BookSexy BEA Survival Guide

Book Expo America (BEA) 2011 is happening at the end of the month and if you’re on Twitter there’s several hashtags going around with updates and excited chatter.  A small flurry of Tweeters at the hashtags #BEA11 & #BookExpo asked for some tips on what to bring, where to go, how to dress.  So, if you’re attending BEA this year, here’s my advice.

What to Wear

Dress nice, but be comfortable.  Avoid jeans & t-shirts.  Think business casual.  But the most important thing to remember is to wear something that you’re comfortable & confident in.  Because you’re going to be walking up to and starting conversations with a lot of strangers.  For me, that means heels for at least the first day, when I’m visiting the various publishers’ booths.  I know most people say to wear comfortable shoes…  and I make sure mine are well broken in (I’m not recommending stilettos!). My reason? I’m 5′-4″.  I like the extra height heels give me the ability to see over the crowds.  It’s probably not the most sensible thing in the world, but it works for me.  Find what works for you.

What to Bring to the Javits Center

Travel light.  The tragic truth is (something I learned the first time I moved):  books are heavy.  The Javits Center is huge.  You’re going to do a lot of walking so you don’t want to be weighed down anymore than necessary.  So stick to the basics.   Pre-print the schedule of events and autographing authors. Highlight the ones you want to see.  Bring a pen (I like fine point Sharpies), a small pad (Moleskines Rock!), and business cards (LOTS of business cards).  I try to throw a few granola bars into my bag, as well, since I forget to stop to eat when I’m busy.  And try to bring a SmartPhone.

The SmartPhone. 

If you have a SmartPhone prep it beforehand.  Get an app for your blog & email (eliminates the need to lug around your laptop or netbook).  Set up a Twitter account if you don’t have one already and follow the hashtags.  If you can sync your Google Calendar to your phone, do it – it’s a great way to set reminders for where you want to be, when.  Clear your photos – make sure you have enough room in your memory for new photos and that your flash is on.  Bring your charger.  (If you’re a blogger you get access to the Press Lounge, which provides a spot to plug-in and re-charge).  And don’t forget to download a NYC Subway Map app…it helps.  Even native New Yorkers use the subway maps.  And having it will come in handy for my next post in this series (there will be 3 posts total), which will list my Top 10 BookSexy Tips on What To Do Outside of BEA.

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