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May 15, 2016 / Leslie

BEA 2016 Survivor!

BEAWelcome_20160511_074132Exciting, Exhausting, Overwhelming!

I had all good intentions of blogging about BEA at the end of each day, but that didn’t happen. As a first-time attendee, I didn’t realize how exhausting it would be. By evening I just wanted to put my feet up — and those were very tired feet — and relax in preparation for another eventful day.

I have wanted to go to BEA for several years, but the timing was never right. This year with BEA right in my home city, I made it happen. We have decent transportation in Chicago, and I was able to take the Metra train into the city, walk a few blocks, and catch one of the BEA Shuttles to the convention center.

Bloggers Conference — Day One

The convention floor didn’t open until the afternoon of the first day. However, I attended the Bloggers Conference which began at 8am. This year was different from previous conferences (or so I am told). After the keynote address there were several panel discussions we could choose from, either a Marketing & Engagement Track or a Community Building Track. After the lunch break, we rotated between several roundtable discussions with a choice of 16 different topics. This was followed by an end-of-day party with drinks, popcorn, raffles, and (of course) books.

The Keynote Address was ready to begin.

Waiting for the Keynote Address to begin.

From reading about previous years’ blogger conferences, this was not at all what I was expecting. The focus and the topics have shifted from blogging to social media. Twitter, Booktubing and Instagram are the home base for many reviewers. The one thing I took away from all the discussions — learn to use twitter effectively to promote yourself. While I do use twitter, I am not using it to its full extent.

At the end-of-day blogger party.

At the end-of-day blogger party.

In all it was an interesting, fun, and informative day, and I’m glad I attended. I got to meet a few people I knew from their blogs but had never met in person, plus a lot of new people. I rode the train home from the city with Emma of Words and Peace. She lives a few suburbs away from me and this was the first time we met. At the end of day party I met Deb from Readerbuzz. That’s us in the photo above. I’m the one on the right.

40 Books

I did slip out of the Bloggers Conference for an hour to check out the convention floor. It was not overly crowded (that wouldn’t happen until the next day), and I was able to get a signed copy of Brit Marie Was Here and a few other galleys. Over the three days I picked up a total of 40 books — only as many as I could carry. I was going to bring my rolling bag on days two and three, but when I hauled it out of my closet, a wheel broke off! I think the book gods were trying to tell me something.

On the floor of my office waiting to be organized.

BEA books on the floor of my office waiting to be organized.

In the next few days I’ll write about days two and three of BEA and highlight some of the books I’m very excited about, plus a few new discoveries I made, and the awesome Book Group Speed Dating session I attended on Friday.

Were you at BEA? Or Armchair BEA?

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Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / May 15 2016 4:26 pm

    Book Club Speed Dating is the best! I’m so glad you got to go this year.


  2. Vicki / May 15 2016 4:36 pm

    So glad you finally got to attend and that you met some more bloggers. You sure got a lot of good books! I’ll be reading Britt-Marie Was Here and The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper asfter I finish my current read. I’m looking forward to your upcoming posts on BEA.


  3. readerbuzz / May 15 2016 8:21 pm

    It was great fun meeting and talking with you at BEA! So sorry to hear about the trouble with the wheeled suitcase. I carried along an actual dolly; it worked well for the 88 pounds of books I transported back to the hotel. Crazy, I know.

    I hope to write about BEA soon.


  4. pageturner1994 / May 27 2016 6:01 pm

    This seems like something I need to go to in the future!



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