I can’t believe Book Expo America has already come and gone. My first BEA experience was certainly exciting, overwhelming and eye-opening all at the same time. This coming week, I’ll have recaps and photos of the Expo itself, the parties I had the chance to attend and other various tidbits and experiences which I’m tentatively titling a “Post Mortem”, to be posted on Friday.
Of course, I must begin this BEA recap week with a BIG huge SWOON over all the book love I’ve been surrounded with over this past week. It’s been an amazing experience, and really, I would recommend it to be something all book lovers do at LEAST once. I won’t delve too much into all the details for this post… I’ll leave that for the recaps to come in the following days, but think of this as a quick teaser preview!
The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is certainly a large monstrosity of a building. I immediately was in love with the wide open venue, with plenty of skylights letting the natural light into the reception area. Putting our Metro Toronto Convention Centre to shame, everything about this venue seemed so open-concept. There were many escalators and entrances into the expo itself, and the panels and other special eventing areas were in a completely separate portion of the venue, so as not to over-crowd from expo-goers vs panel-attendees. I’m only pulling from the experience of the insanely packed and chaotic Toronto Fan Expo at the MTCC, and can’t even imagine if BEA was in that tiny venue. The closed layout of MTCC makes for a very claustrophobic atmosphere, and I loved the Javits Center for the fact that it wasn’t like that whatsoever.
There were authors everywhere you turned! Whether they were part of the official signing portion, or if they were just hanging out at the booths or wandering the exhibit floor, you would have to make an effort to not bump into an author. At any given moment, there were countless autographing sessions happening everywhere, so you really needed to plan accordingly. Many times, I’d have to gauge which line-up I should go to first, and if I’m ahead enough in that line, then I can dash over to the other author’s line and hope to catch them before their 30-60 minutes were up. It was certainly a wee bit stressful and incredibly exhausting, but what a fantastic opportunity to have those few moments to get a chance to tell these people how much of a fan you are of their work, directly to them.
The Book Love
Obviously, it’s a book expo, but the sheer amount of love for the written word is tremendous. You get to meet and chat with other book lovers, bloggers, publicists, editors and other book industry professionals that it truly leaves the grateful one completely awestruck. This doesn’t even begin to include the number of actual books that are available for attendees to pick up. Past attendees weren’t kidding when they said to bring a suitcase to save your arms & shoulders. They weren’t kidding when they said you actually have to TRY not to take books because so many are just handed to you as well. I’ll have more to discuss about this in the coming week’s Post Mortem, so I’ll leave it at that for now.
Did you attend BEA as well? What made you swoon the most about the expo this year?