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First time to PAX East? - Stuff I wish I had known

FrugusFrugus PhotographerMontrealRegistered User regular
edited March 2011 in PAX Archive
UPDATE: Check out Saly's post which is a great add on to this thread.

Is this your first time at PAX? If so, you may want to read on...

I'm no PAX expert. My only experience comes from investing a considerable amount of time planning for PAX East 2010... And most of that effort turned out to be pointless. It does not mean I did not have the time of my life (I say this with little exaggeration), nor does it mean that the event itself is poorly organized. Au contraire. PAX is huge. It does not need a manual, it needs a bible.

I write this knowing it's a risky thread. PAX East 2010 itself was a first in many ways and people could not really predict how it would turn out. A such, I'm sure the follow up also comes with some level of unknowns.

My point is that as a new comer to PAX last year, I could have definitely used a guide that went beyond what was available the FAQ section. I hope these notes I took from last year's event may help new comers in some form or another. Even more so, I hope they apply for this year as well, else I'll have to go back to the drawing board yet again! :) Feel free to correct anything I say or add your own suggestions! But most importantly, check out the official FAQ section.

--
Boston in March is freezing! Bring a REAL coat and a scarf, however there was no snow to be found and the city streets where mostly clean. This may have been a fluke, but we did not need winter boots. We also knew by experience that Boston was not the easiest city for driving and public parking is rated somewhere between outrageous and insulting. Some places will charge you more than 60$ for a working day (weekends are expensive but cheaper). Those that we found ourselves often worked with automatic tellers that accepted credit cards. Practical, especially for those from Canada who don't carry US currency.

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. Many events and meetups were organized around the city, including a surprise Freezepop concert that was held at some point.

This is a good time to talk about the biggest flaw in my whole planning, and it surprised me considering it was seldom talked about during my weeks/months of planning ahead through the PAX forums. Get yourself some form of mobile data access!!! In fact, I will not attend another PAX event without such a thing. 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. Expect extra swag (Free games even), free food and cheap booze if you're of age.

The forum was receiving surprise last minute threads on such matters and Twitter was in heavy use. There was also a special hub web page made just for the event that held up to date information, and that also contained a twitter hub of some kind. There you could also find last minute schedule changes official events. Last but not least, there where large projection screens that displayed tweets of all kinds in the waiting line/room which helped entertain the masses.

I did not attend to any meetings myself. Gathering from post PAX comments and some podcasts that were recorded during such moments, I will judge such events to be icing on the cake and nothing more. The bulk of your interest should still be focused on whatever is going on within the walls of the convention center. However, optional icing is still nice to have.

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 Hynes. It was sluggish and did its job, but it was not advertised and I only figured it out late in the game. My only hope is that there will be a readily available signal at the new location this year, else I will seriously consider paying the roaming charges.
Another thing - I missed a call from Harmonix for a draw I won because I did not dare keep my cell phone opened. I will also make sure not to repeat the same mistake again and at the very least, check my voice mail messages from time to time.

This being said, I seriously plan on arriving one day early for two reasons. The pre-Pax / extra-Pax events which seemed to be plentiful, and doing the tourist thing. Truth is, I had planned on taking some time to stroll around Boston for the sights and some shopping, but PAX was a beast. Either we were too busy or too tired to visit anything else. I am still undecided about staying another night after but I would not be surprised if it was worth it. There is also a logical factor to consider. PAX is a once in a year (at the very least) event that is held of a limited time. Unless you get bored with the convention, which I seriously doubt, your time may be better spent going to the convention itself instead of touring the city.

Here are my notes concerning the official events:

PAX opening speech: A must if you want to get truly inspired for the following days to come. East 2010 had space issues and I could not attend it myself, I was in fact stopped from entering the room with about 10 people in front of me. I should have stayed around just to hear the speech through the walls. Either arrive early or hope there really will be enough space for everyone this time around.

PAX concerts: Well worth going too, however I had put too much stress on aquiring wrist bands that would guarantee your attendance. Both shows for East 2010 had standing room and about anyone who wanted to go could do just that, and apparently it was the case from Prime 2010. In fact, I got to meet MC Frontalot on the evening of his own show, and he told me there should not be any problems if I did not have a wristband. I hear the whole wristband thing is going to be a thing of the past for 2011. I will probably show up a bit early just in case, but I will definitely not stress about making it.

