New Zealand was the Guest of Honour at the prestigious 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair which ran from 10-14 October.
The New Zealand pavilion has broken all previous Guest of Honour attendance records at the Frankfurt Book Fair with more than 90,000 people visiting the pavilion over the weekend when the fair was opened to the public.
All of the Frankfurt Book Fair writer sessions held in the New Zealand Pavilion are now available on our Youtube channel. Features speakers from Weta Workshop, Māori storytelling, cooks, comics to writers discussing working life in the aftermath of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes.
YouTube clip featuring highlights from the Frankfurt Book Fair.
YouTube clip of the New Zealand Pavilion at Frankfurt.
YouTube clip providing an overview of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
YouTube clip introducing New Zealand's Guest of Honour role in 2012.
A summary of New Zealand's Guest of Honour role
New Zealand was the Guest Country of Honour at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF). Attended by around 300,000 people from 110 countries, the Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest book fair and most prestigious annual publishing event.
New Zealand’s Guest of Honour project ran for the whole year leading up to the fair, presenting 82 New Zealand writers and many cultural performers in more than 260 events in Frankfurt and 50 other cities throughout Germany and Europe. It provided an unprecedented opportunity not only to sell our books into international markets, but also to showcase New Zealand’s literature and culture, to promote trade and tourism and to strengthen our political ties with Germany.
The Frankfurt Book Fair project was a major focus for the Ministry during 2011/12 and the first half of 2012/13. As the lead agency, the Ministry formed a small team to run the project, in collaboration with a number of other government agencies in New Zealand and Germany.
We partnered with the NZ Film Commission, NZ Film Archive, the Publishers Association of NZ (PANZ), Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University, the NZ-German Business Association and a range of other sponsors and partners in New Zealand and Germany, to effectively leverage government’s investment.
New Zealand’s highly successful programme built awareness and interest throughout the year, peaking at the Book Fair with almost 68,000 people visiting the New Zealand pavilion over five days. The FBF organisers attributed the 6% overall increase in the FBF’s public attendance figures to New Zealand’s Guest of Honour presence and profile.
Literature and Publishing Programme
Eighty-two New Zealand writers featured in more than 260 literary events in 51 cities in 2012 – mostly in Germany but also in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France and the UK. Thirty-five New Zealand publishers attended the 2012 FBF to negotiate rights sales with international agents and publishers from a collective New Zealand trade stand.
The German translation rights for 83 New Zealand books were sold in the lead up to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Since the Fair, there have been a further 33 German rights sales to 31 December 2013 – a total of 116 in all. New Zealand would normally sell the rights to around 10 books into Germany each year.
New Zealand rights sales into other territories were not measured before the October 2012 FBF. However, the 2012 FBF has resulted in 85 sales into other territories to 31 December 2013. In total this means at least 200 rights sales since early 2012. This is more than double the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) target of 100 rights sales by the end of 2013.
It is expected that this number will continue to rise. New Zealand publishers report further rights deals are in negotiation or under discussion as a result of the FBF.
The geographic reach of deals done and in negotiation include: Germany, France, UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Brazil, Poland, Sweden, The Netherlands, China, Italy, Japan, the Middle East, Slovenia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, and Norway.
Twenty New Zealand publishers, including five educational publishers returned to exhibit at the 2013 FBF, capitalising on the international interest achieved in 2012. They report further rights deals are in negotiation or under discussion as a result.
A German writer-in residence programme has been established in Wellington in 2014, funded by the German Embassy and the Goethe Institute and supported by the Wellington City Council. This idea was generated by New Zealand writers at the 2012 FBF, as a way of mirroring the Creative New Zealand residency in Berlin and strengthening cultural exchange between both countries.
Upcoming plans include a strong publisher presence at the 2014 FBF and PANZ entering into a contract with the Taiwan International Book Exhibition (TIBE) for New Zealand to be Guest of Honour in 2015.
Arts and Cultural Programme
The cultural programme in Frankfurt began in August 2012 where New Zealand was guest of honour at the Museumsuferfest – a festival which draws crowds of around three million people over 2.5 days. New Zealand’s cuisine and culture were showcased and the opening ceremony involved the Leiden Waka (the ceremonial waka on permanent loan from Toi Māori to the Volkenkunde Museum in the Netherlands) on the River Main.
In October 2012, New Zealand presented a rich and varied programme of visual arts, film, dance and music in Frankfurt, all of which received significant media attention. The other key feature of the cultural programme was the 2500m² Guest of Honour pavilion.
