Christian Retailing

No repeat for ECPA book show Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 27 April 2009 03:09 PM America/New_York

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has decided not to repeat its consumer-focused Christian Book Expo (CBE), following the event's failed debut in March.

The group is also going to ask members to help it meet an estimated $250,000 shortfall on the three-day event at the Dallas Convention Center, where total attendance was a tenth of the 15,000 that had been projected. More than 60 publishers and suppliers took part in the March 19-22 program that included workshops, debates and opportunities for visitors--who paid admission--to buy books.

The decisions by the ECPA board were announced yesterday by President and CEO Mark Kuyper at the association's Executive Leadership Summit and Annual Member Meeting at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

Kuyper told Christian Retailing the ECPA was not following up on its provisional booking of the Dallas venue for next year and that if a similar idea were ever to be considered in the future, "it would be a very different looking event."

A review of CBE had found the decision to market the event through Dallas-area churches to be one of the main factors in its "flawed concept," Kuyper added. Many companies that had taken part in CBE had indicated they would "like to give it another go," he said, "but the problem still remains this didn't work."

ECPA member companies will be asked to donate a voluntary assessment of their annual membership dues--which range from $1,512 to $15,000, depending on revenues--to pay outstanding CBE bills.