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[EAST] First time to PAX East? Read This!

FrugusFrugus PodcasterRegistered User regular
edited March 2013 in PAX East
Is this your first time at PAX East? 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 that isn't really FAQ material. If you have some first timer advice for others, feel free to post it!

--

Thanks to Zerzhul who made a trimmed down version of my first post, because I can't help writing walls of texts.

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. 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.

AND most importantly...
heels wrote: »
Be excellent to each other.

Weather: Boston in April can be cold! Bring a REAL coat and a scarf! There was no snow to be found at East from 2010 to 2012 (leftover piles from earlier in the year have been spotted before). We did not need winter boots. Bostonians often warn us not to take the past few years for granted as snow is always a remote possibility in March. Note that we did get a light snowfall at East 2013.

Travel within Boston to and from PAX: 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. Public transportation stops before PAX closes its doors, at which point you can grab a taxi, but if you wait until closing time you will wait in a long (yet well organized) line before you can catch a ride. For those who have a car, you can park under the BCEC (not overnight), but be warned: Boston is known for being difficult to drive around, a GPS is pretty much a must. Many hotels which are registered with the PAX event have a shuttle service, you will want to check and see if that service is available to you.

Get yourself some form of mobile data access: Bring one. They are a near absolute necessity. First and foremost, Guidebook is the official event schedule app which is available on all platforms. Any updates or last minute changes will be updated to the schedule which can be setup to send reminders on certain events that you do not want to miss. It also contains a list of vendors, maps, and all matters of very practical information about the event. Also consider Twitter which is heavily (and smartly) used to communicate information on line capacity, contests and attendees who are looking for players. Keep an eye out for hashtags like #PAX, #PAXEast, and check out the specific Twitter forum thread which comes up every year. Last but not least, QR codes are a thing now, and you will want to have the ability to scan them for various reasons. Exhibitors often give out codes in this form while attendees favor it more and more to pass along compressed contacted information.

Traveling long distances to go to PAX? Call your bank first: Take it from @TechGamingNews. "One major thing everyone should do is contact their bank, If you have never been to PAX or even if you have It is a great idea to contact your bank and let them know you will be heading to Boston MA. Why? because almost all banks have security features on their account bank cards that will automatically freeze your credit card if it sees spending limits different then what it has seen, it is always a good idea to let them know so you won't be embarrassed or stuck waiting to get it figured out or getting upset because the clerk keeps telling you its declined when you know there is money in the account." I could not agree more, since I had such troubles on my first two trips to PAX East.

The schedule only shows the tip of the iceberg: The schedule mostly mentions tournaments, concerts and panels. The floor plan does not come with a complete explanation of every exhibitor. This being said, both items only give a small sense of what you can expect to see at the event. This is not due to lack of proper effort on the organizer's part, the problem lies with the fact that Conventions are somewhat "living" events. For instance, you can't accurately tell what you will see on the show floor, nor is it possible to convey the mood of any free play area... Some places, such as the American Classic Arcade Museum (a PAX regular), JamSpace or the Hand Held Lounge, have no schedule. They just runs all the time, and so it may not appear on the schedule, but rather as a blip on the floor plan.

But wait, there's more: There are many community and company sponsored events/parties that happen in and outside of PAX during the entire weekend. Some start well before the event kicks off, sometimes they go beyond it. These are not official events and so they do not appear on the PAX Schedule, and they range from the simple to the most organized. You can learn about most community created events on the forums. For company sponsored events, many will eventually make their way to the forums as well, but the often enough that information will be shared on their own web site. If you are a fan of a specific company, keep an eye out for what they have to say online when PAX will be around the corner. You never know. You don't need to attend any of these parties to make your PAX experience worth while, this is just (cool) optional stuff.

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).

Food: With every new PAX comes a new Food thread by @Arsonisfun (it's not up at this time however) where you will hear people discuss their favorite places to eat, and sometimes places to avoid. Take special note of Foodler.com and Grubhub.com. These two services will show you which restaurants can deliver to your location. Yes, that may include your hotel room (I had no issues using this at the Westin). This is a plus for plus people who seek healthy options.

Beware of time sinks: There are many unique things to see and do at PAX, but some take more time than others. Some, maybe too much. What is worth your time is entirely up to you, but if I may, pleas read Rorus Raz's words of wisdom on the subject.
Spoiler:

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

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.

