It was good to see so many Stationers at the IPG Spring conference last week. Tej Sood, David Hicks, Martin Woodhead and Chris Jolly were all there and so of course was Oliver Gadsby.
Oliver is the current IPG chairman. He opened the conference and chaired a number of sessions with aplomb. Also spotted were Tim Godfray of the Booksellers Association which supports the Trade Association events we hold at the Hall and of course Bridget Shine and Edward Milford of IPG who also come the TA events.
The sessions were very interesting. Corporate Member Sage in the guise of Ziyad Marar spoke about the changes Sage had seen over its 50 years in publishing and how it had managed to retain its vision while keeping up with these changes. Amazon's Russell Jones spoke about how Amazon could work with independent publishers to maximise sales for all! He bravely faced the questions after his presentation knowing that there were certain topics which were "no go areas" because of the very tight confidentiality policy which Amazon has in place. Naturally these were among the subjects he was asked about! He handled it well. Another fascinating session saw James Daunt of Waterstones and David Prescott of Blackwells speak about their respective businesses. Oddly they both seemed to see improvements in their own bookselling climates whilst adopting tactics which seemed to be quite the opposite of each other. One man's meat, etc! If you are at all interested in book publishing do follow the IPG whose website is here.