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[EAST] First Time to PAX East? Stuff you may want to know lies within

zerzhulzerzhul Old GeneralRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
edited September 2011 in PAX Archive
Is this your first time at PAX? READ THE MAIN FAQ STICKY FIRST, a lot of valuable information is there!

After that, this is a good place for first timer specific advice.

--

A fair bit of this is taken from Frugus' post last year, and trimmed down to be just information.

Boston in April can be cold! Bring a REAL coat and a scarf! There was no snow to be found at East 2011 other than leftover piles from earlier in the year. This may have been a fluke, but we did not need winter boots.

How you travel to and from the convention is up to you, but if you do not have a car, you have the option of using public transportation and Taxis. And yes, after hours is something you must think about if you go to PAX. It's not just the concerts which last up to around 2 am, many other events such as free board game rooms may take up your time as well. And then there are the other events, be them official or not, that will be organized around the city.

Get yourself some form of mobile data access!!! Many events and meetings will be discussed on the forums, but good deal of new, secret and last minute stuff will be added as well and will only be available to you if you have a readily available connection to the internet. I cannot stress this point enough - there is much more to PAX than just the official schedule! This is how you will get to know about the Twitter Meetups, the special events held by companies, last minute city concerts, special contests, you name it. The forum was receiving surprise last minute threads on such matters and Twitter was in heavy use.

If you're not a resident of the US, getting a data plan may or may not be a complicated thing, however there was a free Wi-Fi connection available at the BCEC. It was sluggish but it worked for the most part.

There are many pre-pax events organized by the community, so you may want to arrive a couple of days early. You likely won't have time to be toursity during PAX proper, so that is important to consider as well when planning your PAX trip.

Making Friends -
A great way to stay in touch with the new friends you will make is to get some cheap business cards. Stick your email address, gamertag, forum name, whatever on them. Hand them out to all the awesome people you will most certainly meet.

Carrying Your Stuff -
Come Friday night, your one shoulder will be KILLING you. Trust me, you want to evenly distribute the weight. Go for something that you know will be comfortable over the course of a long day. I personally prefer a backpack, not a messenger bag. LABEL YOUR STUFF. either get a label maker, or some sharpies - I highly recommend putting your phone number on them. You never know when you may accidentally leave something behind.

Recharging your devices: Plan ahead. Recharge everything overnight, and perhaps find a compact charging solution to carry with you. Be considerate of outlet use and try not to use more than one at a time (bringing a small power strip can make you a lot of friends).

Reposting The @CatBoy List from the FAQ. One should not underestimate its importance
Spoiler:

zerzhul on
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Posts

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    edited September 2011
    The next section is taken from @sary from last year, with some modifications
    sary wrote:

    Color Guide: POSITIVELY MUST READ! | You probably want to know this. | The Details

    3 PAX{East} RULES TO LIVE BY
    1. Wheaton's Law is... Law. - seriously, just DON'T BE A DICK.
    2. 5-2-(2)-1 - Common Con advice is you should have a minimum of:
      • 5 hours of sleep
        the hours of 3:30 to 8:30 am are a good choice, as that won't overlap with too much going on.
      • 2 (actual, balanced) meals
      • 1 shower - for yourself, to refresh for or after a long day of awesome
      EACH DAY.

      A common recommendation is that you add to that - with 2 liters of water.

    3. Enforcers make PAX{East} happen! Treat them awesomely.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    • Remember: PAX{East} opens on Friday at 10AM. Book your hotel rooms and set your alarm clock accordingly.

    • Realize now that you will not be able to do everything you plan on doing. Even if none of the panels conflict, even if you swear to wake up early every day, even if you are the latest Companion and have a key to the TARDIS. You will not be able to do everything you plan on doing - Schedules get juggled, alarm clocks fail to go off, multiverses need saving...

      Block out your Must-Sees, your Want-to-Sees, and your Eh-that-sounds-cool-but-I-don't-really-care-one-way-or-the-others. Schedule, oversleep, reschedule, cancel, and reschedule (again) accordingly.

    • For those of you worried about winter clothing:

      The BCEC ran a very nice coat/bag check at East 2011 that was a reasonable price ($3? I don't remember exactly). If you are concerned about not wanting to bring a big coat, you can layer (spoiler for an example).
      Spoiler:

    • Pretty much mandatory for EVERYONE though... a warm HAT that covers your ears - so, knitted or fleece, etc., not just a baseball cap! (The reversible fleece hats they sold last year were pretty spiffy...) And for the love of gord, this ESPECIALLY if you have piercings. The metal conducts the cold like no other.