Frugus on
BloodSurge
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Posts

  • Josh5890Josh5890 ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Maybe I can get an answer here. I've never been to a convention before and I'm trying to figure out how I want to carry all of my stuff. Do you think this bag would work or something similar?

    http://www.amazon.com/Fantasybag-Urban-sport-pack-Black-SB-6826/dp/B00404S6S0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347249360&sr=8-1&keywords=sling+pack

    I'm looking to carry my 3DS and maybe another handheld, small snacks to help get through the day, a folder with any papers I would need for the day, and any other stuff I would need. I'm mainly trying to find something that will work better than my bulky backpack.

    Lets go to Pax South! January 23rd-25th.
  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    i know it's mentioned here, but i just want to add that the coat/bag check is REALLY helpful and great, so don't be afraid to use it. we've used it the last 2 pax easts to check regular stuff as well as awkward costume pieces and the people who run that thing are always friendly, helpful and efficient. i don't know how they stay on top of things so well with such a large crowd, but they do. seriously, those people are the BEST.

    <3 Daintier. Smarter. Better dressed. <3
  • mikegonzalezmikegonzalez Registered User regular
    Prime 2012 was my first PAX, and I found the Prime version of this thread to be very helpful. Just though I'd chime in as a recent first timer.

    Someone mentioned in the other thread that you could probably get away with not packing ANY t-shirts, given the type of swag you're likely to get, and while your milage may very, I was surprised at how true it was. I'm not saying you should take that chance (and I wouldn't), but I packed 7 shirts for my trip, and ended up packing 6 unused shirts on the way back. You're probably also going to be buying a PAX shirt or two, and most people start wearing them while still attending the con.

    Also, can't recommend the business card idea enough. Not doing this is probably my biggest regret from PAX, as the only people I've been able to reconnect with are those who gave me their cards.

    Other than that... take part in as many community events as you can, as those are probably going to be the things you remember most. Pay attention to the parties thread, as that's where I got a lot of my swag. The line to get into the expo hall was insane, and not worth the wait. I don't know if that applies to East, but it's something to take into account. If I had it to do over again, I would have skipped it altogether and hit the hall later in the day. Maybe take in the keynote instead.

    "I'm a reasonable guy. But, I've just experienced some very unreasonable things."

    XBL: ii Mike G ii - PSN: Greddy21 - Steam: notmikegonzalez - Slytherin - Death Eater
    Fenrisfang
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Josh5890 wrote: »
    Maybe I can get an answer here. I've never been to a convention before and I'm trying to figure out how I want to carry all of my stuff. Do you think this bag would work or something similar?

    http://www.amazon.com/Fantasybag-Urban-sport-pack-Black-SB-6826/dp/B00404S6S0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347249360&sr=8-1&keywords=sling+pack

    I'm looking to carry my 3DS and maybe another handheld, small snacks to help get through the day, a folder with any papers I would need for the day, and any other stuff I would need. I'm mainly trying to find something that will work better than my bulky backpack.

    It's all about personal preference. You need to figure out what will be comfy for you. Will that thing do the job? Yeah, probably. Will it be comfy for you? Impossible to tell for any of us.

    My personal recommendation is a nice 2-strap backpack with plenty of padding and some back ventilation so your back doesn't sweat like crazy while carrying it. Many people will also recommend messenger bags. My take is that if you think a messenger bag is better, you aren't carrying much stuff or you haven't actually worn a decent backpack, but once again that's a personal opinion and won't hold true for every person.

    Fenrisfang
  • FenrisfangFenrisfang Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Josh5890 wrote: »
    Maybe I can get an answer here. I've never been to a convention before and I'm trying to figure out how I want to carry all of my stuff. Do you think this bag would work or something similar?

    http://www.amazon.com/Fantasybag-Urban-sport-pack-Black-SB-6826/dp/B00404S6S0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347249360&sr=8-1&keywords=sling+pack

    I'm looking to carry my 3DS and maybe another handheld, small snacks to help get through the day, a folder with any papers I would need for the day, and any other stuff I would need. I'm mainly trying to find something that will work better than my bulky backpack.

    It's all about personal preference. You need to figure out what will be comfy for you. Will that thing do the job? Yeah, probably. Will it be comfy for you? Impossible to tell for any of us.

    My personal recommendation is a nice 2-strap backpack with plenty of padding and some back ventilation so your back doesn't sweat like crazy while carrying it. Many people will also recommend messenger bags. My take is that if you think a messenger bag is better, you aren't carrying much stuff or you haven't actually worn a decent backpack, but once again that's a personal opinion and won't hold true for every person.

