This post is co-written by me and Melissa Paris (Missy), who's been doing the fitness series called Feel Better Write Better. For more information about Melissa Paris, check out her blog and her Facebook page or connect with her on twitter (@Melissa_Paris).
The internet is filled with great posts giving BEA-related tips. I recently did a BookExpo America round-up where I listed the posts I found most helpful. Many of these posts give great advice on figuring out the logistics and getting the most out of BEA, but not all of them talk about ways to keep your mind and body healthy during that crazy week. OK, maybe you think I'm being melodramatic, but only someone who has attended or worked at a trade show in the Javits can fully understand the utter chaos that it entails. Here are some tips to help you keep your mind and body healthy while you're at BEA.
BEA Survival Tips
• Wear sneakers or shoes with good arch support. Do not wear flats, or *gasp* flip-flops. Shoes with a little bit of a heel are easier on your feet than flats.
• Avoid carrying heavy loads for a long periods of time. Switch shoulders when carrying that heavy bag of books or put the bag down while standing in long lines. When lifting that heavy bag, try not to hunch over but bend down with your knees.
• Bring a small rolling suitcase and use the available suitcase check. Store your books in your suitcase periodically so you don't have to carry so much in your shoulder bag the whole time.
• While standing in line, don't lock your knees. Keeping your knees slightly bent is actually better for your posture and will make waiting in line less exhausting.
• Take a break and go to at least one of the conference talks. Not only will it give you a chance to sit down for a little while, but it will also let your mind rest from all the over-stimulation from the Javits Exhibit Hall.
• Stop to refuel. Take a break for lunch if you can. Also, bring snacks that are easy to carry and eat on-the-go but also pack a nutritious punch. Trail mix is a great snack, especially a mix with walnuts and dried cherries.
• Stay hydrated. Take a small bottle of water and refill it several times throughout the day.
• Don't attempt a long walk home. The Javits Center is FAR from pretty much everything in NYC. At the end of a long day, splurge on a taxi or take a Javits shuttle to your hotel. If your home or hotel isn't doesn't have shuttle service from the Javits (check here), you can always take the shuttle to one of the hotels that does have service and take the subway or city bus from there.
• Don't take it personally. A trade show at the Javits is kind of like the Bermuda Triangle: it can drive people a little crazy and make them behave like they're not themselves. You have to understand where everyone is coming from, though. Exhibitors are trying to promote books and make connections with clients. The buyers and other attendees are trying to make the most of the show and cover as much ground as possible. Everyone's a little frantic. Sooner or later someone is bound to say or do something that will rub you the wrong way. When that happens, don't take it personally. Chalk it up to the insanity, take a deep breath and let it go.
Do you have any trade show or BEA tips to share?