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International Kolkata Book Fair seeks online dominance on FB & its URL

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KOLKATA: The International Kolkata Book Fair, true to this metro’s population density and avid interest in the written word, is one of the largest book fairs in terms of footfall. Interestingly, its theme is Great Britain and is all set for a hectic 12-day event, which commences from 28 January in ‘The City of Joy’. IKBF aims to aggressively embark upon its online campaign by launching its official website ‘www.kolkatabookfair.net’ on 20 January 2015 as well as making its presence felt on Facebook.

The organisers aim to feed its tech-savvy public with specially developed mobile apps for the Book Fair, with the precise aim to target booklovers to have full access to information concerning all the participating stalls.

The idea of creating apps is all very nice and it's good to see that finally the IKBF is going tech-savvy. “But a digital presence is not valid unless something exceptional is done. It is not just about running a page on Facebook or a Twitter handle. These tools should be used more effectively to create awareness, provide constant updates, inform the public about the popular stalls and preferred publishers, send frequent messages to update them on the footfall, and most importantly be interactive,” opines Abhishek Sengupta, an advertising expert…“As an avid app user what I would really like to see is the facility to book a ticket through the app and also avail special discounts,” says Sengupta.

Right from aggressively advertising online, the authorities actually went to Delhi for the very first time in 39 years for the promos, to literally woo more Delhiites to pay a visit to Kolkata for the literary event. According to statistics, ‘the city of joy’ received a footfall of bookworms of over 1.8 million last year and sold books worth Rs 200 million the last time.

The British Council has joined hands with the Book Fair, as its co-promoter and co-exhibitor. In keeping with its ‘Great Britain’ theme, books and online resources from the United Kingdom, will be displayed there. Nearly 103 book publishers and distributors ranging from various subjects, including diverse societies will make their way there to feast their eyes on these great works of art on display.

The Book Fair will be meticulously divided into five distinct halls, carefully marking the anniversaries of well-known British and Bengali authors and playwrights, including renowned William Shakespeare’s 450th birth anniversary year, 100th birth anniversaries of Dylan Thomas, a known Welsh poet; Suniti Kumar Chattopadhyay, a Bengali linguist and educationist and Sombhu Mitra, an equally legendary local actor, director and playwright.

To commemorate this prestigious event, the fifth hall will be an exact replica of the British National History Museum, and will be named after erstwhile renowned comic actor and film-maker Charlie Chaplin, in honour of his 125th birth anniversary this year.



Kolkata is sure to capitalise on this great literary event and will definitely be enriched literally and have great winnings to boot. The Indo-British liaison nostalgically takes us back to the East India Company formerly based in Calcutta in the 19th century and hopefully, once again it will revitalise this strong, symbiotic connection between the two countries for many years to come.

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