FINALLY! The stars have aligned and I am able to go for the first time to BEA. I was pretty iffy about it for a while, but things just started to fall neatly into place and I decided that I am 100% going (unless some catastrophe hits <knock on wood>).
I have a roommate (and we’re hoping to find a couple more ladies to room with us!). I potentially have a travel buddy for when I land in the city. I’m super duper excited about going. But I am feeling like I have a million questions and am getting kind of nervous about so many things!
Luckily for me, many of my blogging friends and followers have been to BEA, so I feel like I have so many wonderful resources to go to for all my questions/worries. I thought I’d write a post about it in case you want to weigh in. Or maybe you’re going to BEA for the first time too and are having these same questions/worries!
What to pack?
This is probably my most nerve wracking question. Despite the fact that I’ve been packing for myself for probably 25 or so years, I still get nervous about what to pack when I go on new trips or to new places. I’m also a notorious over-packer. Seriously, I have a huge habit of packing enough for 3 weeks when I’m only going for 3 days. So I’m really wanting to avoid this… Here are the specific questions I have:
- What type of suitcase? Should I just do a small carry-on suitcase (I am the QUEEN of packing carry-ons) or a small carry-on suitcase and a larger one? I’ve heard some people suggest bringing a larger suitcase to pack all the books and such you pick up, but as most airlines charge you for bags now, I was trying to avoid that extra fee.
- True story: last time (only time) I went to NYC I managed to pack all my stuff for 4 day trip in February (note: thick winter clothes) in a small carry-on. I had to stop myself from telling everyone in the airport because I was so proud of myself.
- What to wear? Like packing, I’ve been dressing myself for quite some time now. And I’m pretty sure I have a general idea of what to wear. But for those of you who have been, what have you found to be most comfortable yet still nice while walking around? Is it cold inside the convention center or a little on the warmer side? Pants, skirts, dresses?
- Shoes are my biggest hurtle. While I have my trusty pair of comfy shoes that I wear to the trade shows I work at, they are hideous and I refuse to wear them to BEA.
- Are there evening events where I will need an outfit change? While I guess this question mainly depends on what my plans are up there, I don’t want to not pack a nicer going out outfit and oops! Sorry, can’t go to this party/drinks meet-up/etc. because I didn’t bring anything nicer than jeans and tshirts.
What all is going on during the week?
I understand that this will probably depend on plans I make BEFORE I get up there, and that I will most likely just tag along with people because I’m not really picky, but what are some things that are “must dos” while at BEA? Which brings me to my next question…
What are some BEA don’ts?
I think my biggest concern with this is that I want to do it all, but don’t want to do things that will turn out to be a waste of time and have missed something a lot more meaningful. For example: I’ve heard for a couple years now that the Bloggers Convention, while interesting, is more or less a “how to be a good blogger” info session. While I’m sure I can use some blogging tips, I’d much rather save $150 and go grab coffee with some of my favorite bloggers and just chat about books, blogging, likes, dislikes, etc. What are some things that you’ve done and would now advise others to skip?
Any other advice for a BEA newbie?
There are so many questions I have, but they are probably ones that I’ll just have to discover the answers to on my own. That being said, are there any tips or advice you’d like to share? Maybe things like “bring a large tote bag instead of a purse” or “invest in a good ___ because it will be your best friend.”
Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide posted last year (I believe) some great BEA tips and how-tos. I definitely will be using some of her good advice! If you’ve posted something about BEA, let me know and I’ll link it here so others can check out your good advice!