So You Want To Go To BEA? ~Tip #5: Make those lists!~

May 2, 2015 Features & Spotlights 5

Hello my lovelies and welcome to a new So You Want To Go To BEA post! This post is actually the last tip I have for you and it’s one I’m fairly certain most of you have already discovered…


If you are worried, unsure or even 100% confident MAKE LISTS! And you don’t have to stop at just one list! When I went to BEA14 I had a list for my clothes, events, signings (more on this soon), possible ARC drops, lunch. I had a list for my list if I’m being completely honest here. I would go to brush my teeth, think of something totally random and add it to a list.


By this point you already know where you’re staying, how you’re getting to the center, what time you plan to arrive there but what about the smaller things we all forget until we’re knee-deep in NYC glamour? Subway passes, a place for dirty clothes (don’t give me that face!) travel safe toiletries, portable charger (an absolute MUST!), change of shoes, back up outfits (it gets pretty chilly at night) and one of my favorite things….WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO DO?!


You know how you like things organized. You know what works for you and what doesn’t. For me, and Nikki we like to color code by priority, add them to a google calendar we then share to one another, cross-reference this calendar with a map of the convention floor and create a plan of attack while we wait for the doors to open.


I actually start by printing out the signings for each day, grabbing 4 highlighters (Must Go!, Would really like to, Maybe, If I have time) and a matching color coded calendar. From here I make realist decisions about what can and can’t happen and I plug that info into an Excel sheet. I print this Excel sheet and take it with me to BEA. My point is do what is easier for you to keep up with.

Subway Passes

But Octavia, why on Earth would I need a subway pass?!

Uber, even splitting the fare can and will get expensive. And lets face it, for all us non-natives riding the subway is on our list of “things we must do while in NY”!

Nikki and I on subwaySubway selfies!!

With this in mind you can actually get a MetroCard right in the subway station and it’s an inexpensive way to get around the city!

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The only downside is you can only put 5.50 on it at a time. So if you only need one ride at 2.48 too damn bad. But *shrugs* not like you’re losing 30/40 bucks.

Dirty Clothes?

I know this one sounds silly but think about it. All of your clothes for this event are in one place when you land. Your suitcase. Then you hang up most of them (dresses/dress shirts/etc) because wrinkles suck right? Which leaves just the essentials in your suitcase, which means there is plenty of room for all your dirty clothes yes? Until you remember you need that suitcase every single day at the convention center because carrying totes upon totes upon totes of books around the mean NYC streets is a NO!

IMG_3450Imagine lugging all this around in totes!! No thank you!

I bought a plain linen laundry bag, tossed it in a closet and bam! Problem solved.

Portable Charger

You need it. Simple. Don’t be stubborn or cheap or in denial. A portable charger is just as important as comfortable shoes.

Deal With It

Change of shoes? Back up outfits? Who am I? Beyonce?!

I learned this lesson the hard way. Nikki, my sweet brilliant friend brought jeans, a jacket and a change of shoes. Nikki was ready for the outside of BEA events, the chilly NY nights, the hours on the convention floor followed by the walk back to our hostel. Then there is me. I had a ton of pretty dresses, one pair of comfy shoes and a two light cardigans.


HORRIBLE idea! A change of shoes, even just one pair of shoes you’re only wearing to other events is a great way of ensuring your feet don’t hate you too much. It gives them a break from the cut and feel of your convention floor shoes and you owe that to your poor feet! A jacket, even just a light denim one is a GOD SEND on those walks from the subway after dark. And if you’re wearing dresses pack some bike shorts! The wind is vicious and there is no coming back from flashing all of New York on your morning stroll.

Other Events

Ok there are a TON of things happening during BEA! From publisher parties (invite needed) to blogger get togethers there are more things to BEA than just the Javits! For instance:

The Teen Author Carnival – Includes an author panel, book signings and of course the chance to hang with other bookish folks!

Bookrageous Book Blast – Nikki and I went last year and oh my gosh what fun! And OPEN BAR to all you 21+ folks 😉

P.S. I Still Love You Release Party – Jenny Han is hosting a party!!

And these are just the ones I know of! Keep your eyes on your feeds because you never know what’s going on! And if you know of any other events or if you have questions leave them in the comments!!

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5 Responses to “So You Want To Go To BEA? ~Tip #5: Make those lists!~”

  1. Cassi @ MyThoughtsLiterally

    These posts are fantastic! So much great advice. I promise I will do things afterwards this year and not head back to the Bronx like a sore foot loser! (Extra pair of shoes? You’re a genius Nikki). At least one day I will try and convince my brother to lug all my books back to his place for me so I can hang out without worrying. Hold me to this Octavia… We must hang out!
    Cassi @ MyThoughtsLiterally recently posted…The Big Bang Book Theory TagMy Profile

  2. Marcilia @Reading In The Tardis

    I love looking over your blog, and like yourself I am a planner and have a perpetual “bitch” face …I can’t help it. Loved your BEA posts and it’s nice to know there is someone else that plans as aggressively as I do. This is my 3rd year attending, (1st year as a power reader, and 2nd as a guest blogger for an international blog that sadly no longer exists due to drama) and this year with my own blog. I believe I caught glimpses of you in the crowd last year, but we were too far apart for me to say hello. I hope I can actually meet you this year on the floor and maybe be part of one of those magical circles. 🙂

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