      You'd be amazed at how you can get by with a lighter coat, so long as you have an awesome warm hat. And maybe mittens.

    • As far as non-outerwear clothing goes: the Official FAQ says to bring a pair of socks a day, plus one extra - really, bring at least two pairs of socks for each day. Carry the spare with you. Middle of the day, your feet are tired (despite those comfortable walking shoes that you're wearing, right?)... change your socks, instant refresher.

    • If your mobile data plan sucks (or you don't have a smartphone), up your text messages - a lot of things have twitter accounts, and you can just push tweets to your phone.

      Bonus: texts seem to get through a tad more reliably when the circuits are in heavy use, than data or voice does. not guaranteed to be perfect, though.

    zerzhul on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Frugus wrote:
    Be this news to you or not, you have to understand one thing about this convention - it is not like other conventions. Well, of course all conventions are somewhat different, but their themes tend to be the same: Get a bunch of things people like and put that in one room. PAX however is about getting all the people that love the same stuff in one room, the rest will naturally follow. In a certain way, Penny-Arcade and everyone that's behind it represent the glue that holds all our common interests together, so if you get a bunch of people who like there stuff together... well you can see where I'm going. This is why there are so many community driven events that work amazingly well. This is why the attending corporations don't get in your face too much. This why people have so much fun and leave with such a great experience.
    heels wrote: »
    Be excellent to each other.

  • KyussKyuss Registered User regular
    The weather in Boston last year was great. I never needed anything more than a light sweater the whole time. Even late at night. That could have also just been the booze keeping me warm at night though.

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Yeah the weather was really nice for the time of year. It still did get cold (depending on one's definition of "cold") though. A hoodie was plenty for me, but I tolerate the cold very well. This year's East is about a month later in the year, but that doesn't necessarily mean better temps.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Cash. The ATMS can and will look like a zombie apocalypse just hit, and many of the vendors only accept dollars. I'm not saying walk around with five grand in your wallet, that would be silly, but keeping a 20 in case you need to take a cab ride would be advantageous.

  • KilonumKilonum [E] West of Boston, East of WorcesterRegistered User regular
    Really, all Boson-licensed cabbies are MUST take credit/debit cards, and if they refuse to (for whatever reason, including malfunctioning equipment, they're supposed to take the cab out of service to get it fixed), complain to the Boston Police with both their license number and the cab number.

    But still having cash on hand is a good idea as again, many vendors are cash-only and sometimes the systems just plain don't work for whatever reason.

    9kcFSJ7.png

    Pax East 2014 checklist: Accomodations [X] Travel [X] Time Off [X] BYOC [X]
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Kilonum wrote:
    Really, all Boson-licensed cabbies are MUST take credit/debit cards, and if they refuse to (for whatever reason, including malfunctioning equipment, they're supposed to take the cab out of service to get it fixed), complain to the Boston Police with both their license number and the cab number.

    But still having cash on hand is a good idea as again, many vendors are cash-only and sometimes the systems just plain don't work for whatever reason.

    The one time I took a cab in Boston back in 2010, the guy told me the machine was broke (mind you he waited until AFTER we arrived). Previously, somebody said here on the forum that if the machine doesn't work, they are legally obligated to manually swipe your card. So, I pushed. He pushed back, trying to convince me to go inside to an ATM, withdraw cash, then come back to pay him. I refused and he eventually did a manual swipe (and got no tip for being a jerk about it, also for taking so much time arguing with me that I had to pay more).

    So, while in the end I got it done the way it should have been done (although I didn't know they were supposed to take them out of service), it was still a huge pain. If there's one bit of advice I can give based on this, it's that Boston cabbies are assholes, don't trust a word they say.

    I'm not even 100% sure the machine didn't work (it looked fine), he just told me it didn't, then outright refused to manual swipe until I argued with him about it.

  • KilonumKilonum [E] West of Boston, East of WorcesterRegistered User regular
    Next time that happens just call 1-617-536-TAXI (1-617-536-8294) or email Taxi.bpd@cityofboston.gov and complain. By the rules set forth by the Boston Police Hackney Unit (the licensing authority for Taxis in Boston).

    http://www.cityofboston.gov/Images_Documents/IOCNOTICE 08-06_tcm3-9933.pdf

    9kcFSJ7.png

    Pax East 2014 checklist: Accomodations [X] Travel [X] Time Off [X] BYOC [X]
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Good to know, although I was told 2 times cash only before I entered the cab, and I was only there 3 days. Even having that information doesn't do any good at the time.