Penny-Arcade live drawing: This is one of many panels that will be available throughout the event, but if you are a Penny-Arcade fan you have to go. I don't care if you saw it before. It's a must, period. It's not only funny, will get to know a little more about the people behind the comic. Plenty of questions and answers to be heard here. I also got a kick out seeing one of their strips come to life, which now doubles as a nice souvenir for PAX.

Tournaments and scheduled games of any kind: Show up early, sign up early. Even Mike Krahulik got turned out for a D&D game. You have to insure that you will be there up to the end though. In other words, don't join up if you will be leaving the contest early.

Celebrity Signing: All of them where free, all of them for me! We did have to wait a while for Will Wheaton however, in fact his line was closed from time to time to prevent overcrowding. If you want to get an autograph from Mike, Jerry or Rob, you will have to look for them throughout the event. They actually mingle around just like any other fans. I bumped in a few other personalities along the way who where nice enough to sign my commemorative book too, such as Adam Sessler.

Discussion Panels: There was a serious max attendance problem going on for the Hynes and apparently this is going to be resolved with the new location, but I can't comment on that for obvious reasons. People who wanted to attend panels had to show up a good deal in advance. This also went for the late time movie presentations - an excellent plan B in case you miss out on any other event IMO.

Main exhibition hall / Sales booth: Plenty of free swag to be found and interesting stuff to buy. However you I did not find there was much emphasis on the buying part. Some of the companies had items that where usually available through their website - my girlfriend bought a hoodie from Behemoth and someone was brave enough to HighFive me. Other booths which sold rare items had to be sought out and though. I looked around myself and did not find any, however I learned that they did exist while lurking around the internet after the event. Speaking of which, there were also a few booths that represented your basic hobby shop, ripe with board games and books that you would expect them to have. Though repetitive, I figured people would still welcome their presence as they could supply attendees with anything they might have forgotten on the trip. You COULD not miss the official Penny-Arcade merch both. Big, BIG. And filled up with goodies. Pretty much anything you could want from the web site was there to be found. Expect to find combo deals of all kinds for some savings.

Free console game room: There are free game rooms where you can play about any game on any console. Take this to heart. If you want to try the latest game on the latest console, you can. If you want to play Bomberman on a Dreamcast, you can too. This place did not have a lot of fanfare, but we found a lot of people cheering, screaming and having fun during the whole event. It was a great time killer for me and my girlfriend too, as we played some rounds of SF2 on an old SNES.

All other game stuff: Unfortunately I cannot say much here. There were all kinds of tournaments, all kinds of free play rooms, console rooms, BYOC rooms, open tabletop rooms, you name it, and I barely played any of it. I was just too busy running around trying to make the most of it. I have a lingering feeling that this is where the potential lies for new friendships. I plan on investing some time at some board game this time around. However, I expected I would be able to find some open games with strangers in the Hand Held halls where everybody went to take a break and relax. That never occurred, even though I came in equipped with games that could also transfer clients. I probably did something wrong here and will be doing some research on that aspect.

Swag: It's fun to have but you should not stress too much about making sure you get every little piece there is (like some people seemed to do). Truth is, there are some jewels to be found out there and you usually would need to attend special panels or Twitter meetings (I recall one guy getting Forza 3 for free and other people getting exclusive PAX avatar item codes), but there is still plenty of nice things to be found all around. I got back home with a lot of CDs, free trials and betas, t-shirts, stickers, and the stuff you get in your bag as you come in ain't that bad either. It included a free deck of Magic - The Gathering!

Contests: There were PLENTY of them and I would not be surprised if they changed forms a bit, but my experience with last year's event was that sponsors had a dynamic exchange with the attendees. You would usually have to wear free items they would pass around so that you could recognized by their staff who would hand out codes or prizes on the spot. I liked the idea, simply because sponsors had to be smart about their approach and insure they would not be felt as a nuisance. Anything else would have gotten them disrespect and attendees would have stopped wearing their logos around them.

