggestions for this sort of venture? Offers of books would also be welcome. I have no idea how many we will need, we have about 200 reserved or pledged so far.

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I will be helping karen07814 and other Colchester BookCrossers run a stall at the Colchester Free Festival on27th August http://www.colchesterfreefestival.co.uk/

The plan is to give away as many books as we can, explain BookCrossing to anyone who is interested and encourage people to come to our meet-ups. So far Karen has obtained sponsorship from The Layer Fox pub (a meet up venue and OBCZ) and is organizing a banner. Has anyone here got any tips or suggestions for this sort of venture? Offers of books would also be welcome. I have no idea how many we will need, we have about 200 reserved or pledged so far.
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I checked my calendar but it would mean finishing work two weeks early for me to visit Colchester for the festival plus it is still school holidays. I try to avoid travelling during the holidays. Will look at posting a few books to you.
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Will look at posting a few books to you.


Thanks. It would have been great to see you there but I understand why you can't make it.
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Hi ardachy,
I'd so love to be there. Not really useful to promise to send you books because the mail from here is so costly and slooooooow that I doubt anything would get there in time.
I do, though, send you sincere good wishes for a fantastic time and for success in introducing a whole raft of new people to bookcrossing.
I second bookczuk's idea of contacting the BCinDC crowd, perhaps even MomOyster herself who seemed to be a leading light when I was able to attend their stall at the Kensington Day of the Book Festival when I was in that area during the 10th BC Convention recently. I had the privilege of being able to help on a well filled and greatly patronised stall.
Hearing perusing customers say "You mean they are really free?' was just great.
If you can get a canopy type of covering for the stall or even better a tent that is useful if it is very sunny or wet.
Childrens books in cartons low to the ground were swooped upon with glee and first to be exhausted.
I'd also suggest paper explanatory handouts might be useful - they're not a substitute for Supply Store bookmarks but cheaper to produce.
I sent a link to this thread to the bookcrossing group I met in Honolulu (on my way to WashingtonDC) as I know they were planning an event of a similar nature shortly after I passed through - hopefully you might hear from them.
Hope those ideas help. It was tremendous fun. I was lucky.
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Has anyone here got any tips or suggestions for this sort of venture?


The BCinDC gang do this regularly at a local book festival. You might want to contact them. They may have some good suggestions.
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BC-in-DC has had a booth at the Kensington (Maryland) Day of the Book Festival for several years now. (In fact, the event organizers now seem to count on our presence as one of their advertising points!) We have also had a booth at the Gaithersburg (Maryland) Book Festival each of the two years it has been held. Along the way, we've learned a few things:

Try to locate a canopy or tent...this provides much needed shade on a sunny day and shelter from rain if the weather isn't favorable. It is also helpful to have a supply of materials on hand that explain BookCrossing. You won't be able to speak to every single person that comes to your booth, so having something for them to pick up and read will help spread the word. We use a tri-fold brochure that someone created years ago (I can send you the file if you PM me with your e-mail address), as well as copies of a great article from the local newspaper. I recommend having a couple hundred copies of everything you plan to bring.

The question of how many books can be more difficult. We have given away more than 1,000 books at Kensington some years, and over 1,500 this year in Gaithersburg (which is a longer event). Depending on how long the event is and how many people they expect to attend the festival, you might want to plan to have a LOT of books available. We've learned that children's books are wildly popular and disappear quickly. We NEVER have any children's books left over after these events, and often run out well before the event ends, so try to have as many of them as you can get your hands on. We've also found that it is best not to put all the kid's books out early...keep a supply in reserve, out of sight, to put out later in the event as the initial supplies run low.

Most of all, when you get to the big day, come prepared to talk. Encourage people to journal the books they take, and explain BookCrossing to everyone you can. The enthusiasm of the newly converted is fun to watch!

Good Luck!
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Thanks ResQgeek I will PM you. Thanks to everyone else who has posted too. I will report back here after the event.
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BC-in-DC has had a booth at the Kensington (Maryland) Day of the Book Festival for several years now. (In fact, the event organizers now seem to count on our presence as one of their advertising points!) We have also had a booth at the Gaithersburg (Maryland) Book Festival each of the two years it has been held. Along the way, we've learned a few things:

Try to locate a canopy or tent...this provides much needed shade on a sunny day and shelter from rain if the weather isn't favorable. It is also helpful to have a supply of materials on hand that explain BookCrossing. You won't be able to speak to every single person that comes to your booth, so having something for them to pick up and read will help spread the word. We use a tri-fold brochure that someone created years ago (I can send you the file if you PM me with your e-mail address), as well as copies of a great article from the local newspaper. I recommend having a couple hundred copies of everything you plan to bring.

The question of how many books can be more difficult. We have given away more than 1,000 books at Kensington some years, and over 1,500 this year in Gaithersburg (which is a longer event). Depending on how long the event is and how many people they expect to attend the festival, you might want to plan to have a LOT of books available. We've learned that children's books are wildly popular and disappear quickly. We NEVER have any children's books left over after these events, and often run out well before the event ends, so try to have as many of them as you can get your hands on. We've also found that it is best not to put all the kid's books out early...keep a supply in reserve, out of sight, to put out later in the event as the initial supplies run low.

Most of all, when you get to the big day, come prepared to talk. Encourage people to journal the books they take, and explain BookCrossing to everyone you can. The enthusiasm of the newly converted is fun to watch!

Good Luck!




I would be very interested in the Tri-Fold file you have can you please send it!! Thanks MUCH!!
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I would be very interested in the Tri-Fold file you have can you please send it!! Thanks MUCH!!


Send me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll send it to you.
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update

We've now got a gazebo, around 1500 hundred books and a table. Plan is to do a placard stuck in the ground with "how bookcrossing works" info on it (possibly more than one). I had planned books on the table and lots in reserve under the table otherwise it will end up being a pile of muddle. Thank you to those who have offered books and those who have already given them. If you're in the area 15,000 people turned up last year and it was a fun day, music, lots of novel kids events and a quirky area-tailor a suit, learn to knit, mend your bike. It wasn't just a music festival. We'd be happy to see other bookcrossers around, if only because they seem to be the only people who understand "yes, it is free!"
Wish us luck
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RE: update

Good luck! And have fun...the best part of working a booth at a festival is the chance to explain the concepts of BookCrossing to potential new members. You'll meet a lot of really great people, I'm sure.

Let us know how it goes...
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Miketuk developed a handy little application which helped us register books for the festival really quickly. See http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7290430
I still have quite a few to register though that would not scan as not found on google books. A big help though and worth considering by anyone who registers a large number of books for festivals or OBCZs etc.
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We gave away just over one thousand of the 1500 we took.
Photos here:- http://www.flickr.com/---/72157627531803588/
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Congratulations on a successful event! Looks like it was fun.
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Thanks we did have a lot of fun. You were right about children's books being popular and the benefit of both shade and shelter. We had sunshine and showers.
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Good job! Sounds fun, too.
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Final numbers in, we took 1700 and gave away 1342

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