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Stuff you learned at this year's PAX that will prove invaluable for next year

2

Posts

  • jukkakhanjukkakhan Registered User regular
    It was my first PAX and I had a blast! I spent some time reading the PAX Wisdom thread and got some great advice. But nothing can beat experience:

    -Snacks in ziplocks and a Bobble water bottle was great to keep me going until proper meals
    -Bandland and the skybridge were the few places I could get a good 3G signal on AT&T
    -Don't overplan. I picked the 1-2 things I really wanted to do, waited for them, and explored the rest of the time. Worked great.
    -Don't be a swag whore. I do love me some free swag, but I'd rather go wander and experience something new then wait in line to play a game I'm mildly interested in (or comes out soon) to get a piece of swag that I may/may not care about. in the near future.
    -Paul And Storm are the funniest guys ever. I wanted to see JoCo and had only heard Opening Band by P&S, but they were an absolute blast! Definitely going to see them again.
    -Don't walk so much. I spent a fair amount of time walking and standing, plus my hotel was down on 8th Ave which feels a lot farther after a long day. My legs were killing me by Saturday and lasted for the next few days. Not too many panels interested me, but next year I'll probably duck into a few or crash some other seated area more often.

    PimDtoK.png
  • SrenaebSrenaeb Registered User regular
    This is one I learn, and re-affirm, year after year:

    the sweetest swag, by far, were the ones I received as a "surprise", and not the ones I jumped through hoops for.
    They are "worth more", are nicer, are rarer, and come with a much better story.

  • squeakyboysqueakyboy Registered User regular
    This was my 3rd Pax, but first Prime.

    Flight:Book early enough to get a flight with good departure times as well as practical connections. Lost 2 hours because my outgoing flight connected through Philly and there was some big storm on the east coast that shut down airports (among other things). Also get to the gate early to ensure that your carry-on doesn't end up being checked because there is no more room for carry-ons. I am used to travelling express flights and gate checking carry-ons, but not used to have to wait at the carousel for pickup, which defeats the purpose of a carry-on.

    Luggage: I normally plan to accommodate merc (t-shirts mostly) and a small amount of swag, this is the first year I got board games (pre-release) and serious swag (gifts from volunteering that I would actually use). Had to buy a new suitcase. Lesson learned: plan ahead for how much swag/merc you expect.

    Accommodation: PE2010 I stayed at a cheaper, further hotel and cabbed it. PE2011 I stayed at a cheap hostel and hoofed it because my friends liked hoofing it and getting a cab at night is impossible in Boston. This was the first time I stayed nearby and I don't think I will go back. Seattle has more hotels in proximity than in Boston. Also the Green Tortoise is a cheap hostel nearby which I stayed at sunday/Monday and was excellent.

    T-shirts: This one is kinda odd, but I normally plan the t-shirts I bring based on what I plan to do each day, with the hopes that my geeky t-shirt will garner some attention (among the 70000 other geeky t-shirts) This year I realized that con t-shirt wearage follows the same rule as concert t-shirt wearage (don't wear a shirt directly related to the band, it's lame. Instead wear something related to an associated band, a contemporary, or a side project). My Gencon t-shirt and my settlers of Catan t-shirt garnered more attention than my Aeofel lives t-shirt or my I roll twenties t-shirt (though not quite as popular as my rick roll 2D barcode t-shirt from PE2011).

    Food: Pike place market is a good alternative to traditional con food. Taco Del Mar works well if you need something close and you want to multitask and you avoid busy times. Taphouse is great to eat late basically because no one else is serving food.

    lines: Never conceived that I would have to wait OUTSIDE for an event. Weather was great, but definitely requires different preparation (water, sunscreen, etc).

    storage: Volunteering with an exhibitor was great as it allowed me access to a storage location to put merc/swag when I didn't want to carry it.

  • palmerpalmer Registered User regular
    Emphara wrote:
    I don't think anyone is trying to food police, I think they were just pointing out things that they realized they wanted to do better next year for themselves

    Except he said "I also saw a lot of people eating really crappy, greasy, evil food."
    Nothing about himself. Entirely about other people, and passing value judgements (EVIL is a value judgement) on their choices, telling them "Don't eat that, eat this instead".
    That is totally food policing, and it's fairly obnoxious.

    I function on the assumption that everyone knows themselves and what food is appropriate for them better than I do, and that broad proclamations mean jack all.
    I got rather hungry on Saturday, so I decided to try some of the super healthy food from Juicy Cafe. It's PAX, broaden my horizons, etc. So I went with a rice bowl.
    The portion barely put a dent in my hunger, but I figured the rice just needed some time to settle.
    An hour later, in line, I was visibly disturbing nearby people with the loudness of my stomach rumbling.
    So I ran off, and got the Subway (OMG so horrible!) I had wanted in the first place. My hunger went away promptly... and didn't return for 12 very active hours.

