Many thousands of our members are frequent guests at book, manuscript, map and ephemera fairs. Such events are time-old traditions that increasingly seem to be a step behind the many changes that have remade these fields electronically. And this is important because the efficient use of time online underlies all assumptions about behavior.
If book fairs are less time efficient this survey considers some changes that will radically re-think and re-organize what book fairs may become.
Please share your opinions.
How do you interact with rare book shows and fairs?
How many shows do you visit during an average year?
1 to 24
Your purposes for such visits
To meet dealers to buy material
To find interesting material
To offer to sell material to dealers
Material of interest such as
Material at shows is not consistently organized and sequentially displayed.
Do you find shows to be an efficient use of your time?
If a database of all material offered at a show could be a single search, and be marked as “I’d like to buy this” or “I’m making an expression of interest” would you find this capability useful?
Please note that dealers displaying material rarely offer more than 5% or 1/20th of their entire inventory. If, displaying dealers offer a “show database” that includes both  searches of all inventory on the floor and  all material is held by exhibiting dealers, would you to be interested to make purchases?
Would you regularly use such databases?
Would you be more likely buy material if you could systematically search from show dealers.
If the show database was posted 21 days ahead of a fair would you be more likely to buy at a fair?
And if the full stock of participating dealers could be identified before the show are you open to have the displaying dealers to direct ship to you?
We will publish the results of this survey in the April issue of Rare Book Monthly.