This was my first time at the LA Times Festival Of Books and I had an amazing time. I am already planning to go again next year. I really enjoyed the booths, panels, and the literary souvenirs. I could have gone hog-wild had my wallet permitted me to do so. This is my advice to those of you who haven’t gone and want to go for the first time. This is what I will be doing differently next year:
1. Go BOTH days if you can. One day of literary mecca was simply not enough. I’m going to research hotels and go for the full weekend and be able to see as much as possible.
2. Take advantage of the panel passes. We had them and it allowed us to get into panels where the general non-ticketed person could not. This is imperative if there are really popular panels that you do not want to miss. which brings me to my next point:
3. Do not schedule too many panels in one day. Three was quite enough for us and we did not have a lot of time to walk around. Plan out enough time to do both and squeeze author signings in as well.
Things LA Times Festival of Books should work on for next year:
1. Disability Access- Unless you were going go a specific part of campus you were out of luck for transportation. Unfortunately our second panel was in Fowler Hall and it was a ridiculous hike from the Target children’s’ stage. I do have a mobility issue and it was extremely difficult for me to get to that panel on time due to the lack of access.
2. Train your volunteers and get bigger signs-We got very very lost finding Fowler hall and NONE of the student volunteers knew how to get us to the building and this was incredibly frustrating and perplexing to us. It wasn’t until we stopped a campus bicycle cop that we got on the right track. Also there should be bigger signs for the routes to the different buildings-the maps were not detailed enough.
3. Extend the Festival by a day. The weekend is simply not enough for the scope of the gorgeous UCLA campus and all the panels and exhibits. I would willingly take a day off of work to attend a Friday schedule.
All in all this is an event NOT to be missed. Several of my friends from graduate school and I are talking about going in a group next year and I cannot wait. April can’t come too soon for this bibliophile!