One of the first things I do when the London Book Fair is over is enter the dates for the next one in my diary. It's the only way I can guarantee I won't accidentally book something during those dates.
That almost happened last year:
"Can you run a training session on 12th April?", someone from a company asked.
"Yes, that should be fine" I replied, without bothering to look in my diary. When I did, I saw that the 12th was the first day of the London Book Fair, which I'd put in my diary at the end of the 2015 one.
Fortunately, I was able to change the date of the training before any publicity and room bookings had taken place.
So why do I prioritise it over other events (including, one year, an education technology conference that I would normally attend)?
The reason is that I find it both inspiring and informative.
Inspiring because I look at the self-published authors who have made it, and I think that if they can do it, maybe I can too. I don't mean that in a disparaging well-if-they-can-do-it-anyone-can-do-it kind of way, but simply in the sense that if some people can write a book, promote it and succeed with it through a combination of hard work and knowledge, then others can too.
That brings me on to the knowledge aspect. Three years ago I thought I really want to get on with writing and self-publishing a book. So I used the Fair to look at lots of different publishing options.
Two years ago I spent the time listening to authors' advice in the Author HQ seminars, and looking at cover designs.
Last year I learnt enough to decide that I was going to self-publish something on Amazon, at least to begin with.
And this year that's exactly what I've done! I've written about it in the article A return to self-publishing.
I'm not yet sure what my focus at the 2017 Fair will be. I do know I'll spend much time in the Author HQ seminar programme, even though it hasn't been published yet.
If you're in education, you may also be interested in the conference What works? Successful Publishing Resources & Technologies for the Future. There are also other conferences going on during the three days of the Fair.
It takes place from 14th to 16th March: London Book Fair 2017.