Monday, May 7, 2012

BEA Countdown - Helpful Hints from Steve Rosato

It is just under 1 month until BEA 2012 opens our doors big and wide to the world of publishing.  I wanted to share some tips I have learned over the years that are useful for anyone participating in a trade show.  Trade shows are grueling, long days, they are jammed with opportunity.  Everything here will help you be more productive, more comfortable or is just a good idea.

  • Make appointments - too many is still not enough.  Whether you are attending or exhibiting, don't depend on people either dropping into your booth or people you hope to see.  This is the one single thing in your control that will guarantee your investment.  Everything else is gravy.
  • Baby Powder - it is good all over, but it will help save your feet and for guys, a little around your collar will save your neck from razor rash.
  • Drink lots and lots of water.  You are walking and talking way more than you do in a typical day, starting earlier and finishing later - being hydrated is good for everything.
  • Vitamins & Advil.
  • Cure for sore feet - run under cold water.  I prefer the tub but worked with people that will stick their tootsies in the toilet and flush away and swear by this.
  • If you are exhibiting - rent a lead retrieval unit.  The time it will save you will pay for itself and being able to respond quickly to customers that are interested in your products will make you money.
  • Business cards - you are talking to dozens and dozens of people, write key notes on a persons business card you can connect with or follow up as promised.
  • Business cards - don't forget them!!!  It is better to have too many than to wish you brought more.
  • Use Show Planner - you can hit the sessions that you want and have a plan in advance.'
  • Read & Save the Show Daily - not only can you see what is happening, but the publishers promoting books in the Show Daily are doing it because those are the books they think will be their big books.
  • When you are standing in line or are a shuttle bus, talk to people - you already know if they are at BEA, they are in the publishing industry.  Ya never know when or where you are going to make a great new connection.
  • Make sure you eat a good breakfast - you can get away with missing lunch, but missing breakfast will make for a much longer day.
  • Enjoy the events in and around NYC.  Get yourself invited to a party or go to a NY Book & Media Week event.  
  • A good night sleep is your best friend.....ever!
  • Don't take something because it free - take what is relevant or interesting,.  
  • Repeat a persons name a couple of times when you are introduced, it will help you remember their name.  Try and work it in a conversation or you can just keep repeating their name and they will no doubt remember you.  That's a joke.  But stay focused on the people you are talking with before moving on in a conversation.
  • I keep business cards from a show in the badge holder when I return to the office that way I always know where I met the person. 
  • Expenses - can be a bear.  Take 2 minutes to total up each day or you will spend 2 hours trying to sort out the pile you return home with trying to make sense of a wad of paper. 


  1. Thanks for all the great tips! I really appreciate it.

  2. I will be attending for the very first time at the invitation of my publisher (Sourcebooks). As a debut author, I couldn't be more excited!! Thank you for all of the tips (though I realize some don't apply to me).

  3. Question about WIFI where is it available for purchase? Seems crazy to have all the bloggers, plus encouragement to tweet, text use the BEA App and much more when there is not a best known to connect to the internet? The phone reception is awful, so that cannot be the solution. NO wifi for attendees, that is like having a cooking show but no oven Any info? Help? Can't ignore this, kind of important.