Thursday, May 13, 2010

Armchair BEA and an Informal Poll

Are you, like me, sad, bitter, and angry because conferences like BEA (Book Expo America) and BBC (Book Blogger Convention) have been planned during the work week and you have to, you know, work?

Some people do more than whine about it on the Internet!

A number of bloggers have organized Armchair BEA! As posted at Blogher by Florinda, the tentative schedule is:

•Tuesday, May 25: BEA-related topic post
•Wednesday, May 26: Blogger interviews/optional BEA topic post
•Thursday, May 27: Giveaway Day/optional BEA topic post
•Friday, May 28: BBCon-related topic post

Emily's Reading Room has a post up explaining it, with a form to register including some ideas of how those of us not traveling to BEA can participate in Armchair BEA. Other bloggers involved: There's A Book; Michelle's Masterful Musings; The 3 Rs Blog. (If I missed someone, just let me know & I'll edit the post.)

Now, for my informal poll.

If you are going to BEA, is it work related? (Work meaning you are not taking vacation to attend, and possibly work is funding you.) To attend, do you have to take vacation time? Are you funding it yourself? What else is making it possible for you to attend?

If you are not going to BEA, why not? Work obligations? Personal obligations? Travel issues? Cost? What else is making it impossible for you to attend?

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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


ilefkowitz said...

I am going to BEA this year, just one day. Work is paying for it and giving me the time off. If it were the weekend, they would pay but it would be my own time. For me it works better when it is during the week because of child care and other personal obligations on the weekends.

Charlotte said...

I am not going to BEA because my husband is going to be away on a paid trip to Ireland to do his Irish music thing (about which I am very proud, because the gig he was asked to do is a Great Honor) and I am going to be taking the kids to school and going to work. If his trip to Ireland had been a different week, he would have been the one taking the kids to school and going to work, and I would have taken vacation time to go to BEA for at least a day, but it was not to be. Sigh.

Vasilly said...

I'm not going to BEA this year because my kids can't stand the thought of me being gone for two days. *sigh* I think I'll try my best to go next year. I really wish that BEA was on the weekend which would have made things easier for me.

Emily said...

I'm not going to BEA this year because I have a brand new baby. But, it would be on personal time if I went. I plan on going next year.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

I'm going. BEA is not related to my line of work, so I'm taking vacation time and footing my own bill. It's worth it though! I gained so much from my attendance last year, mainly via the connections I made and the other bloggers I met.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

No I'm not going. I'm going to ALA in June (and the next three ALA's due to committee work, but not BEA). It's also in the middle of the week, and my work wouldn't fund my trip so I'd have to take vacation time and pay my way (which I also have to do for ALA-at least this year). I wish I could go and could possibly get away if it was still on the weekend.

Florinda said...

Thanks for the shout-out to Armchair BEA, and glad you'll be joining us! Obviously, as one of the organizers, I'm not going to the "real" BEA.

If I do go to BEA next year, it will be on my own time and my own dime. It's totally unrelated to my job, which is one reason I hesitate about going; it's an industry thing (emphasized even more by happening during the work week), and I'm not sure I believe that my book-blogging work makes me part of the industry.

Anonymous said...

I'm not, but our Lower School Librarian is. If it had been on a weekend, I'd have been there but I just didn't feel that at the end of the year it was a good idea to head out to BEA instead of working with students!

Melissa said...

I'm not going entirely because of the cost getting there and staying there. I'd love to be able to go, but it's just not financially feasible. *sigh*

Alicia said...

I'll be at the SLJ Day of Dialog and the first day of BEA. Work is covering transportation, lodging, meals and registration. I am SUCH a lucky duck, and I know it. I get one conference a year, and I make it BEA because I think it packs the most value.

Anonymous said...

I will be at BEA on Wednesday. I pay my own way but do get to use one of my two professional days at work.


Anonymous said...

I am going to BEA on Wednesday. My system is paying for registration (at a group rate) and I am being paid for the day. They also provide me with a car (and EZpass to pay for tolls).

6 other coworkers are getting the same deal and 2 others (responsible for more purchasing and programming) are getting a paid 3 day trip, including hotel, travel and time.

It is sweet to work for a financially sound system in times like these. But with over 600 employees, I'm very glad I was selected.

Anonymous said...

Hah hah! That would be very cool to go to something like that. But a little community library like mine is no way going to foot the bill for such a trip/event-- it's a big deal enough that we're going to a regional (ie this corner of the state) day-long training next week. And no way someone who is paid by a little community library can afford to take off to something like that on her own.

So, nope.

Unknown said...

If I go this year, it'll only be on Saturday. Last year my job provided me a badge but I had to go on my own time since the rest of BEA I was actively working on BEA-related sales (I work with bargain books). I'm hoping I'll get a similar deal this year. I probably won't find out until the day before, though!

Kelly Jensen said...

I am going but work is not funding me, and I am using vacation time TO go. This, I think, is an essential go for me. I think it'll be way more valuable than ALA because, well, it's more direct with a wider variety of publishers. Less fluff, more stuff, if you will.

If it's as good as I've been told, it might become a regular "vacation" I take for the sake of professional development (and personal fun - I get to enjoy meeting people!). It is pricey as anything, but, it's my vacation, too.

Suey said...

I am not going because it's the last week of school here and there's too much going on for a mom of four busy kids to just take off... besides that, my daughter is graduating from high school on the 28th!

The1stdaughter said...

Thank you so much for the mention! Arm Chair BEA is definitely going to be the next best thing to actually being there!

As for why I won't make it this year...well, let's just say Bar Exam fees for my hubby out-weigh the expense of taking a trip from CA to NY, not matter how informative or fun. Next year though, I'm there!

Roger Sutton said...

