Q&A

Q1: The VABF will start on November 16th, but the booth exhibition period is from November 20th (Friday) to November 23rd (Monday). Why are the dates different ?

The VABF website will open on the 16th of November where users can view links to the individual websites maintained by exhibitors as well as the planned exhibition contents. The booth exhibition period set from 11/20 to 11/23 will be when booth participants will be able to directly communicate with VABF fairgoers via our website. Visitors will be able to see booth participant pages during the period from 11/16 (Monday) to 11/19 (Friday) and will be able to purchase items on sale on each page, but visitors will only be able to engage in real-time communication with each booth’s team during the last four and a half days of the event.
We hope for viewers to get acquainted with the fair and its controls for the first half of the hosting period – where you can view individual booth pages, search for goods you might want, and peruse through our online exhibits. For the latter half of the event, we hope to incite communication between our global collection of exhibitors and our visitors in our online setting, all while enjoying our lineup of various artist talks, lectures, and other features.

Q2: Are there any open and close times for the fair? Will booth exhibitors be on stand-by for the entire duration that the fair is open ?

Visitors can access the VABF website 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world during the fair’s duration, but the fair will primarily be active from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM JST. We ask that exhibitors based in Japan or neighboring time zones to please be on standby during these hours so you can engage with visitors in real time as needed. We believe that one of the joys of book fairs is found in close communication between visitors and merchants, and hope that our exhibitors will assist us in this endeavor.
Exhibitors based in regions where there is a significant time difference with Japan or for those wishing to engage in communication with guests in other time zones are of course welcome to remain on standby outside of the above hours. Visitors can confirm the standby hours for each merchant by checking that booth’s page.

Q3: Can you tell me more about the online fair venue ?

VABF will take place in a virtual venue that is modeled off of the venue of our cohost, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. However, it is not our intention to present the event and the venue as it would be in real life. Instead, we draw inspiration from the museum while considering ways we can render the fair in a way possibly only in the virtual realm, and this venue is our answer. Viewers will be allowed to navigate themselves in first-person through the venue – merging elements of both the two- and three-dimensional into a unique overall virtual space. Within the venue, one can find exhibitor booths of merchants, various exhibits, and pages for events such as online talks, lectures, as well as tools that allow fairgoers to engage in communication with one another.

Q4 What can you do in exhibiting your booth online? Tell me more about how exhibitor booths work.

Viewers will be able to see exhibition booths lined up in bird’s eye view within a three-dimensional space (as seen in picture 1), allowing viewers to essentially stumble upon different works and artist – just as if they were in a physical venue. To see more information on a specific booth, click on that booth to be taken to that merchant’s booth page.

 

*More Info on Booth Pages

  • 1) Items to be displayed: Visual aids in use for presenting the contents of each booth (photographs, graphics, illustrations, etc.), icon image, exhibitor name, and profile text, among other details. We can also display explanatory text and price information for items on display or sale.
    •Specific requirements and other details on necessary materials in booth creation, such as data formats and other info, will be sent to exhibitors at a later date.
    •Exhibitors who apply for multiple booth spaces will be able to display more main visuals.
  • 2) During the booth exhibition period (11/20-23), exhibitors may also engage in direct communication with spectators by specifying an optional online communication tool (online meeting app, chat app, social media, phone number, or email address) by which to engage with. (Some online tools may require additional fees for use.)
  • 3) We can also post links for any events that merchants intend to host independently during the duration of the fair on the VABF event list page.
  • 4) Any transactions and dealings made with purchasers of goods at the fair must be conducted at each exhibitor’s own e-commerce portal. The VABF will not be held responsible for any incidents regarding the above.
  • 5) The VABF site will remain as an archive and will still be viewable after the end of the fair period.

 

 

Picture 1: Image depicting how booths will look within the virtual space

*This image is for illustrative purposes. Actual booth design may differ from the above image.

 

 

Picture 2: Depiction of individual booth page setup

*This image is for illustrative purposes. Actual page design may differ from the above image.

Q5: Can multiple fairgoers participate in an online meeting with merchants at once ?

Online meetings will be conducted via Google Meets. The individual meeting room assigned for merchants are designed to allow for communication with multiple participants.
Should you wish to engage in one-on-one communication with exhibitors, we ask that you please utilize direct messaging via social media or set up time to talk through non-public online meeting rooms.

Q6: Do I have to install an online meeting application to participate in the fair ?

You do not need to install an online meeting application to join. We ask that merchants select tools that they are able to use, such as email, telephone, and other tools, that they are able to use to engage in real-time communication.

Q7: I am worried that I will not be able to properly communicate with those who do not speak my language. Do you provide translation services ?

We do not provide interpretation or translation services. We ask that merchants please make use of auto-translation tools such as DeepL or Google Translate

Q8: I don’t run an online e-commerce portal, am I still able to participate ? Do you have any recommendations to where I can set up an e-commerce portal ?

Booth exhibitors will be eligible to participate in the fair if they have an e-commerce portal made by the time that exhibitors submit their information to the Fair (mid October). A couple of low-cost or no-cost options for setting up your e-commerce portal include BASE, Shopify, and STORES. If you set up a portal that allows for online shopping, such as online auction/shopping services like Mercari or Yahoo Auctions, you will be eligible to participate.

Q9: Can I do pre-sale activities at the fair for books that I plan to release following the end of the VABF ?

Yes, you can conduct pre-sales for books slotted for release following the end of the VABF. However, VABF will not be held responsible for such transactions. Please conduct such transactions at your own risk.

Q10: Can merchants do live-feeds of their own events ?

Participants may list information on events that they intend to manage or host independently on their individual booth pages (you must provide us the link for the relevant event at the time that you provide the fair with information to be listed on the booth page). We ask that you use the service, whether it be YouTube or Zoom, that is most well-adapted to the event that you intend to use.

Q11: I plan to participate from outside of Japan and I will be able to be present at my booth in real-time, but the difference in time zone means that the time I will be available corresponds with midnight to early morning in Japan time. Can I host events outside of the chief fair hours in Japan?

Yes, we will list event information on that booth’s page as well as on the VABF event list page. We can also post information on your event on our official social media accounts outside of main fair hours both within Japan and abroad.

Q12: Shipping Methods

Shipping processes will be handled directly between exhibitors and participants. Please set shipping methods and prices in response to whatever conditions work best for you and the customer. Please refer to the following links for more information.

 

Shipping within Japan
SagawaYamato TransportJapan Post(Click post, Yu-pack)Ecohai

Overseas Shipping
Japan Post(EMS・SAL, etc.)FedExDHL
*Please check each company’s official website for information on shipping conditions.

Shipping and Packing Materials
ASKULMonotaROShimojima, etc

Q13: Schedule leading up to the fair

Last-end of September: Booth exhibitor screening results
Mid-October: Deadline to deliver all materials needed in creating exhibitor booths (Information on required materials will be sent to exhibitors by the end of September)

Q14: Do you have any fliers to promote the event before the fair starts ?

Yes, we will supply fliers, invitations, and other promotional material to exhibitors prior to the event.