LIVE FROM BEA: First Impressions & Blogger Conference

10:00 PM Tif Sweeney 8 Comments

Welcome to our special feature where our on-site correspondents bring the Armchair BEA crew highlights from Chicago!  This is our very first look in pictures at Book Expo America and BEA Bloggers Conference thanks to Deb of Readerbuzz.  Enjoy!


It's been on my bucket list for a long time, and now I'm finally here. BEA. Yes, Book Expo America, baby. 

I'm here and the first thing I want to tell you is that it's all true. BEA is amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

What's the first thing I saw as I walked into McCormick Convention Center in Chicago? Ads. But not ads for Budweiser or the next superhero movie. These ads are for...wait for it...books!

I am spending Wednesday at the BEA Book Bloggers Conference. Erin Loechner delivered the keynote. She is a ten-year blogging veteran and did she ever have some wisdom to share?! Erin shared this little tidbit of wisdom that I think every book blogger could use. She said when she receives negative feedback, she asks herself one question: Do I believe this? If she believes it, she says thank you and grows. If she doesn't, she says thank you and goes. Doesn't that take the kick out of those negative comments that occasionally come to rest at our blogs and so disturb our days.

Erin also quoted the tour guide who led her group on a hike in the Andes: "We go up together, and we go down together." That's our blogging community, she told us. We stick together and go through it all, good and bad, together.

I spent the morning at two great blogging panels: Growing Your Social Media Presence and Creative Content: From Ideas to Tools. Here's what I took away from Growing Your Social Media Presence, via Andye Eppes at Be kind. Remember there is another person on the other side of the computer screen. Build those connections with your readers. And moderator Meg Morley at during Creative Content reminded us to ask ourselves:Am I having fun?

Then there was lunch and it was time to hit the exhibit hall. It was a mad rush into the hall. Or should I say, it was a mad rush to get at the books.

Some publishers' booth staff took their jobs very, very seriously. This staff member was guarding her books with her life until the designated release time.

Happily, there were all the usual suspects. Harper Collins. Penguin Random House. Macmillan. Scholastic. And many, many more. Anyone who publishes books has a corner here.

The afternoon at the book blogger conference brought Blogger Table Talk. Moving from table to table, bloggers shared their experiences, their questions, their thoughts about diversity in books, keeping up with Twitter, book tours, memes, blogger burnout, and working with publishers. Lots of great ideas shared and lots of blogger bonding.

And what a finish! The final event of the day was a blogging celebration with beer, wine, and popcorn.


Armchair BEA Note:  Be sure to check out our latest updates from the facilitators of BEA Bloggers Conference!  We have already published Following the FTC and Balancing Your Personal Life and Your Online Life.  And, we have more to come!


  1. I would love to attend the blogger conference some day. It's one of my blogger goals!

  2. Great first day! Can't wait to see what's next.

  3. Aaahhh, so jealous! Have fun and hope you get all the books on your list!

  4. Looks like you had a blast!!! And what great tips for those panels. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Looks like you had a blast!!! And what great tips for those panels. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I'd like to think I might be able to go some day, but there are so many people... =)

  7. Love the BEA!! Love the Book Bloggers Conference!!

    Thanks for sharing. Saw these posts on Facebook. :)

    Do you go when it is in New York?


    1. Elizabeth ... Armchair BEA sure does! I'm not sure of Deb's plan for next year though. We will keep you posted!