BEA or the Other Guys – Let’s Discuss

February 21, 2015 BEA, Let's Discuss 17

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I’m definitely planning on going to a major book conference this year, but I’m not positive if I should head to BEA (the tried and true) or attend one of those other guys – the other major book conferences.

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So, BEA is coming up in May, of course. If you’re not sure what BEA is, check out my recap posts about BEA 2014. Last year was my first year attending the conference and I LOVED it! I honestly think that the best part about it was meeting other bloggers and getting to know them. It really made me feel like a part of the blogging community for the first time. I still keep in touch with a lot of the bloggers that I met there and there was just a certain excitement about being involved in something so HUGE!

Now, I am 99% sure that I’m heading back to BEA again this year, but there’s one thing holding me back. The conference is going to be in Chicago next year (my neck of the woods) and I heard a rumor that it will be in Chicago for the next five years – but this is JUST a rumor (I haven’t found anything to substantiate that – does anyone else know anything about that?).

Anyway, it got me thinking. If BEA were actually in Chicago for the next five years, I would have really easy access to it, so maybe it would make more sense for me to attend some other book conference this year. I really can’t afford to go to more than one major conference per year (especially because me traveling is just a little too hard on the family) – so, is there another conference besides BEA that I should try to go to? Has anyone been to other conferences that were amazing that I should look into? What other major book conferences are there? I know about ALA (don’t even get me started on how I missed ALA Midwinter in Chicago because I was roped into doing hospitality for my daughter’s gymnastics meet – a truly horrible experience), but are there other conferences that are awesome that I should be looking into? And, speaking of ALA, would it make sense to skip BEA this year and head to ALA in San Fran instead? Has anyone been to both? Which do you recommend?

Like I said, I’m fairly certain I’m going to go to BEA, but I just want to make sure there isn’t something else I’m missing out on out there – and I know lots of you have been to plenty of conferences. I need your wisdom!

If I do go to BEA, I need to get my ducks in a row quickly. I’ve talked to my roommate from last year a couple of times, but she lives in Ireland and may or may not be coming this year. Anybody heading to BEA and looking for a roommate? (Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.) Sharing the costs of a hotel is pretty much a must – it’s by far the biggest expense of the trip.

Oh, and if you are heading to BEA (especially if you’re a first-timer), check out this list of posts with BEA tips that I compiled last year. I’ll put together a new one for this year, but the tips are going to be pretty similar, so this is a great place to start!

So, let me know what you think. Is it BEA or bust?
Or should I be considering the other guys? I want to know!

17 Responses to “BEA or the Other Guys – Let’s Discuss”

    • Nicole

      Yeah, we are very lucky in the US – we have lots of options for book and author events. Hope you manage to get to one sometime!!

  1. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    Ohhhh, I wish I could, but my work schedule is such that my days off are Sunday and Monday and it’s just not easy for me to get away mid-week. Maybe some other year! Not if it’s in Chicago, though, that’s a bit too far away. Anybody want to start a blogger meet-up in the Boston area?

    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted: Sampling the Cybils
    • Nicole

      That was definitely my favorite part of BEA – meeting other bloggers and hanging out with them. Not sure where BEA will be after 2016 (since that rumor doesn’t seem to have any credence) – but I saw Boston thrown out there as one of the possibilities. Who knows?

      • Megan

        I’m really hoping I can afford to go to BEA this year. I couldn’t go last year because of a lack of funds, and this year I might barely scrape by. I would love nothing more than to meet other book bloggers in person. I think one year they should try the other side of the US, like California or Las Vegas. I could afford that, no problem.

        Megan recently posted: Ask and Ye Shall Receive
        • Nicole

          I’m now leaning toward going to RT in Dallas instead. It sounds AMAZING and I think I’ll hold off on BEA until next year.

  2. ShootingStarsMag

    I’ve only ever been to BEA and that was years ago. I AM planning on going this year though. I registered my sister and I so I hope to get a positive answer back. I’ll be in NYC regardless at this point, since we’ve been planning on going for about a year now. haha Splitting costs where you can, especially with a room, is a great idea!

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: A Look Back at Blog World (5)
  3. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    Okay this is WEIRD, because just last night I was reading (stalking) your old posts about BEA, since I knew you’d gone. Like, BEFORE you posted this post. Strange coincidence!

    Anyway. I live about 90 minutes from NYC, so it makes complete sense for me to go. But I do know what you mean about the family stuff. My mom is going to have to take me to the bus, then watch the kids for 3 days, and it is not going to be easy for anyone.

    Now, I guess you’d have to fly to either one? I mean, ALA in San Francisco sounds fun, but that is just because I want to go to San Fran. And I want you to come to BEA because… then we could hang out at BEA. None of these are logical, okay?

    As for hotels, I obviously would love to say “just stay with us!”, but we have already booked the hotel for 3, and I don’t know if it can be amended (and also, I would need to talk to the other people, of course!) so let me know what you decide/if you are still looking for a hotel, etc.!

    (Oh, one more plus for BEA- the website is prettier 😉 )

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Love-A-Thon 2015 : Quotables
    • Nicole

      Yeah – I think I’ve pretty much completely talked myself back into BEA. I had a little moment of considering ALA in San Fran – because who doesn’t want to go to California? But I know that BEA is where I’ll see the most other bloggers, and that was really the highlight of BEA for me last year.

      Unless I could manage TWO conferences … Yikes!!! (Note to my husband – Honey, if you’re reading this, don’t worry, I’m not really considering this … much.)

  4. tonyalee

    Sadly, I am not going this year. I thought about it long and hard – and I just can’t afford it. I would rather head to smaller ones around my area. Plus, I want to go to Chicago next year, so bonus!

    I am going to Utoypa this year in TN. I don’t know of any other major ones, besides RWA and ALA.

    tonyalee recently posted: Weekly Wrap Up (47)
    • Nicole

      See, now I had never heard of UtopYA before and it sounds really awesome. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m going to be on vacation in Colorado at that time, I would seriously consider going to that instead – just to do something smaller and maybe a bit more personal. Maybe next year!!

      I hope you do come to Chicago next year! I’d love to see you again!

  5. Karen G.

    I have never been to a book conference but Chicago is close to me as well. If I was going to one for the first time I would pick an easy drive for me but if you have time and resources try one in Vegas! =D

  6. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    I’ve only ever been to BEA and ALA, and my overall experience at ALA was so much better. It’s just so much more relaxing and the people are so friendly. I missed seeing a lot of bloggers’ faces, but other than that I’d pick ALA. Plus, California would be fun! 😀

    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted: Top Ten Favorite Heroines
    • Nicole

      That’s kind of how I was feeling. BEA was awesome for meeting other bloggers and getting to know people, but the conference itself was pretty hectic and mostly just standing in lines. I’m actually now leaning toward going to RT in Dallas in mid-May. There are going to be over 800 authors there and there are TONS of awesome sounding author panels, etc. The conference costs a bit more than BEA, but the travel costs will be cheaper, so it will even out. Now I’m 99% sure that’s what I’m going to do now.

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