Food: Again, can't comment here, but it's worth mentioning that my hotel was only a few minutes walking distance and had a kitchenette - and even that did not cut it. The event was packed and constantly had something to offer. We never wanted to miss out on anything and usually opted to eat in nearby outlets, which were plenty full in and around the locationé At the very least, pack yourself a snack. Boston is a nice city with nice restaurants too, so of course, feel free to treating yourself nicely.

Hygiene: Since the H1N1 outbreak, aka Pax Pox, the organizers implemented a few new rules. One of which - avoid bodily contact as much as possible, clean your hands often and a shower here and there would not hurt. A lot of people love to use hand sanitizers as well. PAX East had a made up salute and an elbow touching thing going on to replace hand shakes.

Making Friends - Contributed by Sary
Vistaprint (and many similar places) will give you 250 business cards, just pay for shipping. GET SOME. Stick your email address, gamertag, forum name, whatever on them. Hand them out to all the awesome people you will most certainly meet. No need to fumble around with a pen or scraps of paper that will most likely be thrown out accidentally, and no worries about crappy handwriting.

Carrying Your Stuff - Contributed by Sary
Come Friday night, your one shoulder will be KILLING you. Trust me, you want to evenly distribute the weight. Go for a backpack, not a messenger bag. Last year I rocked http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/bags/c616/]this leg holster for quick access to my cell phone, ds, ipod, and those aforementioned business cards. And speaking of ds's, and ipods - LABEL YOUR STUFF. either get a label maker, or some sharpies - I highly recommend putting your phone number on them. Your Hello Kitty sticker or whatever might differentiate it, but it does nothing in terms of helping it get back to you.

Recharging your devices: This part I do not remember clearly because I was not in need of this, but I remember seeing a kiosk or desk where people could recharge their handheld gaming devices. They also seemed to have plenty of recharge cable adapters and extension sockets to help the masses. This is obviously something that's setup to help people in need. We did see a few electrical outlets here and there and seemed available for use.

Hacks, Wares and Certain Other Things: It should go without saying that cheating and hacking your way through anything at PAX is a big no no. Last year I happened to land in a conversation on the subject with experienced PAXers who mentioned that unlocked devices where also on the watch list. Now I should say that I did not see anyone have their gear inspected, but I think what this really meant was that you should not bring something equivalent to an action replay memory cards filled with hundreds of games. If the game was supposed to be on a disc or on a cartridge, bring the said disc or cartridge. Is this an official rule? No clue. Did not even check. It just makes commen sense to me anyway.

Final thoughts: Everyone I met was nice. Everyone. I did not feel judged for my looks or tastes, everyone I bumped into kind of liked the same things I did, and I left with some great memories. People where friendly left and right, which was great for all waiting lines. Even though I felt completely unprepared, I still left with some great memories. This time around I plan on thinking less about "the plan" and more about "what can I discover". I think anyone that goes there, new or old, should arrive with the same mindset if they want to maximise their experience.

Extra Final Thoughts: 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.

This being said, I wish you good luck and hope you will have a great time.

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    acumen101acumen101 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    If I can throw my 2 cents in, I read something similar to this for PAX 2010. I can highly recommend getting some sort of satchel or messenger bag (easier to get to than a backpack). I got a Bag of Holding from ThinkGeek specifically for this event and hasn't failed me.

    Also, they sold PAX East 2010 scarves last year, so it helped, but pack warm clothes. March through May in Massachusetts can get crazy for weather. Since it's earlier in March than last year (speaking from a local perspective), I can surely guess that it will be colder with a possibility for snow.

    As for the T, I hope that they send out CharlieCards with the passes like they did last year. That will help all the out-of-towners A LOT. The Silver Line is the best way to get to/from the BCEC if you're not going by cab. Personally, since I'm staying on the other side of the bridge from downtown Boston, I'll just take a cab myself (given all the money I've saved by not booking at the Waterfront/Renaissance).

    acumen101 on
    Life-Long Nerd from New England

    PAX East 2015: -Pass [X] -Hotel [X] -Time off[X]

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    could you bold or lime the paragraph headings? Might make it easier for folks to find specific info they are looking for instead of reading your entire monster of a (good) post.

    zerzhul on
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    Velox AequitasVelox Aequitas Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Great Post. This is indeed my first PAX and you have a lot of good tips in there. Thank you for taking the time to write it out.

