How much money should I bring to PAX?

link's toolbeltlink's toolbelt Registered User
edited February 2010 in PAX Archive
This is my first PAX that I have been too and as a college student I don't have a lot of money to begin with but I want to start saving some money to set aside for PAX east. How much money is enough because I don't want to go with too little and end up being poor after the first day and I also don't want to carry around too much. What is there to buy at PAX east and what do you usually spend your money on? What is a geek to do?

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  • RaymanRayman Registered User
    edited December 2009
    For the last two PAX Primes I just carried some spending cash and if I needed more I hit the ATM. I made sure my bank had ATMs in the area, made sure I knew where they were and had my budget set up so I didnt over spend. This allowed me to not carry a lot of cash but still enjoy. I usually had about 60 bucks on me just in case...not too much but enough if I saw something I liked etc...the thing I bought the most for myself and my kids was...FOOD...seems like we were always hungry...

    Rayman on
  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    For the most part, cash is only really needed if you're buying stuff inside the expo center itself or if you're going to cash-only food places (and not having stepped foot in Boston ever, I don't know where those are). Cash does help if you're getting food near the expo and the place is swamped, since it's faster that plastic (assuming you're not trying to pay for something ~$5 with a $100). I'd definitely carry around enough to cover food, and how much depends on how cheap you're willing to go.

    As for stuff to buy inside the expo, can't say with any certainty since the exhibitor list hasn't been released, but I'd eat my non-existant hat if the PA store didn't show up. There you can buy basically everything that's in the online store (obviously no comic prints) and a few exclusive goodies as well. However, the past couple of years they've had lines for plastic and cash, so I'd imagine that'd hold for PAX East. Whatever else you might want to buy in there depends entirely on what you like and who's selling stuff.

    tl;dr version: Carry enough for food, hit up ATM for merch if you can't pay with plastic.

    whypick1 on
    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • LethardicusLethardicus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The prudential mall has a citizens bank, bank of america, and sovereign bank atm all inside if you need it, good good to know.

    Lethardicus on
  • mentok1982mentok1982 I could never leave you PAX baby. BaltimoreRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    42.

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  • Pablo the PenguinPablo the Penguin Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Bring all of your money in a clearly labeled sack, and give it to a man with a top hat and suspenders standing in front of the convention hall.

    Pablo the Penguin on
  • That_Spoony_BardThat_Spoony_Bard Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    It really depends on what you want to do. If you just want to get a shirt and feed yourself, I'd say 60-80 is good. There is *alot* of merch you can buy and bars to go to (assuming you're of age). I'd bring as much as you could afford. If you leave PAX with money, good for you.

    That_Spoony_Bard on
  • link's toolbeltlink's toolbelt Registered User
    edited December 2009
    mentok1982 wrote: »
    42.
    of course that is the answer to everything. Why didn't I think of that before.

    link's toolbelt on
  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'd also be very interested in knowing how much of a "dealers room" kind of presence PAX has. From what I had read it was much more focused kn exhibitors,
    i.e. companies setting up booths to demo stuff and give away or sell some swag. Should I also expect a presence from booths not affiliated with any company but just dealers that are strictly there to sell games and game-related merch & collectibles?

    Gundabad on
  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Gundabad wrote: »
    I'd also be very interested in knowing how much of a "dealers room" kind of presence PAX has. From what I had read it was much more focused kn exhibitors,
    i.e. companies setting up booths to demo stuff and give away or sell some swag. Should I also expect a presence from booths not affiliated with any company but just dealers that are strictly there to sell games and game-related merch & collectibles?

    Not particularly. The only "we're really only here to sell stuff" exhibitors that I recall were from PAX '09 were PA (of course), Pink Gorilla, Sweet Kitty and Mana Potions. Some of the other exhibitors sold stuff, but that was secondary to demoing stuff.

    whypick1 on
    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • WormdundeeWormdundee Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I brought 800 dollars to PAX Prime which was to cover everything. Hotel, food, bars, and random things to buy. So it was like 200 for the hotel, another 100 or so for random bought stuff. The largest portion by far was for food. I probably spent 250-300 on food (this is including pubs/bars, so yeah). If you've got a cheap deal on a hotel, don't buy any swag, and eat cheaply, you could probably deal with only spending 300.

    O yeah, I had about 180 dollars left over, so I didn't spend it all.

    Wormdundee on
  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    There actually not a whole lot to buy at PAX. There's the official merch booth and a few vendors here and there. You COULD conceivably spend a lot of money, but I don't think people do.

    Like Wormdundee, my biggest expenditure was on food and alcohol. I probably spent $700-$800 at Prime between air fare, train ticket, hotel, PAX badge, various community events, food, and drink. That's what I'm budgeting for East.

