If you are going to BEA for the first time you might not know exactly what you should bring with you to the convention center. Even if it's your not a first timer, I personally find it helpful to read other people's tips and tricks. This is why I am making this post. To not only mentally prepare myself for the excitement, but to also offer my own personal tips and tricks to those who will also be attending.
Here is what I suggest you bring with you to the Javits Center.
Whatever you decide to bring with you, make sure that you are packing light. You are going to be on your feet all day, running around the convention and standing in lines, and you will also be getting tons and tons of books. What people don't realize is that books are heavy. You are not going to want to lug around a heavy bag full of stuff on top of all your books, so make sure you pack light.
Dress for the Weather:
BEA takes place in May in NYC this year. For those who might not know, the eastern side of the country is hot and humid during this time of the year. Make sure that before you leave in the morning you check the weather for that day, and remember that you are going to be moving the whole day. I suggest wearing jeans, capris, or shorts, and a light t-shirt or blouse. If you are one who tends to be cold a lot, maybe also wear a light cardigan. Again, you want to wear comfortable clothes that you won't overheat in and you want to pack light and not bring a bulky jacket or sweater that you will end up taking off and have to carry around.
The first time you visit the Javits Center you will need to bring your confirmation email with you and register when you first walk in. They will give you your badge, which grants you access into the convention, and a map of where all the booths and things will be located.
Make sure that once you register you remember to wear or bring your badge with you every day or you won't be able to get into the conference.
A Small, Small Bag:
This goes with packing light. Everything I list can fit in a small, crossbody bag. You are going to get TONS AND TONS of tote bags to carry all of your books in, so make sure that you don't bring a huge, heavy bag that you don't need.
Drinks and Snacks:
Depending on how many author signings you plan on going to, you might not have a lot of time to go down to the cafeteria and eat something. Make sure that you bring a light, nutritional snack that will help keep you going and something to drink. I suggest some sort of granola or cereal bar. Many would also suggest water, but I hate drinking water, so I suggest something like a Vitamin water or a Gatorade. These suggestions will help keep you fueled and not just hydrated.
Your first time there you might need to use the map a bit more than a veteran, or if you're like me you circle the places you need to go as a quick reference to find where you're headed to at that moment. Either way you will use the map at least once, so make sure you bring it with you everyday.
I am a very organized person when it comes to BEA and I schedule everything out on BEA's Show Planner. I highly suggest you do the same thing and then print it out. This is my guide and savior for my whole trip at BEA. If I lost this, I think I would have a heart attack and die. Another tip about having a schedule is that it helps you prioritize who you want to see while you're there and makes the whole trip less chaotic. I also print 2 and color code them for what places I will go to and what places my mom will go to to make sure we both get everything we want.
If you are going with another person, you need your phone on you at all times. Also most phones have camera on them and you can take photos of authors and book friends this way instead of lugging around a camera. I also use my phone for the BEA app that they will release once it gets closer. This will have updates on cancelled signing, surprise signings, and other news.
Trust me, everyone there will have a business card and they will want to trade with you. Make sure you bring yours so that others can find your blog and social medias. It is such a great way to make blog friends. They are also useful in the booths with the publishing houses, because they have giveaways and will trade their business card with you in order to send you review books.
Lastly, I suggest a portable charger. You will need your phone to be charged at all times and you might not get a chance to go sit by an outlet. I suggest getting a battery operated portable charger so that you can charge it if it dies on the go.
These are my tips for what you should bring to the Javits Center. I don't think I am forgetting anything, because this is all I bring with me.
If you are planning on going to BEA this year make sure you let me know!
And if you have other tips for what to bring with you, comment below =)