Thumbs down to SIBF 2014

I have been a regular at the annual Sharjah International Book Fair since 2009. The fair provided an opportunity to not only buy an assortment of books but was also a forum to interact with celebrated authors. Through the fair I have been able to meet a number of authors and a few Indian celebrities.

The event has grown leaps and bounds over the years with an increasing number of exhibitors and visitors thanks to an extensive advertising campaign. But this is precisely where it has taken a beating. For the last few weeks all newspapers, news websites ran stories on the book fair, there were frequent radio advertisements and Sharjah was entirely full of billboards announcing the celebrities scheduled to arrive at the fair. While this excessive advertisement would have translated into a grand success for the organisers for me it meant driving in rush hour traffic for more than two hours from Dubai to stand in a huge crowd outside closed doors of the conference room where Dan Brown and later Indian actress Manju Warrier were speaking.

It was terribly frustrating and sickening to see people pushing and shoving in that crowd to get a chance to enter the room. On top of it the volunteers who stood outside the closed doors did nothing to either inform the people about their chances of making inside that room nor disperse the crowd. Everyone just stood there hoping that those doors would finally open. Some in the crowd were not even informed about the events inside, they just waited to see stars (I have been told there are famous people inside, whispered a few). I hope to attend the fair in future as it was one of my favourite events hope by then it would be better managed.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patricia Torres
    Feb 03, 2015 @ 11:21:19

    oh.. not nice!! I’ve never been to the Shj book festival.. 😦

    Reply

  2. Tessy
    Feb 04, 2015 @ 09:07:39

    It’s an interesting affair, only too crowded now

    Reply

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