    Velox Aequitas on
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    ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Wall of text, but it's worth your time. Good job.

    Arco on
    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
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    LimondLimond Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Completely agree about the Data Plan. I got a data plan for a birthday gift right before last PAX East. That kept me pretty much in the loop (Didn't get into twitter until after it unfortunately) But just having access to the forums during PAX was a huge benefit, and with twitter will be even better. Make sure to follow people and companies before hand, so you don't miss out on stuff.

    Regarding Swag, it is not an important part of PAX it's just a bonus, but when getting T-Shirts and Hats etc. Always check the sizes, I ended up with a few shirts that were a size to small (BFBC2 and MNC).

    I concur with the Live-drawing panel. I only caught the last half, but it was absolutely hilarious. Will definitely make sure I attend the whole thing next time.

    Also make sure you attend the Red vs. Blue panel!

    Limond on
    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
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    smerksmerk Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I second the data plan point, with two caveat: they are expensive for international travelers. You can't just buy a disposable sim with 1g on it ant then throw it away at the end of your trip.

    Second There was a big problem with AT&T at prime 10, as well as the wifi being stone cold dead, AT&T was also. Maybe find another provider if possible.

    Has anyone had a good experience getting a data plan for a brief period in the USA?

    smerk on
    What is this 'Pants' of which you speak?
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    ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I don't think the United States has the International support for wireless that other countries have. Like a lot of other areas, the US lags severely behind Europe.

    Arco on
    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
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    NullthreadNullthread Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    ...wow, I read all of that and then realized it as indeed, wall of text.
    (That's how engaged I was!!)
    That was my same experience at PAX Prime. I can't wait til PAX East.

    Nullthread on
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    cabsycabsy the fattest rainbow unicorn Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Frugus wrote: »
    I did not attend to any meetings myself. Gathering from post PAX comments and some podcasts that were recorded during such moments, I will judge such events to be icing on the cake and nothing more. The bulk of your interest should still be focused on whatever is going on within the walls of the convention center. However, optional icing is still nice to have.

    This is going to vary greatly from group to group and person to person; group meetups are what made prime for me, and are the reason I'll be going back.

    acumen101 wrote: »
    If I can throw my 2 cents in, I read something similar to this for PAX 2010. I can highly recommend getting some sort of satchel or messenger bag (easier to get to than a backpack). I got a Bag of Holding from ThinkGeek specifically for this event and hasn't failed me.

    Don't use a messenger bag if you're planning on picking up just about anything. I was told this pre-pax and thought I didn't have that much stuff - I didn't even really get any swag or purchase anything, just my ds/camera/phone/wallet in a messenger bag - and by day two I had a huge sore welt/bruise on my shoulder from the strap that I didn't get when I used a two-strap bag.

    cabsy on
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    undeadundead Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Use a backpack or use one of the bags you can get as swag.

    I will point out one more reason you should bundle up for this one: water. The BCEC sits on the water's edge. If the sea breeze can turn a hot day into a chilly one (if you've ever waited for a bus at any T stop on the water's edge, you know what I mean. EX: there's a reason why the heater's at Wonderland station are on durring the summer) I don't think I have to tell you what it will do on a cold day in the winter.

    For tournaments, defintly sign up early and also expect the unexpected.

    The opening speech may be nice, but if you want an early jump on gaming, some of us GMs will be set up in the open gaming areas at the start of the convention.

    I don't know if the BCEC will be able to solve the attendance problem for panels. Yes, it's larger and can hold more people, but the rooms, although they can be split up or left whole by removing the walls, do have a max limit of people. It really depends on how many people show up for the panel.