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  • shadowobsessedshadowobsessed Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Well, I think it really depends on what you'd like to do. There is a LOT of stuff to buy. The official Penny Arcade store has PAX shirts, and other web-comic related shirts, as well as posters and paperback books. Then there are other places with wallscrolls, figurines, special edition game packages, t-shirts, and special Japan-only game stuff (Pink Gorilla). I'd say you could easily spend a few hundred dollars, if there are a lot of things that catch your interest. But, there are also easy ways to get free swag. Waiting in line gets you a nice little bag of swag already, and there's usually a couple of free large shirts in there. Then you can win gaming competitions (usually FPS'), or things like the NVidia competition they had this last year where you have to be at the right place at the right time, and you can win other prizes. Basically just make sure to scope out all of the possible deals there are, including raking through the schedule book thoroughly and going through all the pamphlets in your bag. I mistakenly thought that some adverts were trash when really I could've won prizes from them. Just scope out your options first! ^_^

    shadowobsessed on
  • LonoLono Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Food in Boston can get expensive. I believe someone mentioned a Shaw's Supermarket nearby the Convention Center, if you're on a budget, find it. If you have some money to spend on food, Boston is one of the most diverse in terms of culinary experience. The Quincy Market/Fanueil Hall area by itself is home to around 30 different places to eat. Plus buying merch, the bar crawl (if you're 21+, of course), and other expenses, you'd need a decent chunk of change to pull it off. I live only 1.5 hours away, so I'm driving in but still getting a hotel. I'm planning on spending only $300-$400, but I'm moving to Oklahoma on 3/30, so I'm bound to be a little thrifty. ;)

    Lono on
  • GoogalashGoogalash Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!

    /puts pinky to mouth

    Googalash on
  • avsfan590avsfan590 Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Does anyone know what exactly there is to buy at the PAX event is it just like t shirts or is there stuff worth bringing money for???

    avsfan590 on
  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    avsfan590 wrote: »
    Does anyone know what exactly there is to buy at the PAX event is it just like t shirts or is there stuff worth bringing money for???

    There is Penny Arcade Merch (shirts, hoodies, books, prints and posters) and a few other merch booths that have their own things going on. If you find a list of vendors, you can probably get in contact with them and ask what they will be bringing.

    No idea if Pink Gorilla is going to make the trek to Boston but they carried everything from PG Thongs to classic console games to plushies. It really depends on who the vendors are going to be.

    Liger on
    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    avsfan590 wrote: »
    Does anyone know what exactly there is to buy at the PAX event is it just like t shirts or is there stuff worth bringing money for???
    I had asked a similar question above, and was told there were only a small hand full of booths at PAX Prime where the primary purpose was to sell stuff. The booths were from these companies:

    http://www.pinkgorillagames.com/
    http://www.sweetkittyanime.com/
    and http://www.manapotions.com/

    The first two seem like very cool stores from the Seattle area, local to PAX Prime, therefore I doubt you'd see them flying all of their wares across the country. Perhaps some local Boston stores will show up to sell stuff? Being in it's first year, though, they might not be aware of PAX East. Not sure if floor space is at a big premium, or if more money could be made selling the space to one of the big companies, but maybe the PAX staff could reach out to some of these local shops?

    I've only been to Boston once but when I was there I did randomly stop at this store: http://www.funusual.com/ It is just full of odd and witty stuff, none directly game related, but all stuff the PAX crowd would appreciate. I bought a dog toy shaped like a giant rubber tongue, so you know, it looks like my dog has a novelty size tongue when she chews on the end of it. You get the idea. Weird fun stuff.

    As has been stated before, the floor at PAX is more for companies to come and promote their games, while occasionally selling you some themed merchandise for their company or said game which they are promoting.
    However, one of my favorite things about conventions is looking at booths full of odd collectibles, rare items, and things I generally just didn't know I ever wanted before. Sure you can find all this stuff on the internet but sometimes it's just more fun to browse in person!

    I went to the Fangoria (horror movie magazine) convention in NYC this past summer and they had a booth there almost exclusively dedicated to patches. As a good example of stuff I never knew I wanted before, I picked up Dharma Initiative patches from Lost at a booth dedicated to selling patches. Slap it on a tan jumpsuit and you have an instant Halloween costume. At a convention a few years prior there was a guy selling nothing but rare video game soundtracks on CD, and I picked up Streets of Rage 2.

    PAX seems like the gold standard of gaming conventions, so perhaps this flea market feel is a little below it, but I'm just saying don't underestimate the little guy!

