So, some new ways to get ready for BEA that I've discovered in the last week or so.
Second, to pack according to outfits, not random clothes thrown into a suitcase(s). I usually do this when I go away but it's still good advice. If you know you'll be out for one fancy dinner, pack one fancy dress. If you know you're taking an afternoon to go walk around Central Park, Broadway, Times Square, etc. pack comfy walking shoes and shorts. If you're planning on doing networking in a professional capacity, pack skirts, dresses, and slacks and blouses. Make sure your clothes go together so you won't have to rush out and go shopping in the time that you don't have while attending BEA.
Third, have a game plan!! Log on to BEA online, map your events using the "Show Planner", and then PRINT IT OUT. If your laptop or smartphone fails, you need to have a hard copy of what you want to see. If you're neurotic like me, print out two copies. (Yes, I really do this sort of thing.) Use the floor map to find out where the booths are that you want to see each day so you're not swept up in the huge crowd of people pressing toward who-knows-where to get That Book.
Fourth, ask people if you can come along to events. Let people know that your evening is free and see if they are doing something cool or meeting anyone that you'd be able to meet, too. Most bookish people are cool about this, I'm come to learn. Don't be lame and go cry in your hotel room. TALK to people! Introduce yourself and ask if you can hang out! Put yourself out there! That's why you're at BEA, right?? To meet new friends and make connections! I thought so.
Fifth, use those comfy shoes you bought just for BEA before you get there! I found these shoes at Sears. Here's my story about finding them:
I went to DSW to find shoes to fit my odd feet. (Other post about that here.) I spent about 45 minutes at DSW trying on shoes. The ones that I had picked out online didn't fit quite right. Other ones weren't on sale. The ones that fit the best cost $45 and I didn't love them. I finally left the store feeling very disgruntled. I headed off to Sears to see if they had anything (they were the closest store in the mall) before I had to get back home. I walked into Sears and BAM! There were the perfect shoes!! Only problem, there was only ONE of the shoes of the pair. What?! I asked the employee and she said that sometimes people take one of the display shoes. Why, oh why, would someone do this?! There weren't any other size 10 shoes. I felt like crying. (Mind you, I also needed to eat and it was rather warm in the store so I wasn't feeling my best.) I wandered around the aisles half-heartedly, searching for anything that might work. And then! I FOUND THEM! Size 10 shoes of the perfect shoes that I loved earlier! Both of them!! And they were on sale! Only $25 and I love them. I've been wearing them every day for the last week and a half to break them in before I walk all over Manhattan in them.
I'll try to set up some blog posts while I'm gone in NYC next week. (I'm not taking my laptop because I won't have wi-fi at the hotel I'm at / won't have time to blog.)
My other roommate, Erika, and I will be checking out the touristy things to see in Manhattan once the sessions during the day are over. If you're going to BEA, let me know! We can chat about books and life and stuff. :)