Highlights from BEA

During the second week of May, I had the opportunity to attend Book Expo America (BEA) in Chicago. BEA is an industry event in North America that features authors, publishers, journalists, librarians, bloggers, etc. So you may be wondering why I attended, seeing as I only have a few posts on this blog and work in medical billing. Well, the simple answer is this – While I have a great passion for books and want to work in the book industry, I am unsure as to what I want to do. I figured this event would give me some greater insights into the various sectors of the book world. I was not disappointed! In addition, I also attended the Bloggers Conference that was held on the first day of BEA. It is my hope that the tips and tools I picked up at seminar will help me to become a better blogger.

While at BEA, I was fortunate enough to meet a plethora of book lovers that work in fields dedicated to fostering a love of books and reading. In addition, this trip was a great way for me to develop personally. This trip was the first time that I have ever travelled by myself. In the past, I have flown by myself multiple times, but have always met someone at my destination. For this trip, however, I booked my own room (another first for me) and had to manage transport to and from the airport, dining options, sightseeing, and various other anxiety inducing details. I also ordered room service for the first time! This may not seem like a very big deal for someone thirty-seven, but keep in mind that I am from a very small rural town and have never really had the financial ability to travel. I also have pretty severe anxiety, so this was a very big step for me. But, let me just share with you – how much sweeter the accomplishment when there are some obstacles along the way!

Without further ado, here are some photos from my trip:

viewlakemichigan

While in Chicago, I stayed at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place so that i would be onsite for the conference. My room and the staff were incredible and I highly recommend this hotel, particularly if you are attending a conference located there. Here is a peak at my lovely view of Lake Michigan.

mewithsign

This sign was my first glimpse of BEA on Wedneday, May 11th, 2016. Couldn’t help but to pose for a selfie!

banners

Here is a snapshot of all of the hanging banners that decorated the walkway between conference rooms.

beabadge

Here is the badge I picked up at registration. By this point the trip was seeming more real. I also felt like a little bit of a cheater by listing Blogger without “Wannabe” tagged on the end. Guess that just means I have something to work for.

authorbfast

My second say at BEA began with a Book & Author Breakfast. Look for an upcoming post about the wonderful authors I heard speak and a list of the free books I received at this event. I will also be posting reviews of some of the titles.

On my third day at BEA, I attended the Children’s Book & Author Event where I was delighted to hear the lovely Jamie Lee Curtis talk about her upcoming release as well as the importance of children’s literature in general. Other authors at this event include Dave Pilkey, Gene Luen  Yang, & Sabaa Tahir. Look for future posts showing the free books I received at this event and the subsequent reviews of those books. This was one of my favorite events at BEA.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention that the best part of BEA was not the events, author meetings, or merchandise booths. Instead, it was such an incredible experience because I was able to network with so many people who love books and reading as much as I do. I was overwhelmed by seeing so many like minded people in one place. Everyone was so gracious and friendly. In the future, I will be covering the various blogs and business that I learned about while at BEA. What could be better than a shout out to all those who have inspired me to find my own place in the great big world of books? Until then – keep reading!