Welcome back lovelies! Today we’re going to go over Tip #1 of my So You Want To Go To BEA mini series. And step one is one of the most important to me:
When I say buddy system I’m not talking about just out on the convention floor (though that is CRUCIAL and will be discussed soon) but your hotel room too! If I wouldn’t have been able to split the cost of my room with Nikki there is no way I would have been able to go to BEA14. In fact if it weren’t for Nikki I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun either. It was perfect that we split the room cost but once we put our heads together we actually had a solid yet fun plan of attack for BEA14! It took a while to get the signings and drops in order (BEA officials drag their feet with that list!) but the overall experience was slowly pieced together over the months leading up to BEA.
So why is the buddy system so great? Oh honey there are so many reasons my heart is ready to burst!
1. The convention floor
The convention floor is a hectic and intimidating place. You have a space that is the size of some high schools with booth after booth after panel space after autograph line. You walk through those convention doors and you are immediately assaulted with the beautiful chaos unfolding on the floor. Here is a map of the floor from this year:
This map was my life line for day one and the first part of day two, you have it memorized after that. It takes a solid 20 minutes to walk from one side of the center to the other once you factor in lines and all the weight you’re carrying. So a buddy to stand in one line while you hop over to another can be VITAL in getting those pretties you want so bad.
2. Navigating NYC
Nikki and I walked through Times Square (where our hostel was located) to Javits and back every day. The very first morning WE GOT LOST! Even with iMaps and Google maps going on each of our phones we still managed to go west when we should have went east. And don’t even get me started on taking the subway! You may be thinking “but why would I need to take the subway Octavia?” and the answer to that is EVENTS! There are bookish events running along side BEA and trust me YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THEM! I was able to see Rainbow Rowell read from Eleanor and Park (a memory I will hold on to forever) and attend the blogger picnic during BEA and both events required NYC transportation….AKA the subway. But having Nikki lost with me, that was actually fun! It was all part of our BEA adventure! And when our feet were too sore (there is NOTHING you can do to prevent that level of pain) and our arms too heavy we took Uber and split the fare. Which was cheaper than a taxi, safer than the subway after night fall and way more comfortable.
This is the most obvious reason people get a buddy to take to BEA. NYC is an expensive place to visit and this convention is an added expense. Hotels can range from 200-500+ a night. Plane tickets can cost 200+. Buses 100+. Trains, even more which is ridiculous because it’s a TRAIN PEOPLE! The pass to get into the convention ranges from 120-220. Shipping all your books home can be an easy 100 bucks. Going out to eat every day 3 times a day? And you never want to eat at the Javits! A bowl of chili cheese fries cost my $12 bucks. TWELVE DOLLARS for a lunch sized, didn’t fill me up, thing of chili fries! But then you have Times Square. Full of places to eat and home of the best damn .99cent pizza I’ve ever had. But I’m getting off track. Point is BEA can run people $1,000+ and typically a buddy can be the only thing making it feasible for people to afford it. I mean think about it:
Hotel from Tues-Sun= $1200 (includes tax)
Pass = $220 (avid reader add on is a must!)
Uber/Taxi rides = $50
Food = $100 (if you go cheap)
Shipping = $100 (FedEx)
Business cards = $50
Misc = $50
Those are just estimates but it’s still at $2,020! I don’t know about you but I can’t just drop 2k for a week vacation. It’s just not feasible! But split that 2 maybe 3 ways and BAM! Now you’re down to $674-$1,000, quite the difference am I right?
So start looking at some of your friends and get to asking who is going! It could be the thing that makes it so you can go. 😉 And keep your eyes open for next months BEA topic….