    Some other stuff for con newbies (although the experiancs ones should pay attention as well):

    5-2-1. Remember it, do it, live by it.
    5 is the minimum number of hours you should sleep in a day.
    2 is the number of meals you should eat in a day
    1 is minimum recommended times you should shower each day (notice I said minimum).
    I know what you're thinking. This con only runs for so many hours and you don't want to miss out on one single minute. I actually agree with you; I don't either. Alas, your body will not work that way.
    5 hours is the minimum recomended amount of sleep one should have per day. It works. Get less than this and you'll feel slow and sluggish the next day. Get the full 5 and you'll actually feel pretty good as the day goes on.
    2 meals isn't just recomended, it's almost demanded. Don't be the guy that doesn't eat and dehydrates, turning into a madman in the middle of the convention. You won't know it's happening until it's too late, you'll feel miserable and start taking it out on everyone else. It doesn't matter if you inhale the food either, but you must eat something. You can get by on surger for the first day but eventually you're body will demand real food, so please plan the two meals into the schedule.
    The shower....you'd think this wouldn't have to be said but it does: take one. It won't kill you to step inside one for 10 minutes. Besides, who's going to want to play a game with you if they can't stand to be within 10 feet of you. Please, for all of us, not just you, take the time to cleanse yourself with a hot shower.

    Footware: doesn't matter what it is just so long as it is cumfurtable. Walk around the BCEC enough times and it's like walking the Boston marathon, only without the hills. Be prepared to do this as it is very possible the things you want to do are on opposit sides of the building.

    I'm sure I'll think of more later on.

    undead on
    As I am, so shall ye be.

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    HalfazedninjaHalfazedninja Author of Jake Howard: Multiverse 101! Behind YouRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I agree with this whole thread. What I surprise I had on the first day when I woke up and saw it was snowing! I really did not pack for the surprise snow. Also, something else you should now...

    Gabe LOVES "Action Castle"! :D

    Halfazedninja on
    My debut novel, JAKE HOWARD: MULTIVERSE 101!
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    undead wrote: »
    Use a backpack or use one of the bags you can get as swag.
    A backpack is important. Make sure it has two WELL PADDED straps, and perhaps one of those cross hook harnesses. I know it may *seem* inconvenient, but it will really improve your con quality of life.

    undead wrote: »
    2 meals isn't just recomended, it's almost demanded. Don't be the guy that doesn't eat and dehydrates, turning into a madman in the middle of the convention. You won't know it's happening until it's too late, you'll feel miserable and start taking it out on everyone else. It doesn't matter if you inhale the food either, but you must eat something. You can get by on surger for the first day but eventually you're body will demand real food, so please plan the two meals into the schedule.
    This is another good tip. An addition to this is to make sure you have a source of hydration on you at all times. Hydration does not mean soda or an energy drink or booze, it means water or something like gatorate or powerade. You will not realize you are dehydrated until after the fact, and with all the constant moving around you are likely to do, it is incredibly important to always be sipping on your hydration source.
    undead wrote: »
    Footware: doesn't matter what it is just so long as it is cumfurtable. Walk around the BCEC enough times and it's like walking the Boston marathon, only without the hills. Be prepared to do this as it is very possible the things you want to do are on opposit sides of the building.
    This is a good reason to invest in a nice pair of walking shoes. Yes they usually aren't as stylish, but they are designed for being on your feet all day in low impact situations and they will make your feet feel far more comfortable at the end of the day than a pair of cross trainers or running shoes.

    zerzhul on
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    JyniiiJyniii Registered User new member
    edited October 2010
    Thanks so much for this post. I've just paid for my 3-day Pass, and I was starting to plan out things. Then I realized I have no clue what goes o at Pax. I'm definitely thankful for the advice. Pax isn't much different from other cons I've been to so I feel a little prepared. I have a question about the shoes. I'm cosplaying and the shoes aren't that comfortable, should I bring a change, or just forgo the cosplay shoes?

    Jyniii on
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    Jyniii wrote: »
    Thanks so much for this post. I've just paid for my 3-day Pass, and I was starting to plan out things. Then I realized I have no clue what goes o at Pax. I'm definitely thankful for the advice. Pax isn't much different from other cons I've been to so I feel a little prepared. I have a question about the shoes. I'm cosplaying and the shoes aren't that comfortable, should I bring a change, or just forgo the cosplay shoes?

