...you don't run into any of your former office-romances at the Javits Center. Granted, I was not at the fair the whole three days, but I did not have to avoid a single past significant other. For a moment I thought I'd spotted an ex- in the line at the coffee place right at Exhibitor Registration, but it was just another darkly handsome broody brainy guy in his convention suit and badge.
How to fix that? Let the public come in. Richard Nash on his PW blog says it eloquently and passionately. I would point to Comic-con as an example of how people -- masses of people -- can be intellectually ignited by what publishers have to offer. People read at Comic-con. And they'd read at BEA, too -- in the hallways, on the floor, on the buses, in line -- if only we asked them in. Then there'd be plenty of exes to avoid.
I taught a class this weekend at the Little Airplane Academy. Part of the weekend was spent at BEA. Afterwards, one of the students, who by day designs board games, said that he couldn't really tell what anyone was pushing. I told him it was a trade fair, so the pushes were different, and not necessarily discernible in the booths. He raised an eyebrow. "Missed opportunity," he said.