We want everyone to get the most out of Heartland as possible. Read our blog post for tips on navigating the show floor, forging connections, and staying comfortable while you spend a few days on your feet.
Download the Eventleaf Guide app
New this year! We have an app that serves as a complete trade show navigating experience: View event info, get push notifications from Heartland, message other attendees, arrange meetings, and take notes. Download the app and watch a quick video at the bottom of the page. This website will remain operational, but using the app is the best way to navigate the show.
Join the Heartland Discord server
New this year! White the Guide app leads you through the show and offers attendee-to-attendee messaging, join the Discord server to communicate with all Heartland attendees. Share rides, plan dinners, shout out questions about the show. Bookseller and publisher attendees have all been invited, so join this effective and fun tool for networking and communication. The link to join the server has been emailed directly to your inbox.
Pack for comfort and self-care. Pack a water bottle, comfortable shoes, and a warm layer in case the venue is cold. Whether you dress up a bit or wear your favorite bookstore T-shirt and sneakers, Heartland welcomes you as you are. Grab an external phone charger if you have it so you can use Heartland’s digital tools and your smartphone all day long.
Laptop. We are offering two working sessions in our education block. Bring your laptop if you are planning to attend the following sessions
FedEx account number. The Renaissance Center will organize pre-labeled shipments for FedEx pick up. All you need to do is bring your account number and use the provided supplies to pack up your boxes. This shipping option cannot be scheduled and will be sent via the slowest delivery option. If you need advanced delivery options, visit Allegra Printing in the venue where they offer FedEx shipping.
Business cards and/or press kit. Be sure to bring something to share with attendees an exhibitors, such a business card, book mark, or better yet, a press kit for your store. Sharing a press kit is an excellent way to break the ice with exhibitors on the show floor, and a great way to spark a conversation with a bookseller. (Our friends at NAIBA have a lot of great press kit samples on their website.)
Birdie's book drive. Heartland is hosting a book drive for Birdie’s Bookmobile, a local nonprofit dedicated to delivering reading materials to book deserts throughout Detroit. If you have room, pack books to donate to Birdie’s. Read more here.
Prepare your icebreakers: Think about a few specific tasks you might accomplish at the show. Would you like to build a wider backlist section, bulk up on a specific category, or draw more authors to your store? Think about this goal in detail and jot down a few talking points to easily start conversations with exhibitors.
When it comes to booksellers, what would you most like to chat about with a few hundred other likeminded people running the same type of business? Take a few moments to think about the answer to this question and ask the booksellers you meet. Ask your staff to prepare talking points about their favorite subjects and genres. Publishers especially love to know what booksellers are the best readers for their galleys.
Working with publishers and exhibitors
Remember that publishers and industry exhibitors make this show possible. Their support and participation drive the entire gathering, so it’s the least we can do to make their experience as valuable as possible.
Spend as much time as you can on the show floor, meeting with new exhibitors, speaking with reps, and discussing titles that you’re excited about--even if you’re not placing orders or if you’ve already done your ordering. We've talked with publishers about their goals for the show, and while placing orders is important, they really want to get to know booksellers, so broaden your focus to include far more than just seeing frontlist titles. As the people who bring their job to life by selling books to readers, you are a special commodity, so say hello.
Overall, think about the show in the broadest way possible. It's not only an opportunity to place orders or touch the books. It's also a tremendous tool to serve your needs, whatever they are, and also a big networking event and party that allows you to promote your store and simply chat with people who support you.
Attend the rep events and let the participating reps know that you valued their presentations. For many publishers, this platform for reps is one of the primary benefits of supporting the conference. Attending these events goes a long way toward ensuring that we can continue to host them and have an awesome show.
Show specials. There are two ways to access the show specials, which are special discounts to economize placing orders at the show.
Never take without asking
Exhibitors are generally happy to give you display copies of their books if you ask them, but remember to ask before you take anything from an exhibit. Sometimes publishers need to retain a copy for the duration of the show floor, but would be fine if you came back by at the close of the event.
Throughout the trade show floor, you’ll notice items in booths flagged with a “Silent Auction” marker. These items have been donated to benefit BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, and you can bid on these items throughout the show floor’s open periods. At 11:00 am on Friday, one hour before the close of the show floor, the winning bids will be announced. This can be an excellent way to purchase inventory below cost and come away from the trade show as a literal “winner.”