    From a cleanliness standpoint, you should always have some sort of footwear. Were I you, I would bring a pair of comfy shoes to wear whenever not cosplaying or see if you can modify your cosplay shoes to be more comfortable.

    zerzhul on
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    <Omicron-8643><Omicron-8643> Just outside DC. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    zerzhul wrote: »

    undead wrote: »
    2 meals isn't just recomended, it's almost demanded. Don't be the guy that doesn't eat and dehydrates, turning into a madman in the middle of the convention. You won't know it's happening until it's too late, you'll feel miserable and start taking it out on everyone else. It doesn't matter if you inhale the food either, but you must eat something. You can get by on surger for the first day but eventually you're body will demand real food, so please plan the two meals into the schedule.
    This is another good tip. An addition to this is to make sure you have a source of hydration on you at all times. Hydration does not mean soda or an energy drink or booze, it means water or something like gatorate or powerade. You will not realize you are dehydrated until after the fact, and with all the constant moving around you are likely to do, it is incredibly important to always be sipping on your hydration source.

    I'm seconding this. One of the best ideas I saw from last PAX was carrying around a CamelBak. The ease of access to water just can't be beat and you minimize the chance of losing your water bottle out of your back pocket at the Houston airport (not that I... erm know anything about that or anything...).

    Granted, they aren't exactly cheap but if you have the disposable income, you can get a model that holds an 100 ounce water bladder and doubles as an excellent swag backpack. CamelBaks are designed for the outdoorsy type but I'd like to think that schlepping around the BCEC counts as hiking.

    <Omicron-8643> on
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    feitocomfrutafeitocomfruta Denver, Colorado, USARegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Guys,

    We are writing up the Hitchhiker's Guide to PAX East, and a lot of this information is going to help us out a lot. If you would like to help us out, could you PM me or rdr with your name so we can credit you?

    feitocomfruta on
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    Tim-IGXTim-IGX Registered User new member
    edited October 2010
    Awesome post!! Very useful. I'll definitely be ready in March for Boston.

    Tim-IGX on
    Web: SFX-360.com | Twitter: iGameXbox | Email: Tim-iGX
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    RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Ya if no one PMs then I'll probably just make a page and just put a lot of these suggestions/tips for people and credit where needed.

    Rdr on
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    Samurai KappaSamurai Kappa Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The best advice I can give, especially for a con with as many interesting panels as PAX, is don't plan on seeing everything. It's impossible. There's simply so much going on that there's no way you're going to see all you want to see, especially with lines for some panels starting up to an hour before.

    Pick a couple of "must-see" panels for each day, and think of everything else you can make it to as a bonus. You really don't want to ruin something as awesome as PAX by stressing yourself out trying to stick to a schedule that will be impossible to maintain.

    Samurai Kappa on
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    RazorDRazorD Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I have a quick note for folks from the UK, too. The VAT rate goes up on the 4th January 2011 to 20%, this will increase the costs of any sites charging you in GBP (most flights, most hotels unless you use the hotel desk when it opens here, travel insurance, etc) - This'll add 2.5% to anything you purchase after that date, so its worth buying what you can before the end of the year!

    RazorD on
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    FrugusFrugus Photographer MontrealRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Rdr wrote: »
    Ya if no one PMs then I'll probably just make a page and just put a lot of these suggestions/tips for people and credit where needed.

    I PMed.

    Also, I'm definitely up to help out anyone who has a Hitchicker's guide going on.

    Frugus on
    Frugus Eggbeater
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    RazorDRazorD Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I noticed the bottom of the ticket confirmation email says:
    SOLICITATION OF SHOW EXHIBITORS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

    Now, this was a little confusing, until i wikipedia'd it and found out that solicitation doesn't mean prostitution in America..

    RazorD on
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    alienshardsalienshards Registered User new member
    edited October 2010
    So you say Boston will be quite cold, what about the convention hall? Will I be fine continuing to wear a coat, or would end up lugging it around?

    alienshards on
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    undeadundead Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    You'll wind up lugging it around inside the BCEC. Getting to the hotel stands to be freezing, but once inside you'll want to find the coat-rack, unless you're not planning on moving (I'm a GM, so for me this isn't a real problem).

    I usually buy two 1-liters each day of the convention. One is soda, the other is water. I drink the soda first and the water second, but the trick is to spread it out. You don't drink it all in one shot.

    If you're planning on carrying a lot then a luggage rack is a must. There's no other way for me to get the games into the convention.

