A Hotel ABA welcome desk and a lounge, bag check, and shipping center at the Los Angeles Convention -- all exclusively for ABA members -- will make life easier at this month's BookExpo America. Among the new features this year, member booksellers will be able to pick up their BEA show badges along with an exhibitors' guide and other information at the Hotel ABA Welcome Desk, and an ABA Discount Shipping Program FedEx Shipping Center will share space with a bag check sponsored by Harper Mass Market, across from the ABA Lounge at the L.A. Convention Center.
Hotel ABA Welcome Desk
A special ABA Welcome Desk will be set up on the second-floor mezzanine level of Hotel ABA, the Renaissance Hollywood, from Wednesday, May 28, through mid-day Friday, May 30. Here, ABA members will be able to pick up their BEA trade show badge and an admission ticket for the Day of Education, badge holders, a BEA exhibitors' guide, the latest details about ABA programming, and information about other convention-related events and the L.A. area, including a copy of eat.shop los angeles (Cabazon Books).
In an effort to become ecologically responsible, rather than printing education handouts and shipping binders across the country, ABA is providing all of its education session materials to every member bookseller in advance of the show via BookWeb.org. Additionally, ABA is encouraging booksellers to bring a bag from home to fill with trade show-related information that will be available for pick up at the Welcome Desk. Rather than provide another bag, the association is asking booksellers to recycle and reuse one of their older bags.
Boku Books is once again providing a spiral notebook that booksellers can use for note-taking. The first few pages of the notebook will include the Day of Education schedule, a hotel map, and other details.
At the Hotel ABA Welcome Desk, members will also be able to pick up one single-day L.A. Metro Card, compliments of John Wiley. Because morning rush hour in Los Angeles can be challenging at best, ABA is encouraging booksellers to take the L.A. Metro system on Friday morning to get to and from the convention center quicker than by shuttle bus or taxi. Directions to the convention center will be printed on the Metro Card sleeve. In the coming weeks, BTW will also feature a "photo journey" of the trip to and from the convention center. (Metro Cards will be given out one per person and on a first-come, first-served basis.)
Wilderness Press will be raffling off a basket full of goodies from local independent businesses at ABA's Welcome Desk. The raffle is open to all ABA member booksellers who drop off a business card anytime on Wednesday or on Thursday morning. The drawing will take place during Thursday's Day of Education lunch. The winner must be present.
The Hotel ABA Welcome Desk will be manned by ABA staff on:
- Wednesday, May 28, from 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
- Thursday, May 29, from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, May 30, from 8:00 a.m. - Noon
BEA will be providing live registration at the Welcome Desk on Wednesday and Thursday.
Remember to bring your own tote bag and to print out the educational materials ahead of time.
The ABA Lounge
The ABA Lounge at BookExpo America -- Room 515A in the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center -- will offer member booksellers light refreshments and a place to relax, check e-mail, meet colleagues, and learn about ABA products and services, including a band-new initiative to be announced at this year's Celebration of Bookselling. During the three days of the trade show -- from Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 1 -- the lounge will feature 24 of independent booksellers' favorite authors autographing their latest titles.
Representatives from ABA affinity partners Above the Treeline, Bank of America, BookScan, Constant Contact, and PartnerShip will be on hand to provide information about money-saving services available to all members. Also featured will be information about ABA's gift card program and e-commerce solution, the member-owned LIBRIS insurance program, and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.
The ABA Lounge will once again feature the Booklog Internet Cafe, where ABA member booksellers can check their e-mail accounts or browse the web. The cafe is provided courtesy of Booklog, a point-of-sale and inventory management solution for booksellers for more than 20 years.
The lounge opens at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and will close at 3:00 p.m., so that all members and staff can attend ABA's Town Hall Meeting, which is followed at 4:00 p.m. by the Annual Membership Meeting. On Saturday, the lounge will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and on Sunday, June 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Booksellers who wish to speak at ABA's Town Hall meeting will find a sign-up sheet prominently displayed in the ABA Lounge, beginning Friday morning. Booksellers will be called on to speak in the order in which they have signed up, though the ABA Board will do its best to make sure all members with questions or issues have the opportunity to speak. Booksellers will be called upon in the order in which they signed up.
Bag Check Courtesy of Harper Mass Market
Harper Mass Market is sponsoring a Bag Check Room at the L.A. Convention Center for the exclusive use of ABA bookstore members who are staying at Hotel ABA. Rather than carrying books and other materials back to the hotel or from booth to booth at the trade show, Hotel ABA guests will have the added convenience of storing materials at the Bag Check Room from Friday, May 29, through Sunday, June 1.
"We are very happy to help make booksellers' lives easier in this way," said Carl Lennertz, HarperCollins' vice president of independent retailing. "And we're thrilled that Harper and Avon paperbacks is the group underwriting this. Mass market is, after all, the most portable format, so check your bags and come see us at booth number 1846!"
When booksellers drop off materials at the Check Room, an attendant will ask to see their BEA badge, which carries ABA membership identification. They will then be given a claim ticket that will be required in order to retrieve items left in the room. Although there will be 24-hour security for the Check Room, booksellers using the Check Room agree that neither ABA, the L.A. Convention Center, nor Harper Mass Market are responsible for any missing items.
The ABA Bag Check Room -- across from the ABA Lounge in Room 510 in the West Building of the convention center -- will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31. On Sunday, June 1, the hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., at which time all items must be picked up. Any items remaining after 4:30 will be donated or subject to disposal.
Sending It From BEA: ABA's Discount Shipping Program
ABA members who participate in the association's Discount Shipping Program will be able to send packages from BookExpo America at a discounted rate via a FedEx Shipping Center set up exclusively for them. Located in the Los Angeles Convention Center's West Building Room 510, directly across from the ABA Lounge and in the same room as the ABA Bag Check sponsored by Harper Mass Market, the Shipping Center will be open on Saturday, May 31, from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday, June 1, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
ABA Discount Shipping Program participants can save up to 31 percent* on FedEx Express shipments, up to 30 percent on FedEx Ground shipments, and up to 10 percent on FedEx Home Delivery shipments. A $7 per box handling fee, which includes the box and tape, is less than other convention center shipping service charges. Members who provide a FedEx account number at the Shipping Center will be billed after the show. Those without an account can pay either by Visa, MasterCard, or AMEX.
ABA members who sign up now will be able to take advantage of discount shipping rates even before the show begins. Those who sign up at the show will still be able to ship from BEA at the program's special rates.
To learn more about the ABA Discount Shipping Program, including small package shipping with FedEx, large freight shipments with UPS Freight and Yellow Transportation, and services at FedEx Kinko's, visit www.partnership.com/07aba, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(*Rates include a bonus five percent online processing discount. Full details available at www.partnership.com/07aba/discounts.asp.)