Thanks for letting me into your inbox. Today, I want to talk to you about the top sixteen things you can do to make your experience a better one when attending a book event. So, lets jump in!
#1 – Buy Tickets Early
Tickets can go fast. That’s no lie. And most events start selling tickets for the next event immediately after the current one is over, so be prepared and ready to hit that buy button.
#2 – Reserve Your Hotel Room Early
Room blocks are great for discounts, but they tend to fill up quick. Don’t think you’ll have time because sometimes you won’t, and there’s nothing better than staying at the venue where everything is taking place. It’s the in between event times that some of the best stories happen, and you won’t want to miss out. Make sure you check the activities for check-in times.
#3 – Join the Attendee Group on Facebook
This is the best place to hear about what’s happening, changes in activities, get special deals from authors, and meet the people you’re going to spend the weekend with. Join the group, click to receive all notifications, and participate.
#4 – Start Saving Money
You don’t want to run short as you’ll find some amazing books as well as merchandise from vendors. Plus, there will be raffle baskets to participate in and food to buy, and of course, those drinks after everything settles down and we all congregate in the bar. So, be prepared and put just a few dollars a week away for a good time.
#5 – Buy Pre-Order Print Books
One of the best ways to make sure you get all the books you want is to pre-order them. And then pay for them. This helps you spread out your book buying cash so it’s not all at once hitting your bank account or book buying budget. It also helps the authors know how many books to bring so they don’t run out and you’re left wishing you had found them sooner.
#6 – Read Your Emails
A lot of information comes at you in several different ways, and we know Facebook isn’t the best at giving you notifications. However, if it’s important, then there will be an email about it. So, make sure you check your email, even your spam folder if you haven’t whitelisted the event email. You won’t want to miss a thing! I’ve seen too many people say they never checked their email fast enough to participate in something. Don’t be that person.
#7 – RSVP to Activities, if Required
Nothing worse than trying to plan for something, and then suddenly you have more people than expected, so help your host out by signing up for whatever requires your commitment to attend. Sometimes, this means you’ll actually have a seat if you show up versus standing in the back against the wall, or even worse, being turned away. Other times, it may mean you have food waiting for you, which won’t be there if you don’t tell the host you’re eating. So, check your emails and fill out all necessary forms.
#8 – Check Wardrobe for Event Outfits
Quite often there are themed parties, so make sure you’re ready for dressing up and having fun. Now, dressing up is not always required, but it does help make things a little more exciting, and if you plan ahead, you won’t be caught wearing last year’s costume.
#9 – Print or Download Important Lists
Staying organized will help take the stress off, so print out a list of books you pre-ordered or events you joined, so you don’t miss being somewhere. You can also print out an itinerary or map of the venue.
#10 – Purchase a Wheeled Cart or Bring an Extra Tote
Books are heavy! Make it easy on yourself by purchasing one of those carts you can roll around or an extra tote, so you don’t have to carry books as if you’re heading to class. Your arms will thank you, and you won’t have to make so many trips back to your room to drop off your latest finds.
#11 – Prepare to Take Your Book Finds Home
You’re coming to buy books, right? Well, there’s nothing worse than buying all the amazing stories you want only to find out you have no way to get them home. A little planning ahead can save you some headache. Either bring an extra suitcase to check or see if you can mail your books back home. Then you can buy, buy, buy!
#12 – Check in Early
Now, I know this isn’t always possible, but if you can manage it, check in early. It will give you time to catch your breath after traveling and prepare for the night’s festivities. It’ll also give you a chance to explore the venue and get your bearings, saving you time later when the event starts. And if you can take advantage of the discounts before the event starts, you can have fun exploring the area while waiting for the real Shenigans to start.
#13 – Hang Out at the Bar or Restaurant
I’ve mentioned this above slightly, but sometimes, the best times happen in the bar or at the restaurant in between activities, and you won’t want to miss out. There have been some hilarious stories that have come from these moments of simply hanging out and sharing stories and laughter, and quite a few deep friendships have been made.
#14 – Attend the Activities
I mean, that’s why you’re there, right? Don’t miss out on the panels or reader activities. If it requires a signup, then make sure you fill out the form, and then show up. The authors want to meet you just as much as you want to meet them, I assure you.
#15 – Support the Keynote/Guest Speaker
We’ve listened to some amazing speakers, and they’re there to help inspire you, so don’t miss out. It’s also polite, and we all love being polite, right? I have taken some great nuggets away from listening to speakers over the years. You will as well.
#16 – And Experience JOMO!
JOMO means the Joy of Missing Out. There is so much going on that you can’t attend it all without getting exhausted, so make sure you schedule in some downtime for yourself to relax and catch your breath. I do this myself, and trust me, it’s a necessary break. There are hundreds of people, lots of conversations and laughter, plenty of activities. You’ll need those few minutes to savor the silence and catch your breath, so don’t worry about missing out. Rather, embrace it and enjoy it.
And those are my Top 16 things you need to help you make sure you get the most out of a book event. I hope it helped, and I look forward to seeing you at the next event.
Until then, happy reading,