BEA-tipsYou’ve got your first first-ever (maybe last ever) trip to Book Expo America coming up, and you are rather overwhelmed. You’re searching the internet rather desperately for tips and yet you’re STILL overwhelmed. Sound familiar?

That was me before my first trip to BEA. Now, going back for a second year, I thought I’d share a few Dos and Don’ts based off my experience there. I hope this helps those of you who are going for your first time… and – BEA veterans – feel free to pitch in your advice if you think I missed something out!


1. Use the BEA bus system!

Even if you aren’t staying at one of the BEA partner hotels, you can use the BEA buses to take you away from the industrial Javitts area and back into civilisation. This was my biggest lesson from last year – and learning it saved me from hours of New York heat exposure!

2. Bring snacks

If you are anything like me, you will be too busy to go to lunch (even if it is only downstairs!). Bring your own snacks with you or hit up the Starbucks on the expo floor.

3. Bring a carry on bag (and check it!)

When everything fizzles down (somewhat) during lunchtime, you can got put away your books in your carry-on bag and head back up for more!

4. Use the BEA app to plan your trip BEFOREHAND

The BEA app is filled with info about author signings, talks, books – you name it! It is the perfect way to plan what to prioritize (especially if it turns out one of your favourite authors is ticketed!)

5. Be a chatty Cathy

Even if you are visiting with people you know, make sure you chat to your fellow attendees. You never know who you might run into in line and you never know what great tip will be thrown your way!



1. Take the subway!

Jarvitts is a long, long walk for the nearest subway stop and there are no tall buildings provide shade! Be smart and use the BEA buses.

2. Rely on the internet for everything

There are a lot of events at BEA that you will ONLY find out about through fliers and the daily Publishers Weekly about goings on at the Expo (it’s also an awesome souvenir!).

3. Queue jump

Nothing will get you glared at more than jumping a queue – even accidentally! This is easily done at BEA, where the lines zig zag all over the place. So make sure to take a good look around for a line whenever you see an author signing. There may be a queue of hundreds around the corner!

4. Bring bags or books with you

It’s like bringing water to the ocean: 3000% unnecessary! You will be getting all the books and tote bags you will ever need, so there’s no need to be adding any extra weight!

5. Don’t be shady

BEA is an amazing experience because of the people, not because of the books. Be as nice and helpful as you can be – and you will be repaid with kindness. So do as Mother Ru asks:

Don't be throwin' no Shade - RuPaul


But above all, make sure to have fun at BEA 2014! I hope to see you there!!

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