February 21, 2013

BEA Newb Notes: What to Pack?

I'm headed to BEA 2013!

I've got my registration confirmation and my hotel room. So, now what?? This will be my first time there, and I always approach new experiences the same way - research, research and more research. And, the more research I do about this amazing event, the more overwhelmed I feel. So, I plan to break down my schizo thoughts in an attempt to:

A.  Get organized
B.  Gather comments from seasoned BEA professionals

So, today, I want to talk about what to pack for a day on the floor.

What To Pack to Survive the Bibliophile-Infested Waters

1. My Kindle 3G - I hear that I will be spending a lot - I mean, A LOT - of time in line at BEA. And, while I do plan to make the most of my time in line and chat it up with other bloggers and book fans, I know I will also have a lot of downtime. I plan to load up my Kindle with books before I leave so that, perhaps I can get some reading done while in line. And, if I find I really want a book, like NOW, I can always download it with my 3G connection.

2. Snacks - In keeping with the theory that I'll spend a lot of time in line, I doubt that, should I need to get in a line at 11 a.m. for an author I'd give my right arm to see, and I'm still in line at 1 p.m., I will want to give up my spot to go spend $10 on a bag of chips and a soda. So, I plan to bring in a bunch of filling snacks like LUNA bars or Cliff Bars and trailmix. Hopefully that will stave off the hungries until the show winds down and I can go somewhere to spend $20 on two pieces of pizza.

3. Filtered Water Bottle - Staying hydrated is very important - speeding from galley drop to galley drop is bound to make a girl thirsty. I'm going to bring along my filtered water bottle so that I can refill it in the bathrooms if I need to.

4. Notepad and Pen - I intend to meet tons of amazing bloggers and publishers at BEA. I know most will have business cards to pass along to me (and I plan to have some of my own to pass on), but in case I want additional information or if someone has run out of cards, I can still collect information from people I meet so that I can follow up with them later.

5. Side-load Plastic Envelopes - Ever the consummate marketer, swag holds a big fascination for me. I intend to collect a lot of it. And, I don't want cool bookmarks getting lost in my bag and crumpled by the books that I will also have in there. So, I will put all my swag in an envelope like this so it can stay all nice and pretty. Pretty swag is good swag.

6.  Cute Ballet Flats - I know I don't technically "work" in the book industry. But I want to represent this blog well, so I want to dress nicely. But, I'd be completely insane to try and spend all day in a pair of heels. So, I need to find some cute ballet flats that I'll be able to walk around in for an entire day without killing my feet. Insoles are an option, but many times those make your shoes not fit quite right. Comfort and cuteness are key.

7. Big, Honkin' Backpack - I've seen on BEA's Web site that roller carts/bags are prohibited. I also know that in previous years, some people have defied that rule and gotten away with it. I have never been a rule breaker (drives my husband nuts sometimes - he says I need to take more risks *rolls eyes*), and I don't intend to start now. But, that leaves me with a dilemma. What do I use to tote around all the books I plan to pick up? The best answer I can come up with is a very big padded backpack. Perhaps like the kind you use for oversized laptops. It won't exactly be the prettiest accessory to go with my cute ballet flats and nice clothes, but hey - a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do when books are involved. Right?

Okay. So, it's your turn. If you've been to BEA, please tell me if I'm missing anything important. Heck - even if you've never been there either, what do you think of my list? My anal-retentive self needs validation that I'm on the right track here.

And, don't forget to check back in next week for another BEA Newb Notes post. I have a lot of thoughts rolling around in his head of mine!


Natascha De Marco said...

Okay, (Hi!), I've been to BEA 3 years in a row, and this will be my fourth time attending, and I gotta say, you will not need the Kindle. Usually we get to the Javitz around 6-7 am, pretty freaking early, and we either sleep in line, or more than likely make friends with all the awesome bloggers around us! You can join us if anything, we always welcome new people (our group is always pretty big). And when you are in line waiting for books you already will have some ARCs in your bag/tote so you will most likely be reading those if anything, or talking to the awesome people around you. I usually always have a friend with me and we tag team everything, keep each other company at lines and hurry on through the floor.

Snacks are ALWAYS good, you will be hungry. Though halfway through the day you may forget your hunger. Yes to the notepad and pen, you might also want to get yourself some business cards (vistaprint.com is always good and cheap) to hand out to publishers and bloggers. The back pack is up to you I guess, use it the first day and see how it goes, I usually always get their BIG tote bags (about two) and just use those throughout the day.

Also you need to bring a rolling suitcase (hear me out, not trying to make you break the rules) just so you can check it in in the suitcase area and periodically leave your books in your suitcase so at the end of the day you won't have to carry, oh let's say, 80-100 books in your arms all the way to the hotel. It's legal, you won't be breaking any rules, the bigger the rolling case the better.