  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    Moe Fwacky wrote:
    Kilonum wrote:
    Really, all Boson-licensed cabbies are MUST take credit/debit cards, and if they refuse to (for whatever reason, including malfunctioning equipment, they're supposed to take the cab out of service to get it fixed), complain to the Boston Police with both their license number and the cab number.

    But still having cash on hand is a good idea as again, many vendors are cash-only and sometimes the systems just plain don't work for whatever reason.

    The one time I took a cab in Boston back in 2010, the guy told me the machine was broke (mind you he waited until AFTER we arrived). Previously, somebody said here on the forum that if the machine doesn't work, they are legally obligated to manually swipe your card. So, I pushed. He pushed back, trying to convince me to go inside to an ATM, withdraw cash, then come back to pay him. I refused and he eventually did a manual swipe (and got no tip for being a jerk about it, also for taking so much time arguing with me that I had to pay more).

    So, while in the end I got it done the way it should have been done (although I didn't know they were supposed to take them out of service), it was still a huge pain. If there's one bit of advice I can give based on this, it's that Boston cabbies are assholes, don't trust a word they say.

    I'm not even 100% sure the machine didn't work (it looked fine), he just told me it didn't, then outright refused to manual swipe until I argued with him about it.

    this is really really common. they ALWAYS say the machine doesn't work, because they are obligated to have them but don't want to use them. and yes, boston cabbies are generally awful. i've seen them (on multiple occasions) not even run the meter and just make up a price on arrival. i would ask if they can take a card before even getting in; they'll probably agree just to get the fare. better still is just to carry cash so you don't have to deal with it. even better, take the T whenever possible. it's pretty simple to navigate.

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  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    I need to convert some Canadian Dollars to USD any idea of the amount i should bring just for the Vendor's at the show? and Do they sell stuff like xbox games Cheap at the show?

  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    avsfan590 wrote:
    I need to convert some Canadian Dollars to USD any idea of the amount i should bring just for the Vendor's at the show? and Do they sell stuff like xbox games Cheap at the show?

    Any con I go to I like to bring about $200 cash for incidentals/emergencies. I've yet to run out (though in some cases this is due to a large number of vendors also taking plastic, which is my preferred method of payment).

    There are usually a number of vendors that sell a lot of misc stuff but I don't know if I've ever seen modern videogames specifically...ones that sell games are often catering to retro markets.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    avsfan590 wrote:
    I need to convert some Canadian Dollars to USD any idea of the amount i should bring just for the Vendor's at the show? and Do they sell stuff like xbox games Cheap at the show?
    The video games are generally close to what you'd pay at gamestop, but other things get cheaper on Sunday, especially if it's a "bitch to carry." If there is a big bulky board game you want, and the company brought like 15, keep an eye out and if they have 10 last day do some haggling. Some items go fast too. But yeah 200 USD is reasonable, although I did see someone burn through 500 bucks and run to the ATM to buy more stuff, and I didn't blame him he had got a lot of pretty awesome stuff, not in my budget mind you, but you have avenues to spend as much money as you bring. Get the exchange done at a Canadian bank though because you will get the best rate there. Hotels also have currency exchanges but the rates are generally unfavorable to you or they have a fee. If your bank has a local branch in Boston you may also want to hit that if you start running low.

  • HuskyDorkHuskyDork Registered User regular
    PAX East 2011 was my first PAX, here's some things that I took away from it:

    1) Jump on the PAX hotel accommodations IMMEDIATELY when they’re released. I was flat broke and waited until I arrived in Boston to deal with finding a hotel, and it was a mistake. My friend and I ended up staying at the Seaport on Thursday night at full price, but they were sold out for the rest of the weekend. The Intercontinental wanted $300 a night, so we ended up at the Holiday Inn at Beacon Hill for $185 a night. It was an okay hotel, but it was so far away that we had to spend extra dough for the T or cabs. A lot of people are gunning for the Westin, but honestly the Seaport is very nice and not far away (although it sucked walking on the Friday morning when it poured). Also as mentioned in the Info/FAQ, you’re not charged for your room when you book, OnPeak will charge you later (like February-ish). (I’m not 100% on this, so PAX hotel folks from last year please correct me on this if I’m wrong.)

