This will be my first trip to Book Expo America, and I find myself wavering between eager excitement and anxiety with a touch of crankiness as I anticipate it. This is actually not an unusual reaction for me as I prepare for a conference, and at this stage, the anxiety – which makes me cranky – seems to be running a little ahead of the eagerness.
One of the reasons I’ve liked attending the BlogHer conferences is that the whole event, including the lodging, mostly happens under one roof and is thoroughly scheduled out. BEA attendees will be staying in hotels all around Manhattan, and that’s one reason the whole thing feels less structured to me; and for me, that means a lot more potential to be overwhelmed. To try to get a handle on that, I’ve started a document collecting some of the talks and autograph sessions I’m particularly interested in attending, but I haven’t even begun reviewing the exhibitor list yet, let alone factored in BlogWorld Expo East, which will be going on at the same time and location.
I like structure. I’m a planner, and I know some of my anxiety comes from just not knowing how the whole thing works. If you’ve been to BEA before, I would really appreciate your enlightening me on some of the logistics! For example, if you’re attending an autograph session, how/when/where do you obtain the books you’re getting signed? That’s only one of my questions, so I’d love it if you’d share any knowledge you have with a newbie!
There are moments when I consider blowing off hours of BEA to wander around the city instead, but then I start worrying that no one will want to wander and hang out with me, and then the anxiety meter really ratchets up. Frankly, I don’t want to be eating meals all by myself, and my roommate won’t be arriving till later in the week. (On that note, I’m looking forward to another NYC adventure with Melissa once she gets there.)