O’Reilly Media took its Tools of Change in Publishing Conference to Italy for the first time in 2011, teaming up with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair organizers to focus on opportunities for children’s content in digital publishing. That year the conference attracted 270 delegates from 27 countries, mostly publishers and developers. It was the first foray into the digital conversation for at least 40% of attendees. Two years and three conferences later, TOC Bologna has grown both in numbers as well as participant make-up, with authors and illustrators joining the discussion, and has spearheaded a maturing professional exchange on how the children’s sector might adapt, and thrive, in the digital landscape.
This article provides an overview of TOC’s three years at Bologna and highlights the trends, topics, and transformations currently at the forefront of a market striving to re-define itself as it heralds the future of publishing.