Seattle Fair Continues Success in a Tough Economy and Looks to Future Additions

Spring 2004 (Vol V, No. 1) Table of Contents

“Given the state of the economy we were pleased that so many patrons were loaded down with purchases before the Fair had been open an hour on Saturday,” said David Gregor, co-producer of the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair (SABF). “ In fact, one of my best customers was racing around at closing on Saturday picking up six boxes of purchases and she hadn’t even bought from me yet.”

While the most important statistic for the 2003 fair is the approximately 2,000 visitors thru the door, it is the changes to take place for the October 9 and 10, 2004, event that the producers are looking forward to incorporating into their successful formula. Seattle dealers, Louis Collins of Louis Collins Books and David Gregor of Gregor Books, Book Seminars International, produce the SABF annually. Both are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and regularly exhibit at numerous book fairs. Together they bring over 50 years of collectible and used bookselling experience to staging the Northwest’s premier antiquarian book event every fall. It is this expertise that they will call on as they move the Seattle Book Fair back to the larger Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center next year.

There are advantages to the move. The 2003 Fair was sold out in June, even after additional booths were added. However, the larger venue for 2004 has only 88 booths; six of which are designated premier booths as they directly face the front doors. In addition to the booths themselves being larger (10 foot by 10 foot), there are 26 corner booths.

Collins and Gregor have a long established policy of extending to returning exhibitors first right of refusal on their booths for the following year. To date, a full third of this year’s dealers have signed on for 2004. After March 1, 2004, new exhibitors on the waiting list are allowed to sign-up with booth assignment on a first come, first served basis.

Furthermore, the producers will add a book arts show in conjunction with the 2004 Book Fair. The show is a unique opportunity for two related collectible book industries to cross-pollinate. Book Arts Show exhibitors must offer for sale book-related items or services they produce, publish, create or manufacture. Book artists, binders, fine small presses, conservators, book centered non-profits, and hand printers are expected to bring an added dynamic to the Northwest’s premier book event.

“We are looking forward to building on the past success of the SABF as we diversify our offerings and build a broader customer base than is typical of local book fairs,” Louis Collins summed up in a recent conversation. “I feel that is why our exhibitors tell us that the Book Fair enjoys a reputation world-wide as one of the best regional book fairs.”

For more information or to be placed on the exhibitor waiting list call 206.323.399 or email




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