Officially, I did not go to the BEA. I went into the building on Sunday, the only day I was available because of Shavuos, but I didn't have a badge and I went to meet with my editor, who was in town for the convention and pre-scheduled it. At that point I could have gotten a free badge from her, but the convention was over in about an hour and I have no more room in my apartment for free books. From my editor and my boss (who attended on Friday), I learned the following things:
(1) There were less people this year. Some booksellers didn't show up at all, or sent very few people. It was not a wasteland, but it was no 2007.
(2) There were a lot of panels on e-books, as nobody knows how to price them and is mad at Amazon for arbitrarily deciding how books should be priced for the Kindle. Whatever the price is, in the publisher's opinion, it's always too low. About a year ago I went to a talk where I publisher said he thought e-books should be priced the same as regular books because they were the same, which had to have been the stupidest thing that came out of anyone's mouth that evening. Obviously they're not the same, and the lower price is a discount because of the production saved in creating a physical book and the money spent on the reader.
(3) Whatever company that decided to send drummers and dancers to promote their new e-Book deserves to die a fiery death of flames, or at the very least get some acid in the face. In other worsd, the people who had to be at the BEA for 3 days (or even 3 hours, really) did not appreciate their ear-pounding presence.
If you have interesting tales from the BEA, feel free to share them with the other readers here.