    2) Get your travel arrangements done early too. As for travel, I'm definitely on the side of taking the PAX train up on Thursday. Yes you do miss events the pre-PAX festivities for the most part, but getting the opportunity to ride and game with fellow PAX-ers for six hours is a lot of fun. Don't forget your DS (get a used one if you don't have one), because Mario Kart will ensue. Amtrak typically has good deals that don’t expire until the end of the year, so you’ll have some time to book.

    3) Want PAX specific merchandise? I suggest as soon as you check in and get your swag bag on Friday morning to head to the PA merch area. I waited about 90 minutes after the doors opened to saunter over, and one of the PAX 2011 shirts (the gray one) was already sold out in 4XL. I managed to grab a black 4XL, and I did see PAX scarfs available at that time too.

    4) $200 is a good amount to take with you, it’ll cover most of the food/drink/cab & T fare. The convention center food is pricey, but unfortunately that’s your only option unless you walk over the bridge toward the World Trade Center area. On another note, I think Boston cab drivers also work as stunt drivers in their spare time.

    5) The best times I found to roam the Expo Hall floor were on Friday morning and late Sunday afternoon. I know it’s criminal to miss the final stage of the Omegathon, but I was able to walk up to the Nintendo booth and play just about every 3DS game they had to demo. I found that Saturday and most of Sunday was pretty difficult to wander through the Expo Hall, so that was a good time to go see some excellent panels.

    6) FedEx your swag! The BCC has a FedEx Office conveniently located next to the Expo Hall entrance on the second floor. Grab a poster tube early (like Day 1 if you can), because all that was left on Saturday afternoon after the Bioshock signing were THE LARGEST POSTER TUBES KNOWN TO MANKIND. Seriously it was a pain in the ass to lug around. Box up all of your goodies you collected, then they’ll ship it to you that week. It saves you some space and some headaches, and it’s like another Christmas when the package comes. :)

    That’s all I have for now, sorry it’s long winded. I’ll add more if I can think of anything.

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  • ukiyo eukiyo e Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Something I haven't seen mentioned here is the location of the BCEC. While it is not in the middle of nowhere, it's close to the middle of nowhere. This requires some extra planning.

    There are a two nearby hotels (The Westin and The Seaport), they fill up fast so get your reservation in early. If you are staying at another hotel in the city make sure to include travel expenses in your budget.

    While there are some nearby restaurants, remember that you will be vying for a table with a couple thousand other people. Either make reservations early, or plan on taking cabs/public transit away from the convention center to find a meal.

    Get a 7 day public transit pass for $15. This provides unlimited travel for the subway, bus, and ferry. The BCEC is on the silverline, which (through a connection at south station) will get you almost anywhere in the city in under 30 minutes.

    ukiyo e on
    1EAFQ.gif
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    edited September 2011
    ukiyo e wrote:
    Something I haven't seen mentioned here is the location of the BCEC. While it is not in the middle of nowhere, it's close to the middle of nowhere. This requires some extra planning.

    There are a two nearby hotels (The Westin and The Seaport), they fill up fast so get your reservation in early. If you are staying at another hotel in the city make sure to include travel expenses in your budget.

    While there are some nearby restaurants, remember that you will be vying for a table with a couple thousand other people. Either make reservations early, or plan on taking cabs/public transit away from the convention center to find a meal.

    Get a 7 day public transit pass for $15. This provides unlimited travel for the subway, bus, and ferry. The BCEC is on the silverline, which (through a connection at south station) will get you almost anywhere in the city in under 30 minutes.

    The Renaissance is also close, closer than the Seaport depending on what entrance you use. I personally had zero issues getting a table at the nearby restaurants, but that certainly won't be everyone's experience and reservations are always a good idea.

    Middle of nowhere is very subjective. It isn't in the middle of everythng like the Hynes but when I think middle of nowhere I think in the woods ;). It's about a 10 minute walk to a more dense part of the city, or as you say a quick T ride. The public transit pass is a fantastic idea.

    zerzhul on
  • ukiyo eukiyo e Registered User regular
    I had absolutely no luck with restaurants last year, but I also ate during peak times. Hopefully they'll get some more food trucks into the area this year.

