We were joined by 80 delegates for a keynote event which was jointly organised by Ingenta, Oxford Brookes University and the Oxford Confucius Institute, with a financial contribution from Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, one of China’s largest and best-established publishing houses. The conference itself was sponsored by Alibaba Cloud – China’s largest cloud computing service provider – and Ingenta Connect partners Konvertus and Intellect Books. Delegates were treated to a five-course banquet supper on Thursday the 12th in the College Dining Hall, followed by a full day of plenaries and panel sessions by experts in their respective fields.

The event was scheduled to begin after the end of the London book fair, to make it as easy as possible for Chinese delegates to attend. In the end, about 40% of the delegates were from the People’s Republic). Simultaneous translation services were provided, as almost all presentations, including those by Chinese presenters, were in English.

Speakers at the International Publishing Symposium
“The best conference I’ve attended in ages!”
Isabel Thompson, Senior Strategy Analyst, Holtzbrink Publishing Group

The Agenda

Before dinner on the Thursday evening Michiel Kolman, Senior Vice President of information industry relations at Elsevier and president of the International Publishers Association, delivered a talk on the need for improved collaboration between Chinese and Western publishers.

The following day opened with a plenary by Sven Fund, the Managing Director of Peter Lang Publishing – one of the first publishers to be hosted directly on the new Ingenta Open site – and director of the innovative open access publisher Knowledge Unlatched. The afternoon plenary on building a global China Studies online curriculum was delivered by Professor James Lee, who is chair professor of history and sociology and dean of the school humanities at Hong Kong Technical University; the closing plenary was a fascinating overview of publishing in China today given by Ru Jing, the managing director of Cypress Books. The Chinese statistics themselves impressive: Book retail totalled US$ 11.8bn in 2017, with 490,000 titles. Magazines and journals sales totalled US$ 3 bn. That excludes imports – $142m in journals alone.

Between the plenaries, hour-long panel sessions focused on topics such as the changing role of academia, searching and discovering the right content, content delivery and social media and marketing innovation in contemporary China and Europe.

Guest speakers included such well-known names as Charlie Rapple from Kudos and David Taylor from Ingram, while Chinese speakers included Judy Bai, director of services at Digital Science, and Xinyuan Wang, author of best-selling Social Media in Industrial China.

The Symposium was such a success that the organisers are already planning for 2019! If you’re interested in being notified about the 2019 conference, please contact Joan.Dargan@ingenta.com.

Some of the attendees at the International Publishing Symposium 2018