The pavilion won the 2012 New Zealand Interior Design Supreme Award as well as the Installation Category Award. It also gained third place in the 2013 Adam and Eve German installation design awards.
Live Cinema Carnival of Souls by Jumpboard was invited to perform at The Barbican in London in October 2013 as a direct result of CNZ’s support of international presenters to view this work in Frankfurt in October 2012.
The NZ music showcase at Frankfurt generated major media features for The Black Seeds and Electric Wire Hustle. The Black Seeds have since returned to Germany for five further performances, including two major festivals in Cologne and Freiberg.
NZ film producer Catherine Fitzgerald participated in the November 2013 Wiesbaden film festival retrospective of NZ films, and wrote this account:
"It was incredibly heartening … to get a sense of a very keen interest in NZ creativity which had been piqued by the Book Fair in Frankfurt! … It has had a real impact, more than a year down the track, among an intelligentsia and general arts focussed group of the population. A group that are now genuinely more interested in our films, music, art as well as books."
Education New Zealand
Education New Zealand (ENZ) worked with PANZ to fund nine New Zealand education publishers to operate a trade stand at the 2012 FBF. It also funded a web-book to showcase the products of 14 education publishers and tell New Zealand’s export education publishing story.
Other ENZ activities included two online competitions targeting school students and culinary students and a successful volunteer programme at the FBF – ENZ recruited German students who had studied in New Zealand to guide visitors to the pavilion and publishers stand and to highlight New Zealand education opportunities for international students.
As of March 2014, seven new education rights deals have been confirmed, with more potential deals in train.
There was a 38 percent increase in German registrations in ENZ’s Lead Management system after the FBF. This system captures information about potential future students; eg potential students who sign up to attend a NZ education fair.
ENZ supported five education publishers to attend the 2013 FBF. This also provided an opportunity to build export connections with Brazil, the 2013 guest country of honour and one of ENZ’s new target markets.
Following the success of the FBF, ENZ is now supporting programmes with PANZ to build export connections and participate as Guest of Honour at the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition. It is also looking to increase its presence at the 2014 FBF.
Preference of Germans for New Zealand as a travel destination
Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) runs an “Active Considerer Monitor’ in six of TNZ’s key international markets, including Germany. The target audience is consumers who are actively considering New Zealand for a holiday in the near future. The monthly survey reports on New Zealand’s brand image and advertising effectiveness in each market.
Results in Germany show that preference for New Zealand as a destination continues to be above benchmarks for Germany post the 2012 FBF. June 2013 figures show a 64% preference for New Zealand (top 2 box score). These figures have shown steady improvement since 2012.
Results for the quarter to June 2013 also show that 50% of Active Considerers in Germany associate NZ with “offers rich local arts and cultural experiences” – an increase from 39% in the previous quarter.
The Guest of Honour country showcases its culture in a year-long programme throughout Germany, culminating in the Frankfurt Book Fair. New Zealand exhibited its premier arts, creative industries and stories to new audiences and businesses. A hand-over ceremony from the current Guest of Honour, Iceland was held on Sunday 16 October 2011 in Frankfurt.
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson announced New Zealand’s selection as Guest of Honour country with German Foreign Minister, Dr Guido Westerwelle at a media conference held at the Auckland Museum on 2 June 2011. The contract was signed between Lewis Holden, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage Chief Executive and Juergen Boos, the Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
New Zealand publishers have attended the Frankfurt Book Fair for more than 10 years. The Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) coordinates a combined New Zealand stand for up to twenty publishers. In addition, a number of other New Zealand publishers participate independently.
The fair is held annually in the second week of October and runs over five days – three days for trade and two for the public. The fair features:
- over 110 attending countries
- almost 300,000 visitors
- 180,000 international trade visitors
- 100,000 buyers
- 10,000 international journalists from 63 countries
- over 5000 media reports in Germany and internationally: all German TV, radio stations, newspapers, related magazines, and online portals cover the event.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is increasingly extending its focus beyond books to digital media and the range of businesses contributing to that industry, the film industry, the gourmet industry, science, technology and medicine. It also features education, the promotion of literacy, books in translation, international culture and politics, audio books, children's books, comics, maps, and other aspects of the book trade.
Creative New Zealand made a significant contribution to support New Zealand's Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour literary, arts and cultural programme in 2012. Information about Creative New Zealand is available on their website.
An archival copy of the NZ at Frankfurt website.
View audio clips from the NZ at Frankfurt YouTube page.
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