    1EAFQ.gif
  • Exodus1Exodus1 Registered User regular
    Kyuss wrote:
    The weather in Boston last year was great. I never needed anything more than a light sweater the whole time. Even late at night. That could have also just been the booze keeping me warm at night though.
    Hah, yea I guess it didn't snow last year, but man, me and a buddy waited for a bus to get to the pre-pax dinner...let me tell you, metal is not the right material for benches in Boston. I suggest at least a light coat, although I will say that once the pokecrawl got going, I didn't notice the cold lol.

    ukiyo e wrote:
    Get a 7 day public transit pass for $15. This provides unlimited travel for the subway, bus, and ferry. The BCEC is on the silverline, which (through a connection at south station) will get you almost anywhere in the city in under 30 minutes.

    This is a great option if you plan to be using the public system a bunch. If you are like me, and only plan to use it a few times, just make sure you pick up a CharlieCard, they give them out free at the station across from the BCEC, you get a discounted fare of $1.70 if you use the card.

  • BekerBeker PAX Aus Info Booth Mgr SeattleRegistered User regular
    Far as food options, last year they had a free restaurant trolly from the convention center (departing from the north side) that would take you to restaurants in the city and back. Its called "Dining in the Neighborhood" Trolley and as far as I can tell it will be running this year as well. Also there is both the PAX Info Desk and a BCEC Concierge desk that have a wealth of knowledge about what your dining options are and are more then happy to share.

    Lot of construction happening in the area as the City and businesses dump loads of money into it, our food options should get better every year.

    -Beker/Erick
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Last year was our first time at PAX East. Here's a couple of tips we learned:

    1. Boston cabbies are dicks. Seriously, we had awful cab experiences there. Buy a transit pass and if you absolutely must take a cab, be firm and don't let them jerk you around.

    2. The Westin lobby/bar area is really small and the servers are not friendly to tablesquatters who don't order. The food is also atrociously expensive, even for a hotel. There's a large, empty mezzanine area upstairs and you can always ask the staff for more folding tables and chairs to be set up there if you want.

    3. Most of the rooms have mini-fridges in them. Ask the hotel before you arrive to have yours hooked up and ready for you, then keep e-rations in it.

    4. There's a fabulous little independent grocery/deli about 5 blocks from the convention center. Load up on healthy snacks and fresh food there. Prices were reasonable, food looked great and it was a nice short walk. http://jpaceandson.com/index.php?page=southboston

    5. My Clearwire stick worked pretty well from our hotel room in the Westin for internet access and I'd imagine aircards would too.

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    2. The Westin lobby/bar area is really small and the servers are not friendly to tablesquatters who don't order. The food is also atrociously expensive, even for a hotel. There's a large, empty mezzanine area upstairs and you can always ask the staff for more folding tables and chairs to be set up there if you want.

    The lobby area is quite small, although I didn't feel like the food was expensive in the lobby bar area. Food expense *is* highly subjective though so what I think isn't expensive may not jive with others.

    The tables were open often, just not around meal time or peak bar time (which unfortunately happens to be during the time after pax closes on sunday and people want to play games). I went down there often in the late evenings and paxers were using the tables without issue.

    Not sure if anyone else noticed, but there was a lot of big open space in the lower level below the lobby with tables and chairs (looked like a small conference area) that wasn't in use during PAX. That might be a great place to play some boardgames in the evenings if it is able to be used without drawing ire from the staff.

  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    There were actually two (three?) restaurants in the Westin. Right across from the check-in desk were a lot of tables that had a bar attached, and I think they served some food. If you went to the elevators and turned left, there was another cafe there that was usually empty. I think there was also one to the left of the checkout desk, but I never went there.

    Also, there is a large open area with some benches on the second floor of the Westin, next to the elevators. If you don't mind sitting on the floor you can play board games there as well.

  • RegimentRegiment Registered User regular
    As far as food is concerned, I found that the convention center's main cafe was a little overpriced but not ridiculous, especially if you opted for Mexican or Chinese food with lots of rice and veggies. Although I didn't see it myself, there was a McDonald's just down the block (and I coerced my awesome friends to make a food run).

    Also, I want to second what everyone's been saying about carrying cash. You'll certainly come across something cheap that you really want, and you don't want to have to break out the credit card for the $5 Cthulhu Dice. I haven't ever needed to use one of the convention center ATMs.

    Lastly, if you're planning to wear a costume, be aware that the convention center is packed with people and tends to be rather warm, especially if you're buried in layers. I'm not sure how the guy in full-on Gears of War armor stayed upright.