    To stick closer to the thread topic, even if everyone here says there won't be much to buy, still budget a little extra in case you see something really cool. Don't carry a huge wad of cash, just plan to have a little flex room in your bank account. Besides, if something is that expensive you should probably take the time walking to the ATM to consider if you really want it or not.

    Gundabad on
  • FoamBrainFoamBrain Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I know my company, Foam Brain Games, will be there selling retail board games (and showing off some cool new stuff by some of our partners), and from what I heard from Reed there will be a few other retailers there, so it's not like it will be completely without places to spend money :)

    FoamBrain on
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited January 2010
    The easy answer to this question is bring as much money as you want to spend. Yes there will be things to buy, yes you will probably want to buy some and yes, some of it will be awesome.

    Moe Fwacky on
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  • ZeroHourHeroZeroHourHero Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    FoamBrain wrote: »
    I know my company, Foam Brain Games, will be there selling retail board games (and showing off some cool new stuff by some of our partners), and from what I heard from Reed there will be a few other retailers there, so it's not like it will be completely without places to spend money :)

    My best friends brother is autistic, and he loves board games, so you'll be seeing me.

    ZeroHourHero on
  • kahikahi Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I say bring a minimum of 1000 unmarked one dollar bills and make it rain

    kahi on
  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Aside from travel/hotel/etc expenses I only plan on having $300-$400 on me for stuff I wanna buy and food/bar money. I think I'll really only need like $150-200 though but better safe then sorry.

    Rdr on
  • ZeroHourHeroZeroHourHero Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Leave the gold bullion and jewels at home.

    ZeroHourHero on
  • Pablo the PenguinPablo the Penguin Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I survived last pax spending money only on lunch (it was a delicious sandwich) and that was it. If you want to buy stuff, just bring what you plan on buying should be worth, if not less.

    Pablo the Penguin on
  • MisterPlisskenMisterPlissken Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Oh gods. If Razer brings their new 360 controller with PAX emblazoned upon it I shall buy it and a fresh pair of pants.

    MisterPlissken on
  • LigerLiger Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    **shameless plug**

    Bring an extra $40 and buy one of my lanyards. You know you want tooooo.

    Liger on
    5932306549_6b4d957b56.jpg CUSTOM LANYARDS FOR PAX
  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Liger wrote: »
    **shameless plug**

    Bring an extra $40 and buy one of my lanyards. You know you want tooooo.

    Haha, I was going to email you and ask you your prices. Now I know. :) So you'll have some premade ones at PAX to sell?

    Rdr on
  • Gnrl HavocGnrl Havoc Registered User
    edited January 2010
    There are ATM's all over Boston. I'm not sure how close one is located to the Hines. Just like any big city, you'll find both expensive food places and cheap. Depends on what you feel like eating.

    If you plan on going out for drinks or whatever, then make sure you have enough money. Most bars in Boston will cost you. I usually spend $100 or more at the bar (that's in one night).

    Gnrl Havoc on
  • dardordardor Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Gnrl Havoc wrote: »
    There are ATM's all over Boston. I'm not sure how close one is located to the Hines. Just like any big city, you'll find both expensive food places and cheap. Depends on what you feel like eating.

    If you plan on going out for drinks or whatever, then make sure you have enough money. Most bars in Boston will cost you. I usually spend $100 or more at the bar (that's in one night).

    The problem with ATMs is ATM fees. As a matter of principle I don't use ATMs if I'll be charged a fee. My checking account is with Chase, and I'm almost positive there are no Chase banks in Boston.

    dardor on
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  • Blitz64Blitz64 Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Correct, I live in boston and never saw a chase bank atm. I thought they are a credit card company only.

    Blitz64 on
  • CoctopusCoctopus Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Also you don't really need to worry about food. The convention center is attached to the Prudential Center which has quite an extensive food court, so eating on the cheap is no problem. Additionally, I went home to Seattle for vacation and visted Pink Gorilla for the first time. It's quite an awesome store and I walked away with their last Castle Crasher figure, but I also made sure to ask about PAX East. As of a few weeks ago, they are not coming. It's quite expensive to go from Seattle to Boston especially with store stock, and they would rather stay where they are and go to the local anime convention Sakuracon.

    Coctopus on
  • H2O ShoagieH2O Shoagie Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Well for myself I am hoping 200 will cover all expenses. I must resist the temptation to spend too much. I know in Seattle I always want to pick up little things and usually resist for the most part knowing I will thank myself later.

    Also, I do not find ATM fees to be much of a problem if only visiting once or twice at most. Please do not be like some people I see and pay the fees just to get out a single 20 and then they are back doing it again later.