    For those that don't know why staying hydrated is so important, let me tell a tale of personal experience. I know what it feels like and I've seen others going through it. I've been at conventions where it happened and there is a real problem because the security staff for the convention, unless they've seen it before, may simply mistake you for a violent individual and throw you over to the local cops.
    One minute you're fine and then you start feeling jumpy. You shake, you want to move, you feel miserable, but you can't understand the message your body is sending. Because you feel miserable you start barking at other people, and this can be mistaken as you being violent towards another person.
    Eat something and drink as much water as you can and I guarantee you'll feel better in about 20 minutes. Know it, recognize the signs, and make sure it doesn't happen to you.

    And about the footwear: don't forget the socks. Blisters hurt.

    Remember, there's a reason they call they call the party after the con the dead dog party. In the three days of the convention we are all going to string ourselves out and if you want to get through it with a smile on your face then you have to take care of yourself during the convention.

    undead on
    As I am, so shall ye be.

    Yahoo group GCIACST
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    RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Frugus wrote: »
    Rdr wrote: »
    Ya if no one PMs then I'll probably just make a page and just put a lot of these suggestions/tips for people and credit where needed.

    I PMed.

    Also, I'm definitely up to help out anyone who has a Hitchicker's guide going on.

    I didn't get your PM :(

    Rdr on
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    FrugusFrugus Photographer MontrealRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    undead wrote: »
    You'll wind up lugging it around inside the BCEC. Getting to the hotel stands to be freezing, but once inside you'll want to find the coat-rack, unless you're not planning on moving (I'm a GM, so for me this isn't a real problem).

    I usually buy two 1-liters each day of the convention. One is soda, the other is water. I drink the soda first and the water second, but the trick is to spread it out. You don't drink it all in one shot.

    If you're planning on carrying a lot then a luggage rack is a must. There's no other way for me to get the games into the convention.

    For those that don't know why staying hydrated is so important, let me tell a tale of personal experience. I know what it feels like and I've seen others going through it. I've been at conventions where it happened and there is a real problem because the security staff for the convention, unless they've seen it before, may simply mistake you for a violent individual and throw you over to the local cops.
    One minute you're fine and then you start feeling jumpy. You shake, you want to move, you feel miserable, but you can't understand the message your body is sending. Because you feel miserable you start barking at other people, and this can be mistaken as you being violent towards another person.
    Eat something and drink as much water as you can and I guarantee you'll feel better in about 20 minutes. Know it, recognize the signs, and make sure it doesn't happen to you.

    And about the footwear: don't forget the socks. Blisters hurt.

    Remember, there's a reason they call they call the party after the con the dead dog party. In the three days of the convention we are all going to string ourselves out and if you want to get through it with a smile on your face then you have to take care of yourself during the convention.

    What he said.

    I myself have worked for a few years as a field photographer for big events and this all rings true to home.

    I know not everyone has a lot of money to spare, and maybe you are stretching out your budget to the max so you can attend, but do yourself a favor anyway and invest in your own comfort as much as you can. A convention is not a trip to the mall or some show at a bar.

    Make sure you have enough water, the right clothes and the right gear. You have to balance out what you need and what you won't. Don't over burden yourself, but don't come ill prepared. Yes, a backpack or carrier bag of some kind is a must. What you carry in it is something else, it will entirely depend on what you want to do over there. Use the coat racks and don't leave anything of value there (common sense).

    I wish I could give a suggestion of what you actually need to bring, but as far as we where concerned, we had some snacks and water on us, and when that failed we had plenty of food money so we would not worry about getting more. We had the right footwear and our courrier bag, though small, was mainly used for swag and the minimal entertainment we had - Cell phone, iTouch, DS + games, recharge cables of all kinds.

    We where in a hotel very close to the convention and I did bring a good number of board games that I never ended up bringing or would have used for lack of time. If you have a stash of PAX goods, you could try to keep them locked up somewhere near (your car?) and go back there if you end up needing it.

    The convention at the Hynes meant a lot of walking, and the Bostonc convention center looks even bigger. Be prepared and only carry what you need, all the while making sure you do have everything you need!

