I’ve always loved to eat, but I didn’t always love Food Network- now before you come and strangle me on how I could make such an outrageous statement, hear me out! I didn’t grow up with cable television, and I certainly did not know about a station dedicated solely to food. I was young and naive, what can I say?!
It wasn’t until I moved out to New York City for graduate school that I really got exposed to this culture and was drawn into it. On the hours when I couldn’t cram any more book knowledge, I plopped right in front of the TV in our community room and flipped through the channels. I started watching various programs on the Food Network and got hooked. Giada was one of my favorite tv chefs and I especially loved her radiant smile. Her exaggerated enunciation of words is extremely characteristic of her and she just seemed so down-to-earth. I loved her along with her chef buddies Robert Irvine, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown on “The Next Food Network Star” and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”
While these shows were entertaining, I will admit that these chefs helped me momentarily escapes some really difficult moments during graduate school and refocus my energy towards good food and great times. A few years later I relocated back to sunny Southern California and while it’s a far cry from the mecca of eclectic food options in New York, my adventurous spirit still drives me to find some of So Cal’s best finds.
Recently, one of my yelp buddies informed me that Giada was going to be make an appearance at South Coast Plaza to promote her new book. I was ecstatic. This was not my first celebrity chef book signing (I have an autograph of Alton Brown’s Good Eats book!!), but I had no idea what this event was going to be like. I dropped by Williams Sonoma to pre-order my book (approx. $35) and inquired about their past book signings. I was told that though the event started at 1pm, fans start lining up at 8am! Now I wasn’t going duke it out with Giada’s #1 fan, but I’d heard horror stories of fans who came in late and not get to see their idol because the authors were shuffled off to the next book signing gig. Scary thought. Anyways, for my readers interested in participating in a future book tour (William Sonoma does a ton of them!) I decided to compile a short list of tips to help maximize your book signing experience, but minimize your spending. Enjoy!
1) Wear comfortable shoes because you will be standing the entire time. This can help with bunion prevention and future doctor visits. I’d also advise wearing pants because you may be squatting a lot and doing that in a skirt or dress, just isn’t very lady-like 😛
2) Eat breakfast. Not only will your tummy thank you, but you will be much less inclined to make impulse purchases. While promoting consumerism is a noble cause, we want to minimize impulse purchases when prices are high. Yes, the food at the deli next door may look mouth-watering, but your wallet and stomach will be happy if you go to the event full and fully energized!
3) Bring water. You will want to keep hydrated
4) Bring something that can entertain you for several hours. I was able to write up a few yelp reviews for Portos Bakery (Yelp Review) in Glendale, CA, and Bonerts Slice of Pie (Yelp Review) in Santa Ana, CA. Feel free to check it out 🙂 I saw a few other patrons browse around the mall and came back with bags of goodies. Remember, when you’re bored, you’re more susceptible to impulse buying. Don’t do it!
5) Come early. Not only will you essentially be guaranteed a spot, but many businesses are not open yet and you’d be less likely to engage in impulse shopping.
What other tips would you find helpful to save money in an event like a book signing?