Hope this helped!!

LRAtRandom said...

A filtered water bottle is a really good idea...I'll definitley get one of those too.

I agree with Taschima, I don't think you'll need your Kindle. Plus you don't want to risk it getting broken, smashed by books, or stolen.

My hubs is rule follower like you. It's funny, if we're out hiking or something he stays on the trails where you're supposed to. I'm more like your hubby, a little rule breaking and risk taking never hurts anyone ;)

Hannah said...

Yay, Krista!!! Love this post!

I'm with Tasch - please, please bring a suitcase. Bring a backpack for the floor, but check a suitcase downstairs for $3. Try loading your backpack full of hardbacks and carrying it for 2 hours straight. You will destroy your shoulders. Plus, I can assure you that there are more books than you can imagine and you will fill your backpack within the first 15 minutes.

Day 1 blew me away with how many books were out. The Little, Brown booth had 20 books out. 20!!! I filled 2 big tote bags in the first 20 minutes. When I left on day 1 I had filled my suitcase so much I had to set books aside and leave behind because not only was the suitcase full, but I was also carrying two filled totes.

Also, I would consider leaving the Kindle. It's kind of like bringing a bottle of Miller Lite to a keg party - you don't need it. If you're bored, read one of the hundreds of books laying around. I barely had time to pull my camera out of my bag, let alone my ereader.

Water bottle, notepad, pen, shoes ... All perfect. Just make sure the shoes are broken in first. I saw a girl who had the cutest ballet flats in red last year and they matched the quarter sized red blisters on her heels because she bought them new and didn't break them in first.

Unknown said...

Fabulous post. I'm going to be a first-timer this year, and I'm getting all of the information I can so I'm not overwhelmed.

I like the suggestion of a backpack, rather than a tote bag. I'm still going to bring a suitcase to check, but in between visits to the suitcase, I think a backpack will be easier on my body.

Question for those who have attended and brought suitcases to check: what size suitcase? In other words, how many books can you conceivably load up on in one day - small carry-on or larger? I plan to do what others suggested - head to a nearby post office each day (rather than the more expensive onsite shipper.)


Unknown said...

Sorry, folks - I posted without reading the comments first. It sounds like it would be wise to bring a larger suitcase to check.

Hannah said...

Best advice is take the suitcases you have and see how many books you can fit in them. I took a medium one and was amazed at how few it could hold. Mine had that handle that slides up so I can wheel it around, but I forgot to take into account that said handle has a slot INSIDE the bag that makes this awkward ledge inside the suitcase and made stacking books inside weird.

I wouldn't advise a small carry on unless you're only planning on taking a few books. I wound up having to unload over a dozen books by NOON because my suitcase was full in the first 3 hours.

Paperback_Princess said...

I'm sort of just going to re-iterate what everyone else said while adding on.

I also agree with everyone about the Kindle. I brought my Nook the first day then left it at home after that. I didn't even have time to listen to my audiobook let alone crack open a book. There was soooo much chatting and so much going on that you never wanted to stop and read. Plus once the shcedules go live, you'll see that there really isn't that much down time. Most of it is when you're waiting on line, but waiting on line you're surrounded by people who are interested in the same things. I got to know a Spencer Hill Editor while waiting for the Dark Days Signing.

I brought a tote-bag and I checked a bad, and I had broken blood vessels on my shoulders from the weight of carrying the bags. Bring your biggest suitcase with a lock and that should set you in a golden spot.

Snacks: Hey now, New York isn't that expensive. I can come up with a list of Pizza places that you can get a can of soda, and 2 slices for $5. If there is one thing NY is good at, its good cheap pizza. I would also bring something that if it gets crushed, its no good. I brought cookies with me in a plastic bag and we had books on books that just crushed them and then there were no more cookies. Those Gummy Fruit snacks? Perfect. Also don't be surprised if people you've been chatting with ask you to share, I shared a bag of Chex Mix while waiting. To be perfectly honest? I hardly ate the entire time I was there, and there is a food court downstairs if you get really hungry.

I really love the envelope idea, that is going to be perfect. When I went to NYCC I used a smaller tote for all the pins and other swag that was there. But the Envelope is perfect for bookmarks and stuff!

As far as shoes, just make sure that they are super comfortable. I think I wore sneakers last year just because your literally pounding the pavement and the only place to sit is a hard floor. No one is going to judge you on your footwear, trust me.

The water bottle is great, and as for the Notepad, that was what I did last year, and it was great. I also had my schedule written in my notebook because I kept loosing them. Also bring extra pens!

Sounds like you're on your way to being prepared!