BookCon/BEA Packing Guide 2015!

Yay! You're going to BEA/Bookcon! 


Last year here at The Book Bratz, we posting a BookCon Packing Guide a few weeks prior to the event (which can be found here), and BookCon & BEA-attendees alike said it helped them out tremendously - especially those who were traveling to the events for the first time! So whether you're heading to BookCon, BEA, or both, check out this handy-dandy packing guide! Just run through it, check off what you have, and make mental notes about what you still have to do. We were told last year that there were a couple of things that were on our list that other bloggers overlooked or hadn't even thought about needing - so no matter how ready you think you are, it never hurts to give it a peek!

What's different about this packing list compared to last year's packing list? We added a few more things and made some little add-on notes about some of the supplies we said you needed last year. Basically, this is the Super Duper Edited Packing Guide Version. Any of our add-ons or notes will be in bold pink.

So without further ado, here's what we recommend packing for BookCon/BEA!

A backpack. 

Definitely, hands down, without a doubt. It doesn't have to be a big, huge, schoolbag-worthy one. Just make sure that you'll be able to fit a decent amount of books and freebies you'll be picking up, along with your lunch and other small things. There are some totes bags that are given away during BookCon (we haven't attended BEA yet to know). However, don't absolutely count on it! The totes went pretty fast and then you were charged for them at certain booths, so bring a bag (and an extra tote - like the $0.99 ones you buy at the supermarket - just in case.)

*A small, cross body bag. 

It doesn't need to be anything big--all it's for is storing your phone, your money, and your schedule. It would be way too much of a hassle to have to fish those things out of your bag of books and freebies and lunch and nonsense. Also store your business cards in there if you plan on giving them out. This was the best idea out of all that we're going to recommend to you.

*Small luggage (*optional*).

Some attendees prefer this, and others don't, so it's all up to you. But if you're feeling up to it, bring a small suitcase or carry-on bag to the Javits center with you, and for about only $3, they'll hold on to it for you at the front and you'll have a place to periodically come back and store all of the goodies you get so you don't weigh your bag down.

*Your plan!

Write down all of the panels, signings and such that you know you MUST attend, along with their times and locations. And store that in your clutch for easy access. Last year, we made a not-so-solid plan, more of a loose guideline. Big mistake. This year, we're armed and ready with a full two-page worthy plan of what to make sure we do, what times, and how to get there.

*Comfortable clothes/shoes. 

Sure, you want to look cute while walking around and meeting other authors and bloggers, but you want to be comfortable too! Go for some comfy-yet-causal styles such as leggings, comfy flats, or sneakers. (We seriously recommend sneakers. Blisters are not a fun way to spend your day.)

*A sweatshirt.

Because yes, contrary to popular belief, it does get chilly in the Javits Center. It was pretty sweltering on the show floor, so we recommend something short-sleeved, but definitely bring a sweatshirt because the main area is a bit chilly!


Even though it may get chilly inside the convention, the crushing crowds cause people to stress and sweat. Plus, since you're going to practically be squashed in with everyone, you want to make sure that you smell nice. (We wish several people had taken our advice about this when we were crammed in line waiting for John Green.)


There's no set amount that you need to bring with you, but lunch is expensive at the Javits center, so if you don't plan on bringing your own lunch, bring a decent amount of dough with you. Even if you do bring your lunch, bringing $40-$50 along with you is helpful for buying books, paying for luggage storage, grabbing an extra drink/snack, or (of course, duh, because this is BookCon, people!) buying some books. There were not as many free books available at BookCon last year as BEA, so definitely bring money if you plan on walking away with a decent amount of books.

*Le sigh. We wish that was how it worked*

*Any books you want to get signed.

BookCon is going to be absolutely stuffed with amazing authors (especially our favorites--like Veronica Roth and John Green!), so if you know that any of your favorites are going, toss a book of theirs in your bag to get signed. Seriously. Even if you know they aren't doing an autograph session, because you never know! 

*Pack a lunch and some light snacks. 

The Javits center has some nice food selections if you'd like, but they're pretty pricey and lines can possibly be miles long. (Last year, they WERE miles long.) Chances are, time that you will spend waiting on line at the food court is time that you could be using to check out some more amazing things that BookCon has to offer. So bring your own lunch/snacks/drinks along with you so you can eat quickly and then go back to having an awesome time. Packing a lunch and eating it while on an autographing/panel line or while you have time to kill is the best option.

*Two water bottles. 

Because dehydration is a nightmare, and you don't want to get sick on an awesome day like this. One water bottle was what we recommended last year, and it wasn't enough.

*A portable phone charger. 

Augustus Waters' death may have been inevitable (*sob*), but that doesn't mean that your phone's has to be. Portable chargers are literally the 8th wonder of the world, so charge one up the night before and bring it along with you just in case your battery percentage dips into the single digits while you're out having fun. There are really no available outlets for you to charge your phone anywhere (as Amber learned the hard way), so bring a portable charger with you and plan to use that. Charge your phone for as long as possible in the train or on the car, keep your brightness down, and only use it when you have to. The service in the Javits Center is spotty at best and your phone battery experiences some serious drainage. 

*A camera. 

This isn't really required if you're going to have a smartphone with you, but if you don't, or if you want to print these pictures and have them developed to put in a scrapbook because BookCon is just going to be so freaking awesome, toss a camera (and some batteries!) in a bag to bring along with you. We packed cameras and didn't end up using them as often as we planned (we barely used them and just used our iPhones), so this one isn't as much of a must-pack.

*Business cards. 

If you're a book blogger, this event is one of the most perfect places to get the word out about your blog. Print up some business cards and bring them with you so you'll be ready to pass the word along! These were a GODSEND. We handed them out to fellow bloggers and readers we met, and even to authors during autograph sessions. You get plenty of time to endorse yourself while waiting on lines - and our follower count on the blog jumped quite a bit post-BookCon!

*Pen/pencil and a Sharpie. 

You never know when you'll need a pen. And who knows if you'll bump into someone awesome and want their autograph?

*Yourself, ready for an awesome time! 

Because this is going to be an awesome day!

Hopefully this packing list for BEA/BookCon 2015 helped you all out! Comment below and let us know what we left out that needs to be added to the list, your opinions on the list in general, or how excited you are for BookCon/BEA! Also, please do us the hugest favor and Tweet the link to the list and tag us @thebookbratz! We want everyone to get to see this handy-dandy packing guide not to endorse ourselves, but to help everyone make sure they're prepared for the best day of the booknerd year! :-)


  1. Great guide ladies!! I'm so sorry we won't be able to meet up! Enjoy the day at BookCon ladies!!

  2. This is a very great guide - I live in NY and I'm never been to the BEA lol, maybe next year. I hope you have a blast there though. <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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