    H2O Shoagie on
  • chupamiubrechupamiubre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    yeah i dont find $2 to be that crazy or stupid to pay. Also google maps says there is a chase and bank of america within a few hundred feet of the convention center. That alone will cover some 70% of people at the con. I would find $200 hard to say the least to last the entire con. In most places i budget $20 a meal and thats every meal. Then some $50 in stuff each day it can get expensive. I think if you just work with what you have most people can make it work out well but going hungry on a vacation is never fun.

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  • H2O ShoagieH2O Shoagie Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    yeah i dont find $2 to be that crazy or stupid to pay. Also google maps says there is a chase and bank of america within a few hundred feet of the convention center. That alone will cover some 70% of people at the con. I would find $200 hard to say the least to last the entire con. In most places i budget $20 a meal and thats every meal. Then some $50 in stuff each day it can get expensive. I think if you just work with what you have most people can make it work out well but going hungry on a vacation is never fun.

    Well I know a lot of meals in Seattle consisted of Subway and the burritos downstairs in the lobby. That would only be 7 or so a meal. I guess I try to eat cheap and enjoy a few good meals instead of going all out the whole time.

    H2O Shoagie on
  • CoctopusCoctopus Registered User
    edited January 2010
    yeah i dont find $2 to be that crazy or stupid to pay. Also google maps says there is a chase and bank of america within a few hundred feet of the convention center. That alone will cover some 70% of people at the con. I would find $200 hard to say the least to last the entire con. In most places i budget $20 a meal and thats every meal. Then some $50 in stuff each day it can get expensive. I think if you just work with what you have most people can make it work out well but going hungry on a vacation is never fun.

    Well I know a lot of meals in Seattle consisted of Subway and the burritos downstairs in the lobby. That would only be 7 or so a meal. I guess I try to eat cheap and enjoy a few good meals instead of going all out the whole time.

    The food court in the Pru (The Prudential Center) will be your friend. They do have quite a bit of selection, but it's been over a year since I've been there so things might have changed.

    Coctopus on
  • BrennaCeDriaBrennaCeDria Registered User
    edited January 2010
    For PAX08 Brian and I carried next to no cash--just enough for snacks--and ran to the ATM if we absolutely needed to. Then again, the first day of PAX that year was one of my paydays, and we'd already paid all of our bills for the month. *shrug* Even still, there were plenty of things that year that I WANTED to buy, but nothing I couldn't live without--the only possible regret I had was not getting a minty-green colored Japanese PSP for me or the Sega Nomad for Brian, both from Pink Godzilla. I'd say just decide what is the MOST you'd be willing to spend on any one or two items, and so long as your bank has ATMs nearby carry only that amount plus maybe $20 for food at any given time.

    BrennaCeDria on
  • dardordardor Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Also google maps says there is a chase and bank of america within a few hundred feet of the convention center.

    Please don't give inaccurate information. There are NO chase atms or banks in Boston (and probably none in Massachusetts or anywhere farther Northeast). The main national bank in that area (basically north of New York) is Bank of America, so yes, there will be BoA ATMs all over the place.

    dardor on
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  • chupamiubrechupamiubre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    dardor wrote: »
    Also google maps says there is a chase and bank of america within a few hundred feet of the convention center.

    Please don't give inaccurate information. There are NO chase atms or banks in Boston (and probably none in Massachusetts or anywhere farther Northeast). The main national bank in that area (basically north of New York) is Bank of America, so yes, there will be BoA ATMs all over the place.

    Well it seems we are both right and wrong it seems that Boston does lack chase ATM. They do have banks and office space in Boston but nothing that would out a pax person. Also as i stated google maps stated it was a CHASE bank I as any rational person would think it would be at least relatively accurate also bing says it's there so this is a problem with chase not me disseminating inaccurate information.

    chupamiubre on
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  • dardordardor Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chase is not disseminating any inaccurate information...blame the search engines. If you go on Chase's site and search for branches/ATMs, nothing will come up in the Boston area.

    dardor on
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  • SingolloSingollo Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Ok lets settle this you both are actually correct to a degree

    chupamibure is correct
    according tp google it does say there is a chase close by.

    dardor is accurate though
    "Unfortunately, this Chase location is only a corporate office. It does not act as a full branch or ATM. There are no ATMs or full Chase branch offices in MA.‎" as quoted from the google site

    So to put this thread back in order if you use chase expect an atm fee or bring cash.

    Secondly to address the original comment really enough money is based on the individual how long you there how much food you plan to eat and do you want to by stuff from booths unfortunately till we know what booths specifially one can only guess as to what will be available to buy.

    Thanks for reading and play nice :)

    Singollo on
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