So BookExpo America (BEA), the main event for all bloggers, librarians, authors, publishers, publicists, and everyone else is waiting for this! Having experienced it last year for the first time, I can say it was AWESOME! I did attend solo, which might not be for everyone, but I made it there alive and back.
So what advice would I give to those that haven't attended but are thinking this is the year, the first year to attend? I've got a few things to check off that list that might help.
1) Make sure to pack everything you need the night before. This is one of the things I learned as a kid attending sleep away camp, always back the night before because it's painfully annoying having to rush around that morning finding everything you need and more! So packing the night before causes less stress and easier time to get to the Javitis Center.
2) Eat a well balance breakfast. Why? Well I learned last year that even if you are just taking the train in, you might forget to chomp down on some good ol' fashion nutrients to get you through the first 2-3 hours of BEA. You'll also want to pack maybe a few snack bars or something not sticky, this way you'll avoid getting books sticky, especially since it gets very hot by the afternoon (lots of people, very little space!)
3) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Being it'll be at the end of May this year, it'll still be warm. So make sure to either bring a water bottle with you or have some money put aside for refreshments. And if you need to run and grab something to drink, there will probably be someone nice on line that won't mind holding your spot.
4) Save the tourist stuff for before BEA and after BEA. if you're not native to this part of New York or haven't been there yet, don't stop to look at everything. I know that it's amazing and you want to soak it all in, but NY'ers don't give two cents about it or not. I've been traveling to Manhattan (ie - NYC) since I was 5 years old. I'm now 25. And I've seen how tourists are and with Time Square being so busy on weekends, you'll get trampled if you stop to see it all! So save it for when you have free time while staying in Manhattan. This way you look less touristy and also have a safer time. People get pick pocketed more if they carry suitcases and luggage with them.
5) Comfy shoes are a must! I wore boots last year, nothing with a heel, but by the end of the second day, I never wanted to wear boots again! Make sure if you are going to wear something with a heel, that you get comfy insoles or something gel like that'll make it easier to walk around in. You'll thank yourself later for staying on top of this!
7) Business Cards. I didn't have time last year to buy any, so I felt weird going and not having any way to share my blog with people or let them remember me. This year I'm going to be on top of that. My blog is like a business and how I present it is key to making it look good. So by having business cards, I'm making it look awesome lol plus never fear about having left overs. I've heard people do that all the time or run out! So make sure to have extras too!
8) Catalogs. Oh yes, there are catalogs there that show you what the publishing company is set out to publish and what is already available. I actually picked up a few to take home for friends with kids or to have an idea of what books to buy in the future. Also comes in handy if you know anyone that is a teacher or a librarian, but couldn't attend. So don't be afraid to pick up one while you are there from the stacks.
9) Browsing and Walking. Don't stop in the middle of an aisle! I had such a bad time getting around because people would literally stop dead in their tracks to either chat with someone or figure out where to go. Best thing to do? Go to the side or near the entrance if you can! It's VERY crowded at this event and more so the very first day. You'll get your feet stepped on, knocked into with bags, and much more! So it'll happen more if you stop walking.
10) Book Drops. This is one of more popular things that book bloggers love! The book drops are fun to find and tend to involve either popular future releases or books that not well known yet. A lot of Young Adult titles were dropped last year. A good way to find out about some of the more secret ones is to know if any of your blogger friends heard or seen any. This can be done through social media too. Twitter, Instagram, even Facebook will help you know! So make sure that your phone is fully charged as well.
So I'm hoping to be attending this year and if I do, don't forget to look me up and say "Hello!", either in person, by social media, or commenting on my blog somewhere! I'll be more than glad to chat with you, especially at BEA!