    I never lose, I just win sideways.
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Regiment wrote:
    Lastly, if you're planning to wear a costume, be aware that the convention center is packed with people and tends to be rather warm, especially if you're buried in layers. I'm not sure how the guy in full-on Gears of War armor stayed upright.

    This is especially true for the expo floor or a popular panel, but there is ample space in the rest of the center to get out of the crowds if one needs a break.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    HuskyDork wrote:
    5) The best times I found to roam the Expo Hall floor were on Friday morning and late Sunday afternoon. I know it’s criminal to miss the final stage of the Omegathon
    The last round was good, but the night before where they played Jenga was way more intense.

  • SammySammy Registered User
    Just going to drop my 2cents here...

    Don't dismiss the Renaissance or the Seaport! They are right across the street from each other!
    We stayed at the Ren last year and it was really nice! Their staff was really friendly, and the room was really nice too.
    Both of these hotels are a literal 5 minute walk to the BCEC (faster if you speed walk out of excitement), and are significantly cheaper compared to the Westin. Yes the Westin is more convenient but if its not in the cards then these hotels are very nice!

    across from the Seaport was the DD and a 7/11, which was a very short walk around the corner from the Ren.
    inside the Ren was a starbucks and the hotels own restaurant, there was also a bank of america next to the hotel which was super convenient on the walk to the con!

    The restaurant inside the Ren was a bit expensive, but the food was amazing!!
    We ate lunch there and thought it was more than worth it for the quality, and the breakfast buffet is out of this world. and pretty reasonably priced for the amount of food you can eat that tastes that amazing. (waffles and pancakes oh my!)

    Also also! The T station is 2 minutes from both of these hotels. If I remember right the Seaport has its own little walkway leading to the station.

    Now i'm all excited! lol.

    hope some of this is useful to someone. :)

    Go Team !Squirtle!!!! Nurse Joy Pokecrawl '11

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    @Sammy Indeed, the Ren and Seaport are great options and as you say they are both super close to the T stop.

  • grkpektisgrkpektis Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Best advice I can give you is whatever you do, do not book a hotel or flight through the PAX site, almost every travel site is cheaper. But if you're going by train look at the train thread in the PAX forums because you will get a great deal even if you already have a ticket.

    Make a personal schedule (on your phone preferably) of after parties and events because there are so many it's hard to keep track.

    Panels are a lot of fun but the exhibit floor is funner imo, plus most of the panels will be posted online.

    grkpektis on
  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    grkpektis wrote:
    Best advice I can give you is whatever you do, do not book a hotel or flight through the PAX site, almost every travel site is cheaper.

    many of the closest hotels to the bcec will have little to no availability outside the pax block, and last year when the westin overbooked the first people to get bumped out of their rooms were people who did NOT book with pax. if cost is absolutely your number one priority, then yes, there are other options that will probably be cheaper, but remember that in many cases you get what you pay for and booking through pax can get you a more secure and convenient reservation.

    <3 Daintier. Smarter. Better dressed. <3
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    To echo what tvethiopia said, PAX block rooms get priority. If you want the best chances to actually get into the hotel you booked to stay in, then the PAX block is your best bet. If you're that strapped for cash, chances are you won't book at one of the three closest hotels anyway. If you're looking for a sub-$100/night room, it's likely you'll be further from the convention center anyway.

    On that note, the further you stay from the BCEC, the more you're going to spend in both cash and time on transit to/from your hotel. Be sure to factor that into your pricing when deciding on a place to stay. If you're just comparing hotel prices per night, and not taking into account the cost to travel to/from your hotel from the convention center, you might end up spending more money than if you had stayed closer.

  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    I know for a fact the Westin is already sold out of rooms - if you want to get in there, you have to go through the PAX block.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Heleor wrote:
    I know for a fact the Westin is already sold out of rooms - if you want to get in there, you have to go through the PAX block.

    Or at least they report "sold out" because of the block. But yeah, using the PAX hotel system is pretty necessary for getting into any of the close/popular hotels.

  • EmpharaEmphara Registered User regular
    @Sammy That was very helpful, thank you for posting that :) My fiancé, a few friends, and I are all planning on staying in the Renaissance. I hadn't seen much mention of it on here so it was cool to see that someone else has stayed there and that it was a good choice. We booked a room there months ago just to make sure we would have one, but we're going to check out the PAX hotel rates when they go up to see if the PAX rates are any better. If not we're definitely staying at the Renaissance. Thanks for posting some info on it :)

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    and as a general travel tip, if you get bumped make sure you get compensated. I heard of some people getting bumped to the other side of town and all they got was a free shuttle ride. Get an upgrade maybe some free room service. Cause a bit of a scene if you have too.