    I agree. The only thing I would add is to keep in mind that if you are going to try to get the free swag that is around for trying stuff out, you want a bag that is big enough to carry that as well. PAX Prime 2012 was my first PAX so I don't know how different EAST is, but I was glad to have an almost empty backpack with me in the morning as it was almost full by the afternoon. That was just me though. Going with the personal perference part...if you are not really looking to hit up the swag or you are the kind of guy that is going to be heading back to the hotel often, this shouldn't be a worry.

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    "The perfect bag" topic constantly re-appears with every PAX incarnation. It never dies.

    The general consensus is that a good back pack can't be beat, especially thanks to lesser shoulder strain. I on the other hand am may sometimes revert to my trusty old bag of holding. I will say this however - a backpack is hard to beat when it comes to long term endurance.

    Indeed, you need to find the perfect balance with not carrying too much stuff and having enough space to accumulate stuff. It is an art and many people have spent a considerable amount of time trying to get it right. There are many threads in this sub forum alone that covers the subject, I suggest you search for them if you want to know more, but here is what I carry in mine nowadays (this goes for any event).
    Spoiler:

    Frugus on
  • LimondLimond Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    If your hotel is farther away then the Seaport, or you don't feel like walking. Bring multiple bags with you and leave some at the coat check for when one gets full. Also water can not be more important. It may be the tail end of March but it can get really hot due to the overwhelming number of people. Sugary drinks aren't a substitute for water.

    Edited an important type. Now we learn why I don't post till after 10am

    Limond on
    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    Limond wrote: »
    Also water can not be more important. It may be the tail end of March but it can get really hot due to the overwhelming number of people. Sugary drinks aren't a substitute for water.

    This, and FTFY :)

    There is also the fact that you will be walking / standing on your feet for a great deal of time. You will sweat, get tired and dehydrate. Do yourself a favor. A bottle of water and a good pair of walking shoes are akin to a towel in the Hitchhicker's guide to the Galaxy.

    Note that restrooms have water fountains so you can always drink / re-fill your water bottle.

  • d0ughb0yd0ughb0y Registered User regular
    Comfy Shoes that are broken in and don't give blisters because you're going to be walking miles day.
    A nice bag/backpack that isn't super bulky or a pain to lug around for multiple MILES every day.
    Water & a bottle (or two) that can be refilled. There are plenty of water coolers around to fill up from.
    Food. You're going to want to get a meal during the day and a nice dinner, but I also recommend you have some decent snacks (in addition to cookies that you can get from the various brigadiers.
    An open mind and a smile. You will meet some awesome people if you smile and say hello. Learning a new card/board/handheld game while on line for that awesome panel for an hour is awesome.

  • vttymvttym Registered User regular
    For those getting comfy shoes for the event, wear them for a week before - you don't want to be breaking in shoes on the floor. Trust me on that one. Otherwise, water and a backpack will get you by. Bring some healthy snacks (carrot sticks, granola bars) to get you by without gorging on their somewhat overpriced food. Will say the best value for food vs. price was the chicken fingers and fries tucked behind the rock band stage by the escalators.

  • Ana NgAna Ng Registered User regular
    vttym wrote: »
    For those getting comfy shoes for the event, wear them for a week before - you don't want to be breaking in shoes on the floor. Trust me on that one. Otherwise, water and a backpack will get you by. Bring some healthy snacks (carrot sticks, granola bars) to get you by without gorging on their somewhat overpriced food. Will say the best value for food vs. price was the chicken fingers and fries tucked behind the rock band stage by the escalators.

    +a thousand for snacks. Best decision I made was to buy a bottle of Gatorade, and after it was empty just keep refilling with water. Healthy snacks will save your life...! Or at least make you a lot less grumpy. When you're tired and hungry it's incredible what chugging some water and having a few handfuls of trail mix or chocolate/yogurt covered raisin can do for your spirits. And the cookie brigade is great for a quick sugar boost, plus good for charity :)

    And eat a good dinner every night. Unless they massively suck your hotel's front desk will give you suggestions on places to go or places that will deliver right to your room. I had an amazing, and NOT expensive, PAX Feast last year thanks for food delivery.

