Suggestions for a forst time PAX attendee
Hey guys....for the first time ever I am finally getting to go to a gaming convention and it just happens to be PAX East!!!!!
I was wondering if anyone had some gener suggestions (like what to bring yada yada yada) to make the weekend a blast.
Agreed. Though it was more relevant last year, bringing a pokewalker is a great way to meet and talk to people. Just waer it on your lanyard with your badge, or somewhere on your person where people can see it!.
Try and start conversations. I met a bunch of great people last year just by being receptive and assertive, there are really cool people out There.
Try new things! There is so much to do! If youve never played magic, or a tabletop game try it out. There are plenty of people willing to teach
Find a good schwag bag. They provide you with one, but life was much easier when I was walking around with 12 tshirts and posters last year and grabbed an alienware gym bag thingy.
Ill add more later, I'm typing this on my phone... NOT fun! = P
It's bananas. There's SO much. At any given moment at PAX you're going to have at least 2-3 things you really, really want to do, happening at the same time, and while those are happening, there's spontaneous fun of all sorts happening all around you. So you're going to be overloaded by the amount of things to do and see, and you're going to have to make some hard choices.
My advice is this: pick 2-3 things per day that you absolutely MUST see or do, space them out (morning, afternoon, evening), and do them. Don't forget to budget for lines (see below). The rest of the time, just soak up PAX itself. People usually agree that the best part about PAX is the people and the atmosphere. Don't spend your entire weekend looking at your watch, shoving your way through the best place and the best people on Earth just to get to your next thing. Chill out on a Sumo. Do some tabletop freeplay. Get on the Rock Band stage. Whatever your particular slice of nerd is, PAX has it in spades. We have entire FLOORS devoted to it. Trust me. Hang out there for a while, meet some awesome people, and play some games. PAX is unique among conventions in that it's more about DOING than SEEING, so do some stuff.
While we're on the topic, let me talk about lines for a second. PAX has a lot of lines, and some of them are very long. It's impossible not to, with so many things to do and so many people who want to do them. At least once, you're going to run into a situation where the line for the thing you want to see or do is an hour long or more. When this happens to you, consider a few things:
1) There is nothing the organizers or the Enforcers can do to make these lines shorter, and this is just how conventions of this size are.
2) Is the thing you're seeing worth waiting an hour or two for, especially when you could be spending that time having lots of fun elsewhere? If it is, and it likely will be, great. Settle in, bust out your DS or Magic cards, and meet some awesome people. If not, go do something else.
3) How much of your weekend are you spending in line? PAX is short, so keep that in mind and try to strike a balance.
Aside from those major suggestions, here are a few quick ones:
Bring a refillable water bottle and carry it with you all day. Staying hydrated improves your weekend by a lot.
Bring a backpack, messenger bag, or fanny pack with you for swag and personal items so you don't have to leave the convention center often.
Remember the 6/3/1 rule: 6 hours of sleep, 3 meals, and 1 shower per day.
If you go out drinking, pop a few ibuprofen/advil and lots of water before bed to avoid a hangover.
The convention center will most likely have hand sanitizer around. Use it liberally, and wash your hands whenever you go to the bathroom, if you want to avoid getting sick.
Subscribe to @Official_PAX, @Pax_Lines, and any other departmental Twitters you'd be interested in. Check them often.
Wear comfortable, supportive shoes that you've broken in. Bring a change of socks in your bag and change into them if your feet start to get tired.
Don't forget to pack chargers for EVERYTHING you bring. Cell phone, DS, laptop, whatever. If your thing uses batteries, bring extras.
Check the online schedule if there are discrepancies - the online schedule trumps all.
If there's a piece of merchandise you see that you MUST have, buy it then. Do not wait. It might sell out.
If you ever have questions or concerns about anything, ask an Enforcer. They're awesome.
Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
Satellite Theater for life!
Seriously though, it's a fun place to hang out
Thanks for all the hints though guys! I really appreciate it. I have wanted to go to a gaming convention since I was a wee lad and now at the ripe old age of 30 :P I am finally going to one!
Get yourself a *decent* pair of walking shoes.
Get yourself some mobile data device. You'll be happy to have twitter at the very least.
A while back I wrote a mile long post just for this kind of stuff, I'll see if I can dig it up.