Thursday, October 31, 2013

BEA Related: BEA On the Move?

A special edition for all you book expo attendees!

Recently on the BEAN (the official BEA blog for event info and connectivity with Steven Rosato, show director) Steven posted a poll detailing plans for future BEA shows.  As I've known for a while BEA is heading to Chicago in 2016.  Back when I first went to BEA, in 2007, the show moved from major city to major city each year spreading the love.  It was also a smaller show (by comparison attendee wise) and if there were bloggers present that year I'd be surprised.  In 2009 the show was back in NYC and announced it would be there to stay at the Javits for the next forseeable future.

I was elated! NYC is a hop skip and jump away for me and I know the city enough that travel around it didn't bother me.  2009 was also the year that bloggers began attending en masse (its when I met many of my friends in fact).

Cost wise NYC is still pretty expensive.  As someone who knows what its like to drag pounds of books around, you want to be close to public transport, the post office and Javits and that means the hotels are pricey (we average about $300 per person/4-6 people for 5 days/4nights).  Then there's food (unless you are lucky enough to be invited to parties every single night) plus shipping (which is easily the cheapest) and public transportation.  Its costly end of story.

I compare it against doing all of that and adding a plane ticket on top of it.  Sure maybe the hotel will be somewhat cheaper...but instead of $30 for the train I'm spending $300 for a plane ticket. 

I do think it would be good to venture away from NYC though.  Maybe not every year, but every couple of years wouldn't hurt.  I can't think of any city which has a large convention center to house the masses without issues, so its not like any city is going to get that medal of excellence, but they have to be better located then the Javits which is in the middle of nowhere (city wise speaking).  Food options are limited, the subway doesn't run that far, traffic gets congested easily...

By contrast the Austin Convention Center (in Texas) has plenty of places to eat at just across the road.  Lots of choices. Lots and Lots of choices.  Also the hotels are right there literally.  A fair share of them are just cross one road and BOOM you are at the Convention Center.  Boston's is also not terribly badly placed and hell even Philly, which I hate that city, is well placed.

So let's brainstorm this idea.  What cities would/wouldn't you travel to?  Is moving BEA around a hardstop for you?  Also go vote in the poll on the BEAN's blog if you haven't already.  Get your voice out there while they're asking for your opinion!