  • griff6659griff6659 Syracuse , NYRegistered User regular
    As everyone has been saying a nice padded backpack for all that swag you will be getting and a refillable water bottle with help you not have to buy water at the center. What I did last year was grab pop tarts for breakfast standing in the queue line and had a high energy protein bar to get me to lunch. As people have said before, two pairs of socks for each day is almost a must. Your feet will get tired from standing on the concrete floors of the expo hall all day. The change of socks really does give you that feeling of instant relief. This will be my third year at PAX East and the one thing I'm making sure to bring with me is a small quick game to socialize with more PAXers this year in the lines.

    Well, that is a thing!

    PAX East 2014:
    Hotel [x] Transportaion [Driving] Passes [x] Challenge Coin [Soon]

  • FenrisfangFenrisfang Registered User regular
    As people are mentioning snacks and such, I thought I would post some good advise I was given for my first PAX. Follow the 6-2-1 rule. 6 Hours of sleep at night, 2 full meals (not just snacks but a MEAL), 1 shower a day (for the sake of everyone else...please, at least one a day).

    The other thing I would add to the backpack list is a change of socks (as posted lost here). I was doubtful on this one but figured it wouldn't hurt to try and it was amazing how much it helped my feet to just change my socks mid-day.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Fenrisfang wrote: »
    As people are mentioning snacks and such, I thought I would post some good advise I was given for my first PAX. Follow the 6-2-1 rule. 6 Hours of sleep at night, 2 full meals (not just snacks but a MEAL), 1 shower a day (for the sake of everyone else...please, at least one a day).

    The other thing I would add to the backpack list is a change of socks (as posted lost here). I was doubtful on this one but figured it wouldn't hurt to try and it was amazing how much it helped my feet to just change my socks mid-day.

    The 5-2-1 rule is actually in the OP :) (It seems to vary between 5-2-1 and 6-2-1).

  • TabooPhantasyTabooPhantasy Registered User regular
    As a first timer last year one of my biggest regrets was putting off dinner for later on Saturday night. I put it off thinking, "Oh, it won't be a problem, there are plenty of places to get food here!" but, by the time I was "ready" to find food, nearly everything was closed! I wandered around for probably half an hour before finally finding something. I was so tired and so hungry I thought I was going to cry. I got my meal (a burrito from the Mexican place), DEVOURED it, and nearly made myself sick!
    When you get hungry, EAT!

    I also learned that booking a plane ticket (not even that early, only like, a week or two in advance) costs the same amount as the train ticket from DC to Boston! This year (depending on when the train in this area leaves), I will take the train up and fly home. Come Monday morning I was really ready to be home fast and not looking forward to the 8-hour train ride.

    ~Taboo
    3DS: 1977-0225-4258
    BlizzID: Taboo#1448

    PAX East 2014: Pokecrawl Team Green White, Cookie Brigade (Distributor)
    PAX East 2013: Pre-PAX Dinner (Team Cheeseburger), Cookie Brigade (Baker & Distributor)
    PAX East 2012: Pokecrawl Team Blue Silver, Cookie Brigade (Baker)
    MD PAX Meetup Thread
  • TheAggroCraigTheAggroCraig MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    As a first timer last year one of my biggest regrets was putting off dinner for later on Saturday night. I put it off thinking, "Oh, it won't be a problem, there are plenty of places to get food here!" but, by the time I was "ready" to find food, nearly everything was closed! I wandered around for probably half an hour before finally finding something. I was so tired and so hungry I thought I was going to cry. I got my meal (a burrito from the Mexican place), DEVOURED it, and nearly made myself sick!
    When you get hungry, EAT!

    I also learned that booking a plane ticket (not even that early, only like, a week or two in advance) costs the same amount as the train ticket from DC to Boston! This year (depending on when the train in this area leaves), I will take the train up and fly home. Come Monday morning I was really ready to be home fast and not looking forward to the 8-hour train ride.

    Dude, China Town.

    adias.angel
  • griff6659griff6659 Syracuse , NYRegistered User regular
    As a first timer last year one of my biggest regrets was putting off dinner for later on Saturday night. I put it off thinking, "Oh, it won't be a problem, there are plenty of places to get food here!" but, by the time I was "ready" to find food, nearly everything was closed! I wandered around for probably half an hour before finally finding something. I was so tired and so hungry I thought I was going to cry. I got my meal (a burrito from the Mexican place), DEVOURED it, and nearly made myself sick!
    When you get hungry, EAT!