I'm going, for work (Day of Dialog and signing at Candlewick booth on Wednesday 1-2, come on by) and my understanding is that it was moved to the weekdays to make it more possible for publishers and booksellers to attend (publishers don't want to give up a weekend and booksellers need to be in their stores. I do think it would be a true luxury for hobby-bloggers to attend BEA and an extra day when it's over, so I don't know what the organizers were thinking about that.

Carina said...

I wish I could've gone, but I had already booked a weekend away in Ottawa when I first heard about it. :-(

Liz B said...

Huh, did I forget to give the details of my not going?

In the past, its on my dime (registration, expenses) and I took vacation time on the Friday before. Last year, I spoke at SLJ's Day of Dialog, and that one day was considered a work day because I spoke. This year, I was prepared to use vacation time for the whole week, but then I was invited to a 3 day conference for work that is W-F, making BEA impossible for me.

Liz B said...

Ilene, sweet for work paying. And yes -- child care can be a bit issue, especially for those traveling so its overnight child care.

Charlotte, so like me its a matter of "why this week?" Better luck for us next year!

Vasilly, weekend would have beeen better for me, also, because of work.

Emily, congrats on the baby! I hope to have the vacation time & money (& no work conflicts) next year.

Jenn, I agree with you; its worth it! and possible tax deduction!

GBTQ, I'll be seeing you at ALA! Like you, i'm committed to ALA for the next few years. A weekend would have been so nice for BEA; I'm spoiled by past ones.

Florinda, I think it can be valuable as a book blogger to see the publishers in person & get a better feel for the industry, plus networking with other bloggers & authors. Looking forward to Armchair BEA, even tho my meetings are all day/ no Internet for those days.


Liz B said...

Laura, I have to say I've never looked to see how often industry things are weekends. ALA is, and for the most part, ALA commitments can be made arriving Friday night, leaving Sunday night, so even if a library doesn't "let" a person out of the building, weekend means it can be done. The kidlitcon is weekends because of work. But, my state library conference is the workweek. I have spoken to authors who can't go to this BEA because of work, also.

Melissa, I'm lucky that I live close enough to NYC that travel cost would be minimal but yes, the cost! Tho I think for travel, weekday works better for those doing it; cheaper airline, cheaper hotel.

Readingzone, there are so many permutations of work support.

Anon, you are so lucky to have system support, incuding a system that recognizes how important this is! Yay you!

rocknlibrarian, size (and locale) of libraries can make such a difference in what gets supported. on an unrelated note, I always get my back up when any library assumes that what is true for their library is true for all systems.

Angela, no Saturday hours this year. :-( If there were, I'd be there.

Kelley, I agree -- it is worth it. I've been to NCTE/ALAN, BEA, ALA, and its interesting how each has a different vibe.

Suey, congrats on the a daughter graduationg! Woo hoo!

1stDaughter, eek, now i'm having bar exam flashbacks. Good luck to your husband. And here's to next year at BEA!

Liz B said...

Roger, I understand that it's a booksellers conference, and they want to make it for that industry, first. Hey, I can pout AND realize that it's me being "me me me" self centered. I'm more disappointed about the book blogger con, even tho I'm not sure it includes my type of book blogging. My assumption is that most book bloggers are "hobby" (in the sense that they have a different, unrelated, f/t job, not that they don't take the blogging seriously). So having it on a weekday means its just for those bookbloggers who can afford it & don't have work conflicts. As you said, it's a luxury, and other book blogger things have made me wonder -- well. To harp on comments, you can only comment extensively if you can comment during the day, and that's a luxury, so when a luxury is made a requirement, I get my back up. But that's another rant entirely!

Carina, enjoy Ottawa!

Beth F said...

I'll be at BEA it is a work-related trip but funded my me. I chose not to attend BBC this year because of a variety of reasons. I'll try to budget it next year.

Serena said...

I'll be attending as blog-related trip, but its a vacation paid for by me. And I will be headed to bbc as well. I wish it were work-funded and related, but alas the day job has no connection to it.

Liz B said...

Beth F, yay for business deductions, right?

Serena, enjoy! I'm looking forward to all the reports back.

Just to add -- I know I'm pretty privileged in what I do get to go to. I know that usually I can swing vacation days & the cost for attending things, and I don't have child care etc to worry about, so when I talk about the privilege of going to things mid-week, I'm also talking for those, who, well, have less vacation time, family obligations, etc.

Unknown said...

Not going for two reasons:

WisCon conflicts and that's far more interesting. I might have gone if not for the conflict.

BBC would be interesting only to meet some folks. The panel topics aren't my bag.

Liz B said...

oh, WisCon! Gwenda is going, also. That's been added to my list of "one day..." Frankly, while BEA/BBC in NYC doesn't work for everyone, for me it's close so there's no travel cost. WisCon is airfare, alas.

BBC -- I want to network & to meet in RL those I know online. I want to hear Ron Hogan speak. Beyond that, I'm also curious as to how BBC is going to define "book blogger" and "shoulds." Is it going to be "thou must comment"? Is it "bloggers want deadlines from publishers/publicists"? Or will it recognize that those are individual bloggers expecatations and not a univeral norm?

Susan said...

I have not ever been to BEA, and I won't be there this year either. If I were going, it would be on vacation time and my own dime. I am very excited to be going to ALA this year, work is paying but I will be attending some book/publisher events as well. Liz--your Sunday morning program sounds great.

Jess said...

Location and cost are more of a deterrent to me than time of week - for this and conferences in general (and we take turns working weekends, anyway). My library typically sends us to our state conference and foots the bill, and this year PLA replaced OLA's meeting, so we went to that instead. While I might be able to swing getting paid to go to a conference, everything else would be out of my pocket - registration, travel, etc.