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    zepherin wrote:
    and as a general travel tip, if you get bumped make sure you get compensated. I heard of some people getting bumped to the other side of town and all they got was a free shuttle ride. Get an upgrade maybe some free room service. Cause a bit of a scene if you have too.

    You don't always have to create a scene. But, do be firm, and hold your ground. Also, unless the first offer for compensation is AMAZING, push for a little more. They typically start small to see what will make you happy. If you're bumped across town, make it clear that you are NOT happy.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Moe Fwacky wrote:
    You don't always have to create a scene. But, do be firm, and hold your ground. Also, unless the first offer for compensation is AMAZING, push for a little more. They typically start small to see what will make you happy. If you're bumped across town, make it clear that you are NOT happy.
    I don't mean like throw a fit, but make it clear that it is going to take more than a sorry to get you out of there and you will hold up the line if necessary, and while we are followers of Wheaton's law, in this case be confrontational.

  • klzklz Registered User regular
    4. There's a fabulous little independent grocery/deli about 5 blocks from the convention center. Load up on healthy snacks and fresh food there. Prices were reasonable, food looked great and it was a nice short walk. http://jpaceandson.com/index.php?page=southboston

    My group was smart enough to look in advance and found J Pace in the hitchhiker's guide and it was great to get a decent breakfast on Friday and Sat mornings. A good number of other PAXers were there when we dropped by too. Reasonably close and good food. Be aware that on Sunday, they open later than the con, so DD would be the better breakfast choice then.

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    Moe Fwacky wrote:
    To echo what tvethiopia said, PAX block rooms get priority. If you want the best chances to actually get into the hotel you booked to stay in, then the PAX block is your best bet. If you're that strapped for cash, chances are you won't book at one of the three closest hotels anyway. If you're looking for a sub-$100/night room, it's likely you'll be further from the convention center anyway.

    On that note, the further you stay from the BCEC, the more you're going to spend in both cash and time on transit to/from your hotel. Be sure to factor that into your pricing when deciding on a place to stay. If you're just comparing hotel prices per night, and not taking into account the cost to travel to/from your hotel from the convention center, you might end up spending more money than if you had stayed closer.

    Been there done that.

    I know I'm repeating myself here but I tried the "cheaper hotel" system last year. The PAX block offers some great discounts but you can find even more enticing prices if you know how to shop around. These hotels won't be close to the convention, however there are some possibilities that are still within "walking distance".

    In my case I got the Nine-Zero with 135$ a night, which is about 25 minutes walking distance from the front entrance.

    My experience is that...
    - Cabs could not be found at closing time unless you waited forever. Speaking of which, they would not use the optimal routes.
    - You're walking around all day. You accumulate fatigue. Each ride to and from was taking more time than it was supposed to. Incrementally.
    - The above point is worse if you bought tons of stuff and you're carrying it with you.
    - Public transport is not friendly to late night PAX activities, which is when most of the fun is happening.
    - It's not fun to walk back home during the Boston Curfew.

    Does this mean I won't do it again? Actually no. If you remotely in shape and know what you're getting into then there's definitely room for compromise. If you save 200$ dollars in hotel stays then that's money you can spend elsewhere.

    Improvements I would add should I do this again:
    - Don't skimp on the Public Transport 7 day pass (15$). It may not be compatible with the late night stuff but it's still going to help you a good deal during the day.
    - Carry cab money anyway just in case, and take the time to wait for a taxi if you stay until the very late hours. Who cares if you have to wait an hour, it's going to take you that much time to walk back anyway.

    This being said, I'm going to stay at the Westin (hopefully) mainly because I want to check out the PAX crowd.

    ps. Thanks Zerzhul :)

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Also check out the business district. I found a room about 2 miles away for 95 a night. I saw 3 other pax people staying there, and it wasn't in the pax block. I think even though the business district is close to pax they don't let events chew up their hotel rooms. On the flip side because it isn't in the pax block you miss out on some of the pax after events.

  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    Frugus wrote:
    - It's not fun to walk back home during the Boston Curfew.

    boston curfew?

    <3 Daintier. Smarter. Better dressed. <3
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