    I also learned that booking a plane ticket (not even that early, only like, a week or two in advance) costs the same amount as the train ticket from DC to Boston! This year (depending on when the train in this area leaves), I will take the train up and fly home. Come Monday morning I was really ready to be home fast and not looking forward to the 8-hour train ride.


    If you run into this situation again you could always just go to I believe its called MJ O'Connors, they have awesome burgers and beer. Their prices aren't bad as comparing them to the convention center.

    Well, that is a thing!

    PAX East 2014:
    Hotel [x] Transportaion [Driving] Passes [x] Challenge Coin [Soon]

  • OminousLozengeOminousLozenge Registered User regular
    On the broad subject of footwear, socks are every bit as important to keeping your feet healthy and blister-free as shoes. Look into something like Smartwool socks - there are several brands and varieties, but what you want is a nice, comfortable sock with flat seams and made of a wicking material (like wool). Flat seams eliminate chafing, wicking keeps the skin dry, and between the two greatly reduces the likelihood of rubbing your skin raw or developing a blister. If you really tend to perspire in your feet, pack a spare pair in your backpack and swap out midway through the day. It's entirely possible that you're going to be on your feet, in your shoes, walking and standing and doing who knows what else, from roughly 9 am until 2 am - roughly 17 hours. I recommend getting wicking undergarments beyond just the socks for comfort under those conditions (my wife and I have found UnderArmor and Ex Officio to be good choices), but at a minimum good socks will be a lifesaver.

    Sometimes I have ideas for things.
  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    griff6659 wrote: »
    As a first timer last year one of my biggest regrets was putting off dinner for later on Saturday night. I put it off thinking, "Oh, it won't be a problem, there are plenty of places to get food here!" but, by the time I was "ready" to find food, nearly everything was closed! I wandered around for probably half an hour before finally finding something. I was so tired and so hungry I thought I was going to cry. I got my meal (a burrito from the Mexican place), DEVOURED it, and nearly made myself sick!
    When you get hungry, EAT!

    I also learned that booking a plane ticket (not even that early, only like, a week or two in advance) costs the same amount as the train ticket from DC to Boston! This year (depending on when the train in this area leaves), I will take the train up and fly home. Come Monday morning I was really ready to be home fast and not looking forward to the 8-hour train ride.

    If you run into this situation again you could always just go to I believe its called MJ O'Connors, they have awesome burgers and beer. Their prices aren't bad as comparing them to the convention center.

    This. The hotel loby at the Westin also has a decent selection. It's a bit pricey, but it was not tooooo bad. I actually liked it. I'll say that it defined the limit I would pay for food I know is overpriced, if you know what I mean. It was very good though, which helped.

    I should have also mentionned foodler and grub hub... Check it out if you never heard about those web sites. We ordered some food directly to our hotel room this way, prices, quantity and quality were spot on.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    There will likely be a food thread and maybe a bar thread once @arsonisfun gets off his lazy rump`

    adias.angel
  • TrandescentTrandescent Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    1: Your favorite developer doing a panel? Show up way early in advance. I found this out the hard way when i showed up to the Gearbox Panel 20 minutes before it began to hear it had been filled for more than a hour before I got there.

    2: Bring food and drinks. Both are pretty expensive up there and if you want to save your money so you can buy some merchandise, i'd recommend packing a lot of drinks (all of the walking will get you thirsty) and a bunch of snacks with you. In the event you run out of snacks, cookie brigade has done an awesome job at being right where you need them.

    3: If you have a 3-day pass, do not be afraid to wait on extremely long lines for large games early in on the con(IE: Borderlands 2) if you want to get some of the swag they are handing out. The lines dont get any shorter as the con goes on for large booths and the only difference between going Friday and Saturday/Sunday is that there will be no more swag left to go around.

    4: Bring a handheld gaming system with you to use in lines. If you're in a hour long line, handheld games seem to be your best bet. The 3DS was the hot item at East 2012 and you could find a multiplayer game in pretty much any line you entered.

    5: The business card suggestion? Do this. I can't tell you how many people I wish I could have given a card and stayed in contact with.

    6: Please keep attention to hygiene. I can't complain about East 2012's hygiene, but lets keep it that way!

    7: I can't agree with the OP enough when I say use a backpack as opposed to a messenger bag. I have both and the backpack is much easier to carry around on your person.

    8: Do not be afraid to socialize. Everyone around you has similar interests and usually anybody is up for a chat- especially in lines. And, as OP said, don't be a dick.

