BEA is Coming! Advice Edition
Posted by Caitie F on May 28, 2012
Not as dramatic as Winter is Coming, but guess what? BEA is only a week away! I am going to do two posts, one on my advice to attendees and what on what I am doing.
I went last year and read a lot of advice beforehand and it really helped me out and made for a better experience. Don’t look for hotel and packing advice from me though, I live locally, so i just ride the bus daily.
1. Have a Smart Phone
It will make you life so much easier. last year, i did not have one, but my husband did and I borrowed it for the week. I was so glad I had it! Hopstop is a necessity – it will be able to get you wherever you need to go! Following publishers and BEA on twitter can alert you as to what is going on at the moment, and keep you in touch with awesome bloggers. And hopefully their app will work better this year, because it will help you with number two
There is so much going on and it is already on their website and on the app. Plan out the author signings you want to go to ahead of time and figure out what will be ticketed (for some of them you have to get tickets earlier in the day). You can add your own events to that also, so if you have any meetings with publicists or other bloggers, you can add it into your schedule. It will also let you make the hard decisions early when two things conflict.
3. Appropriate Attire
Comfortable shoes are a must. The Javits Center is massive and there is so much walking and standing that you do not want to be wearing nw shoes. I have a khaki colored pair of Chucks that match one outfit and comfortable flats that match another. I walk in them all the time and I will still have blisters.
Wear something at least business casual. My company is a very casual company and we wear more dressy for BEA. I am planning on a dress one day and a skirt and blouse the other. It will be hot, so suits are not usually the best idea, but at least dress pants will most likely get you more respect.
4. BE NICE!
No, really, please do this. I got whacked with bags and toes stomped on because I got a book and someone else didn’t. Hrow up. This is a professional event so be nice, professional and friendly to everyone. If they run out of ARCs of a book you were really interested in, don’t get mad! Ask the publicist if they plan on bringing more later that day or later in the conference – usually the answer is yes and they will hold one for you. Or, if you are really interested, they will even ship you one. But only if you are nice and respectful to them.
5. Don’t be shy
The people at BEA share something huge in common with you, they are passionate about books. They want to talk about them, find out what you like, find out what you think about books, and generally want to work with you. Have a small pitch ready when you talk to publicists that you don’t know about your blog and your goals and be ready to talk to them. Making great relationships helps your blog and you. Most of the people working the booths are really nice, as are most of the other attendees. This is the ultimate place for book lovers, so even if it is out of your comfort zone, try to approach others.
6. Don’t eat there
If you are on a budget, it is expensive and just okay. I did it only one day. There are inexpensive food carts outside with more than just hot dogs. If you are willing to walk a few avenues, there is a ton of cheap food that is really good. It does take a little more time, but if money is a concern, I don’t recommend eating at Javits. Also, get your coffee before you get there is you are a coffee drinker. They have a Starbucks, but I noticed it is a more expensive Starbucks. There is really a Starbuck on every corner (I can see three from outside of my building on 8th Ave). But if you need your coffee while there, have a gift card or the app, it will make the long line faster!
7. Wander a little
With so much going on and so many publishers you want to meet, I know it seems like this advice might be difficult, but it is worth it. For every ticketed signing and hour long line, there are debut authors without a line. I was wandering near Penguin and saw this awesome cover for a book called Legend by Marie Lu and she was standing there. I asked her about the book, got a signed copy and this year she has a ticketed signing. Legend was my favorite book that i got at BEA last year and is one I recommend to people all the time! So don’t get tunnel vision.
There is so much more advice I could give, btu I will stop now.
Remember, have fun, meet people, and ask questions. It is a great group there! If you are going, let me know and we will meet up! I will post more about my schedule later this week!