Friday, April 17, 2015

BEA Tips (Part Three): What to Expect

So you're at the Javits and what now? I've only been to the Javits twice in my life. I've been there in 2012 for New York Comic Con and for BEA in 2014. Below are some tips based on what I've learned last year when I was at BEA.

If you missed part 1 or part 2 of my BEA series, make sure to check the previous posts out.

Tip #1: Pickup badges early

It is wise to have your badge ready in tow before the day of BEA. Not only will you already have your badge before the exhibit and panels open, you will also be picking up your badge when there aren't a ton of people around. Picking you badge up early means shorter lines. 

Tip #2 Arrive to Javits early 

Even if you picked up you badge ahead of time, it is wise to arrive to the Javits early. Lines for the Exhibit Hall form usually about two hours prior to the opening. Many attendees will sit on the floor chatting with their neighbors and ultimately revising their schedule for the day. This is a good time to veg out on some food, use the restroom, pick up author tickets, etc.

Tip #3: Luggage check in

Rolling luggage and carts are not allowed in the Exhibit Hall. However, there are three areas where you can check in your luggage for about $3.00 per luggage. This makes it easy to make ARC drops throughout the day. This is definitely a life saver. Walking around with tote bags full of books definitely hurt the arms and shoulders. Your body will thank you for the multiple luggage visits.

Tip #4: Food and drink

Don't forget you need to eat and hydrate. One tip is to store water bottles in your luggage. Between ARC drops, you can take out a bottle of water and empty out your tote bags full of books. This way you don't have to lug the bottles around.

Bring snacks to munch on whether it be granola bars or an apple. Depending on your schedule, you might not be able to eat lunch at a reasonable time but you want to make sure you are not starving. Depriving yourself of food and drink is not a good idea. When time allows, make sure to eat a real meal.

Tip #5: Shipping

Depending on your mode of transportation, you might want to consider how you are going to transport your books from the Javits to your house. Some people will pack all of their books in suitcases. Some will bring some of their coveted ARCs in their suitcase and will ship the rest home.

For those who decide to ship their books home, there is a shipping area at the Javits but the price is quite high. The boxes are unsupervised so if you have a coveted signed ARC, just be careful if you decide to do an ARC drop at the shipping area. I would definitely keep that coveted ARC on you in a tote bag.

You can also opt for USPS, FedEx or UPS for shipping. Just a FYI, be careful when shipping books home. Make sure you package the box well and tape it up well. I have heard horror stories about packages being lost in the mail or packages being damaged. Ship at your own risk.

Tip #6: Restroom breaks

I often venture to restrooms in areas away from big halls. The lines are shorter and you'll be in and out of the restrooms super quick. One of the last things you want to worry about is waiting for over 15 minutes in line to use the restroom with tons of totes. I highly suggest restroom breaks after an ARC drop if possible. Not only will you have a lighter load on your shoulders but you also won't have to worry about running to the restroom when you start lining up again for an autograph signing or a panel.

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