    Trandescent on
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    PAX East 2014 Checklist: Hotel [X] Travel [X] BYOC Pass [X] 3-day PAX pass [X]
  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo HAPPY WAALUWEEN Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited September 2012
    You will either quickly learn this, or you will find that three days have passed and you spent 90% of them sitting in line: the Exhibition Hall is cool, but don't get expect to see what you want to see.

    In 2011, the line for Star Wars: The Old Republic, had a wait for five hours. I went as fast as I could the second the Hall opened on Sunday morning without running (running is bad, do not run), and still had a 3-4 hour wait. In 2012, Borderlands 2 had a 4-6 hour wait. The bottom line is that the AAA titles that everyone wants to play result in huge, likely boring lines for maybe 15-60 minutes of game time. That's a goddamn waste of your time and money, so I would curb your enthusiasm for seeing whatever big ticket title is going to be appearing next March.

    The Hall is still great though: you can find a lot of upcoming indie titles that you probably wouldn't have otherwise noticed. And really: you are going to buy that multi-million dollar game from Big Publisher anyways, so why not stay on the lookout for awesome titles that don't have millions to get your attention? You also tend to get to talk directly with the devs, who are hungry artists eager to listen to your feedback. I cannot say how cool it is to spend a half hour or so shooting the breeze with something who making the game and very enthusiastic about their craft. You aren't generally going to get that with the big brand titles.

    There's also other neat stuff like board games and stuff. Just don't make the mistake of spending all your time at the Exhibition Hall. There is so much more to PAX than that.

    Bobkins Flymo on
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    LexiconGrrlN13
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    You will either quickly learn this, or you will find that three days have passed and you spent 90% of them sitting in line: the Exhibition Hall is cool, but don't get expect to see what you want to see.

    In 2011, the line for Star Wars: The Old Republic, had a wait for five hours. I went as fast as I could the second the Hall opened on Sunday morning without running (running is bad, do not run), and still had a 3-4 hour wait. In 2012, Borderlands 2 had a 4-6 hour wait. The bottom line is that the AAA titles that everyone wants to play result in huge, likely boring lines for maybe 15-60 minutes of game time. That's a goddamn waste of your time and money, so I would curb your enthusiasm for seeing whatever big ticket title is going to be appearing next March.

    The Hall is still great though: you can find a lot of upcoming indie titles that you probably wouldn't have otherwise noticed. And really: you are going to buy that multi-million dollar game from Big Publisher anyways, so why not stay on the lookout for awesome titles that don't have millions to get your attention? You also tend to get to talk directly with the devs, who are hungry artists eager to listen to your feedback. I cannot say how cool it is to spend a half hour or so shooting the breeze with something who making the game and very enthusiastic about their craft. You aren't generally going to get that with the big brand titles.

    There's also other neat stuff like board games and stuff. Just don't make the mistake of spending all your time at the Exhibition Hall. There is so much more to PAX than that.

    I love being able to go up to Indie devs and discussing their game with the actual developers instead of marketing representatives; it's my favorite part of the expo hall. I also know people who totally think it's worth it to wait in the lines for the AAA titles ;) I would also warn against those lines, but hey without them maybe the Indie lines wouldn't be as short and easy.

  • Romanian My EscutcheonRomanian My Escutcheon Two of Forks Registered User regular
    It's worth mentioning that between riding the T, interacting with hundreds of complete strangers, and hanging out in Boston's brisk spring weather, you are at a drastically increased risk for illness at East.

    Obviously bringing your own hand sanitizer is a good way to stymie the risk, but you may also want to stop by your nearest department store/supermarket and pick up some vitamin supplements prior to the event.

    For the low, low cost of ten dollars, I got some hand sanitizer, a bottle of Advil, and a roll of vitamins, all of which served to ensure I came back from East in peak physical condition.

    Those of you who think you are tough shit, you are not. PAX's patented (?) diseases will eat you alive. You will arrive strong and young, and depart as a quivering mass of illness. Do not do this. It sucks for you, and those around you.

    2cf4m6f.gif
  • adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    Spend some time in the indie showcase area! (And do the passport if they have it again, it was fun talking to all the devs.) It has by far been my favorite part of PAX for both East and Prime.

