Top Ten Pieces of Advice for BEA

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

So, I picked my own topic today because I wanted to spread the BEA cheer. Here it goes!

1. Get a Subway App and a MetroCard
When I first moved to NYC the Subway system confused the heck out of me. I am happy to say that I have conquered it. This is in large part thanks to the fact that I downloaded the app HopStop when I first moved here. Essentially, you turn on your locations settings and it will find where you currently are on the map and then you plug in your destination. It'll give you a bunch of different train options and tell you where you want to go. The Subway system can be daunting. by the $2.50 taken off of your metrocard for one trip is way better then paying for a cab at times. It's also good to download a Subway map so you can check your route. If all else fails, Google Maps, the king of battery draining, is there too.

2. Bring Snacks
But when I say bring snacks, I mean snacks that will fill you up and fit in your purse or backpack or whatever you choose to bring. I typically eat a bagel for breakfast and survive the day off of granola bars and fruit snacks then have a huge dinner. You are so engrossed in the chaos of BEA that you don't really have the time to sit down and eat or even realize that you're hungry, so bringing snacks for the few times you do get hunger pains while on a long line is definitely a must.

3. Comfortable Shoes
You can be wearing the comfiest shoes around and your feet will still kill you after BEA. It's roughly seven hours a day on your feet hauling around books. It's going to do a number on your feet, but the comfier shoes make it more bearable.

4. Nice Clothes
I'm not saying show up as if this was the business interview of your life, but you are going to meet industry professionals here. Wear appropriate clothing as if you were marketing yourself. Don't show too much skin, don't bear your stomach, but you can be weather appropriate at the same time. My go-to outfit is skinny jeans, Sperry's, and a nice lightweight shirt or a nice dress with comfortable sandals.

5. Business Cards
If you have them, bring them. There are hundreds of industry professionals here, HELLO!!!!!!!

6. Be Kind
It looks really bad if you're pushing people or cutting people or even tackling people to get in a line. Do not scream, do not start a fight. It makes you look bad, not the person you're screaming at. It's easy to get tired and easily angry, but we're all adults united by a common love of books. Have fun and be happy! Don't open yourself up for craziness and don't allow anyone, regular attendee or industry professional, ask why you are causing an unnecessary scene.

7. Schedule But Be Flexible
BEA scheduling is half permanent and half ever-changing. You have to be flexible. While it is important to bring a schedule of all things you are interested in, prioritize and make those your goals. Then make sure you keep track of all non-priorities because booths can change times or a wrong time could have been posted on the website. If you are not flexible, then this can be a long and frustrating three days.

8. Don't Get Blinded By The Books
Obviously, we all love books and the idea of seeing all these new releases is enticing, but don't allow a blind need of books to blind you. Make sure that you take a moment out of your rush to say hello to friends and meet up with them. These are people you may not have a chance to see again until next year's BEA. This is an event that gets book lovers from all over the country's to a single venue. Take advantage of it.

9. Bring A Charger Of Some Sort
I always had my chord on me, but I never used it because it's hard to find a place to charge your phone. Plus, Javits is a battery suck. I often put my phone on airplane mode and take it off every now and then to see if I have a missed call or text message, which I often did because I wanted to see everyone. If you happen to have one of those traveling battery things, then that is a must!

10. Bring a Suitcase
You can deposit your tote bags full of books in a suitcase that you checked in for about three dollars a day. If you have a break inbetween signings or a friend willing to wait on line while you go run and do this, do it. It eases the burden on your shoulders and it frees up your arms for more books. Books are lovely, aren't they?

I am so excited for BEA! Does anyone else have any tips and tricks to share?


  1. I posted my tips and tricks a few weeks ago and most of them were exactly like yours. Haha. I almost forgot my business cards last year but I remembered to grab them on the way out the door. What a disaster that would have been!

    Great tips. Hope to see you there!

  2. Great post!! Hope you girls had awesome fun at BEA. :)