Monday, March 1

Alicante opens the management of the Book Fair for the first time

Image of the 2019 Book Fair, held in the old Seneca bus station.  |  PILAR CORTÉS

Image of the 2019 Book Fair, held in the old Seneca bus station. | PILAR CORTÉS

The Alicante City Council, through the Department of Culture, has put out to tender for the first time the programming, management and coordination of this year’s Book Fair. The call, which was approved at the Governing Board last December, has a base bidding budget of 28,500 euros plus VAT (34,485 euros in total) and the amount, as well as the exclusive organization of the city council, “required to do a public tender, since other years we did it in collaboration with the Provincial Council and the amount was less, “says the Councilor for Culture, Antonio Manresa.

The process, to which four companies presented themselves, is still open and in the last phase before the award, since documentation has been required from the two firms that have been in first place in the classification made by the contracting table: Makyre Eventos from Malaga and Edere Comunicaciones y Servicios from Seville; behind were Globalplay Entertainment and Intermundo Comunicación, both from Alicante. Makyre is dedicated to the comprehensive organization of events and communication and Edere is specialized in communication, management, advice and training in the cultural field.

No exact date

In the absence of the required documentation on the solvency of the company classified in the first place, Makyre, the mayor of Culture trusts that the call will be resolved in mid-March to be able to organize it as initially planned, between April 30 and 20 June 2021. However, Manresa points out that the exact date will not be known until speaking with the company that will manage the service and it may be postponed until after the summer, between the months of September and October.

Although the last fair was held online due to the circumstances of the pandemic, the one in 2021 plans to combine the face-to-face and online modality, as long as the health situation allows it. The program will specify which activities are face-to-face and which are carried out through a platform, but at least 60% of the activities must be face-to-face, unless for imperative reasons the entire fair must be carried out online.

The councilor stressed that the last fair was held entirely online and was “spectacular.” Organized by Marina Vicente, like the previous one, it had “a very important impact on the networks,” he recalled.

The venue will be decided by the City Council, although it is expected to take place in Plaza Seneca, whose building now manages Culture and where the last ordinary fair was held in 2019.

The duration of the fair will be ten days if there is finally face-to-face activity and, if it is only online, five days.

The company that finally performs this service must present the full program of activities one month in advance of the fair date, in which children and young people will have a special role.

There will be activities organized every day in the mornings and afternoons and provide at least eight book presentations by renowned authors and two writers’ conferences or dialogues, regardless of the activities organized by booksellers.

School visits must take place every school day that the fair lasts and a minimum of two daily children’s activities (storytelling, workshops, etc.).

There must be activities in both Spanish and Valencian, the specification points out, and the contractor must create and manage the fair’s web platform and will be responsible for the dissemination of the events through social networks. It must also coordinate the activities proposed by the participating libraries and institutions.

Promotion of the Alicante sector

Within the general objectives, the fair must, among other things, promote Alicante culture and bring it closer to new recipients, promote Alicante businesses in the sector, publicize the network of municipal libraries and multiply the number of recipients of culture and interest by the book. Specifically, this meeting with books should “position Alicante culture” on the map of national culture, promote book sales, encourage online reading and book sales among young people, or support the cultural sector, including others.

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