    Prime 2014 Status: .[] 4-Day Badges .[] Hotel .[] Plane Tickets .[ .] Waiting Patiently .
    Attendee: Prime '12, '13, '14 .. East '12
  • vttymvttym Registered User regular
    Spend some time in the indie showcase area! (And do the passport if they have it again, it was fun talking to all the devs.) It has by far been my favorite part of PAX for both East and Prime.

    Going as non-media this year, this will be one of the things I'm looking forward to most. I tended to gravitate towards the AAA stuff in years past, mainly because that's what I knew the readers wanted info on .. Looking forward to paying more attention to all of the little guys this (next) year.

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    I plan on updating the best recommendations that I find here. Some of this stuff should be considered canon. Will do some once I'm back from work.

  • xenardxenard Registered User regular
    A comfortable bookbag cannot be stressed enough. I made the horrible mistake of using a sling and was in pain within a few hours. Say no to slings!

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    3DS Friend Code: 2449-5711-0640
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  • WolfieeWolfiee Registered User regular
    Pax East is in March again this year, not April, I believe... (I hope).

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    Badges [x] Hotel [x] Complete Sandboxx [ ] Excitement [x]
  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    I sound like a broken record to keep saying this, but it's amazing the difference it makes...

    Bring extra socks and carry them with you during the day! Feet getting sore? Change your socks. It's magic, I swear.

    Edit: Heh looks like I just didn't look hard enough, this particular tip has already been covered! :P

    Nullzone on
    Direwolf
  • WolfieeWolfiee Registered User regular
    For the penny pinchers - pack snacks and lunches! Boyfriend and I made the mistake of not doing that the first year and spent a lot of unnecessary money on food. The following two years, we put our sandwiches in small tuppaware containers, and packed tons of baggies of snacks for inbetween. Just snack throughout the day and have a bigger meal when you get home/back to the hotel for the night and you should be good. Saved us a lot C:

    6ewoXms.jpg
    Badges [x] Hotel [x] Complete Sandboxx [ ] Excitement [x]
  • d0ughb0yd0ughb0y Registered User regular
    Have some singles and fives in your pocket to be able to donate when the CookieBrigade comes around. Not only do you get wonderful, yummy treats, but you also get the satisfaction/warm & fuzzy feeling of helping out a great cause.

    punziexenardadias.angelLexiconGrrl
  • xenardxenard Registered User regular
    Also something I think worth mentioning is that if you're staying at the Westin there's a refrigerator in your room that you can use to store food in. Just ask them to turn it on the day you arrive. I stocked up on subs from 7-11

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    3DS Friend Code: 2449-5711-0640
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  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    xenard wrote: »
    Also something I think worth mentioning is that if you're staying at the Westin there's a refrigerator in your room that you can use to store food in. Just ask them to turn it on the day you arrive. I stocked up on subs from 7-11

    extra emphasis on the remembering to ask them to turn it on. we spent the whole weekend wondering why the fridge was broken before realizing it was something you had to request.

    <3 Daintier. Smarter. Better dressed. <3
  • Josh5890Josh5890 ChicagoRegistered User regular
    tvethiopia wrote: »
    extra emphasis on the remembering to ask them to turn it on. we spent the whole weekend wondering why the fridge was broken before realizing it was something you had to request.

    Is that something you have to call ahead to request or can you just ask them when you check in?

    Lets go to Pax South! January 23rd-25th.
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Josh5890 wrote: »
    tvethiopia wrote: »
    extra emphasis on the remembering to ask them to turn it on. we spent the whole weekend wondering why the fridge was broken before realizing it was something you had to request.

    Is that something you have to call ahead to request or can you just ask them when you check in?

    I think you can call ahead once the reservation is transferred over, but it can't hurt to ask again at the desk.

    xenard
  • ImsoradImsorad This guy I know United StatesRegistered User regular
    Great info here. Thank you!

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  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    Added more stuff in the original post, edited things here and there, but I did not touch the content added by other users. Suggestions are always welcomed.

  • cocowoushicocowoushi Registered User regular
    Spend some time in the indie showcase area! (And do the passport if they have it again, it was fun talking to all the devs.) It has by far been my favorite part of PAX for both East and Prime.

    Quoted for emphasis. Everyone needs to spend some time in Indie Alley. Amazing games and creators here!

    adias.angel
  • purevalpureval Registered User regular
    If you are the type to collect posters purchase a poster tube and bring it with you. All of the cool posters I picked up the first year were ruined by the time I got to the car. Just make sure you have the tube with you when you leave anywhere.

    gerafin
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