    Frugus on
    Frugus Eggbeater
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    So you say Boston will be quite cold, what about the convention hall? Will I be fine continuing to wear a coat, or would end up lugging it around?

    At the hynes there was a coat check for a reasonable price. I assume there would be something similar at the BCEC

    zerzhul on
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    FrugusFrugus Photographer MontrealRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Original thread updated with Recharge Outlets and Original Games.

    Frugus on
    Frugus Eggbeater
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    RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I don't know what the specific rules are on pirated games like if someone has a flash cart for their DS.

    I know it is HEAVILY frowned upon though.

    Rdr on
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    Lugh LamfhadaLugh Lamfhada Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I can not stress enough the bring cold weather wear point. I came to vastly apreciate the questionable Christmas gift of a felt hat that weekend. Though what are you talking about no snow? It snowed friday morning. I know that for a fact because I had to walk through it to get to the convention center. Also in case anyone remembers, I am still so sorry! I did not mean to make it snow!

    Lugh Lamfhada on
    Too much paprika.
    Shit! Too much paprika!
    WHY IS THERE SO MUCH VOMIT IN THIS HAT?!
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    Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Right Here, Right Now Drives a BuickModerator Mod Emeritus
    edited October 2010
    That wasn't snow. That was a dusting.

    Although since PAX is 2 weeks earlier in March this year, be prepared. There might be actual snow this year.

    Moe Fwacky on
    E6LkoFK.png

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    FrugusFrugus Photographer MontrealRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    That wasn't snow. That was a dusting.

    Although since PAX is 2 weeks earlier in March this year, be prepared. There might be actual snow this year.

    Also, because I wanted to be sure about as much material there was in my post, I double checked the pictures I took of the Boston area and it was all clear. In fact, it felt ridiculously clean as far as big cities go.

    Frugus on
    Frugus Eggbeater
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    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    That wasn't snow. That was a dusting.

    Although since PAX is 2 weeks earlier in March this year, be prepared. There might be actual snow this year.

    This is very true. It flurried and didn't stick and stopped pretty early. The two weeks earlier does make a difference but it'd most likely still be a flurry more than anything else. We get lots of flurries during the course of winter and a few big dumps before the end of Feb. And if we get a big dump it won't matter how prepared you are because it will suck no matter what. Boston doesn't do snow removal, we do snow pile-ups and it tends to half melt into a nice slush.

    VisionOfClarity on
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    RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    2 weeks before PAX 2010 Boston was flooding horribly. I remember cause I was working 14-16 hour days :(

    Rdr on
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    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    We may have some of the worst snow removal for a major city. The piles will get so high some will last until April, slowly breaking down.

    VisionOfClarity on
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    punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Isn't the BCEC almost right on the water? I thought places near the water rarely got more than a dusting of snow? (Not that it bothers me either way. I've lived in New England for most of my life. I'm used to snow)

    punzie on
    HI3789R.png
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    Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Right Here, Right Now Drives a BuickModerator Mod Emeritus
    edited October 2010
    I thought places near the water got more snow. At least that's how it is on Lake Erie. Don't know much about the ocean.

    Moe Fwacky on
    E6LkoFK.png

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    punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    I thought places near the water got more snow. At least that's how it is on Lake Erie. Don't know much about the ocean.

    I get that places near big bodies of water get more snow (ie. Buffalo), but I though ON the water got less. How often do you see snow on the beach? Even a beach in the northern parts of the country.

    punzie on
    HI3789R.png
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    LimondLimond Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    You don't often see snow on the beach because sand holds more heat then dirt, cement etc. So the snow melts much quicker. Weather and Climate discussions aren't very useful to this thread though.

    Just remember you are in the North East part of the US, during the tail end of winter. If you are not a fan of the cold, bring a winter coat, dress in layers, and if you are going to be doing more walking around then just the BCEC. Bring a pair of boots.

    Limond on
    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    I thought places near the water got more snow. At least that's how it is on Lake Erie. Don't know much about the ocean.

    That's definitely true with the inland lakes, but "ocean effect snow" isn't exactly the same :P

    I'm originally from Erie, PA, the snow capitol of the east for constant snowfall, so I feel the pain of you as a Clevelander.

    zerzhul on
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