Employing utterly and unapologetically unscientific methodology, Q&Q has picked Coach House’s “hockey office” (our name) as booth of the year. Yes, other booths were splashier, with poker tables or 3-D Simpsons families, some were slicker, with cover images everywhere and thick carpeting on the floor, and certainly some were creepier (we’re thinking of the world’s tallest man at the Guinness World Records booth) or more touchy-feely (such as the man giving out hugs, or the massage booth), but Coach House’s booth was infused with a sense of low-budget fun, while keeping the focus on its upcoming titles.
The hockey table and fake hockey tickets were a charming touch, as was the contest to name the live goldfish swimming in a bowl on the mock-office table. (Not quite a return to the days of Jack Stoddart’s BookExpo elephant, but cute nonetheless.) We also liked the Monday addition of Coach House’s Libris award to the hockey table, as if players were contending for the glass statuette.
Honourable mention must go to the Wiley Canada booth, which – perhaps taking a cue from IKEA – was constructed as a functioning kitchen and living room, complete with a Wii video game console. (See below.) Out front were a yard and a patio table.