    Conclusion: Food is only good or bad in relation to the person. I have a very high metabolic rate, so I *need* a lot more calories than the next person just to keep going.
    300 calories might be a good meal for some... but I need up to 10 times that to get through an active day.

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    it needs to be longer...like 2 more days longer!

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • ChichenChichen Registered User regular
    Don't eat Jerky on the flight over because it will wreck your stomach the morning after.

  • SamyelSamyel Registered User regular
    I learned that despite spending all summer training for athletic stuff, I still can't get away with four hours sleep between Saturday and Monday morning, and that even when food sounds like the least appealing thing ever, I should probably have something more substantial than half a muffin and some coffee.

    This is how to end up a dizzy, anxious wreck on Monday morning.

    Honestly though, the best PAX advice I've seen is to pick one thing a day that you really care about, and make that thing happen. Wing the rest.

    "It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity."
  • TeletheusTeletheus Registered User regular
    * Getting a flu shot two weeks before PAX was probably a good idea.
    * Set some time apart for tabletop. I always plan on spending time on this, and I always get distracted.
    * Spend more time just exploring. The few times I went off my expected path, I came across some really neat stuff (like Vessel). This is basically just a slightly more proactive version of the "only plan a few things and wing the rest" plan, which I've been following the last two years with great success, but I want to be intentional about it next time.

    PSN/XBL/Steam/Twitter: Teletheus
  • krikitarmykrikitarmy Registered User regular
    For cheap parking, look up El Corazon (It's where the Protomen had their concert). Drive from there towards the convention center and you'll find dozens of lots in the area where you can get all day parking for less than $15. You'll have to walk a bit, but compared to the walking you'll do the rest of the day it's nothing.

    I paid $10 on Saturday by getting $8 10 hour parking and returning at 6 to buy $2 evening parking. On Sunday I paid $12 for 24 hour parking at a slightly closer location.

  • skylatronskylatron Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    palmer wrote:
    Except he said "I also saw a lot of people eating really crappy, greasy, evil food."
    Nothing about himself. Entirely about other people, and passing value judgements (EVIL is a value judgement) on their choices, telling them "Don't eat that, eat this instead".
    That is totally food policing, and it's fairly obnoxious.

    First: I'm a she.

    Second: Evil is just a word. Evil, like you see a chocolate bar and think "ohh, that would be evil". Not evil as in...well however the hell you're taking it. I want the Sbarros too. But I know better than to eat it at PAX. Here's a secret: I ordered pizza the second I got home! And cinnamon sticks! AND CHEESY BREAD! THE WORLD IS ENDING!

    People need to calm down about this, seriously. If you want to eat GREASY food all weekend, then whatever, eat greasy food. You know your body better than I do. But as I stated previously, if you're going to be going balls-out all weekend, it is probably in your best interests to at least attempt a balanced diet or some version of one. Eating pizza for three meals per day, for 3 days, *will make you feel like shit* regardless of who you are.

    And, did you even READ any of my subsequent posts?! Did you even SEE that I wrote SUBWAY (one of the ones you apparently think I'm "judging") in one of them as an option to go to? Or are you just blowing your mouth off about a word (evil, I guess) and not following up on me trying to explain myself?

    I'm not judging anyone. Eat whatever the hell you want. I'm giving advice based on experience. My boyfriend eats like crap all the time. He comes to PAX, he eats well, he's able to keep up with me. He is a 6'6" rail, will never gain weight, can eat anything he wants, but knows that when he is exerting himself, he needs to eat an effing banana or something. I'm 5'2", 160lbs, NOT exactly the definition of physically fit, but I am able to power through PAX for three days because of the choices I make when I'm there.

    So you know what? I'm done with the discussion because everyone got their undies in a wad over...nothing.

    Damn, PAX and the community is supposed to be about understanding and bonding. Thanks for killing my post-PAX buzz...over NOTHING.

    So end the end, the real thing I learned from PAX this year that will be invaluable next year: Regardless of how awesome a community is, when you put people together on forums, ANY forums, they will be dicks.

    skylatron on
  • ptriz21_teamkillptriz21_teamkill Registered User regular
    Someone mentioned not bringing an iPad.
    My friend bought his motorola Xoom and he had Settlers of Catan on it. Made waiting in line for 3 people awesome because while we never finished the game, we could always pick up where we left off.

    3DS: 3325-2059-2105
  • alegriaalegria Registered User regular
    alegria wrote:
    Kana wrote:
    - Even though I'm a local, I really need to pay for a hotel room next year. It removes so much need for planning and worrying that I might get too tired and/or drunk to drive home.

    The [E] husband and I have done this for two years now - it is REALLY helpful, especially with him working weird shifts. I had to miss out on JoCo in 2009 because of his shifts (had to get home to care for the dogs!), and so we now board the dogs with friends and stay at the Hyatt. Worth. Every. Penny. I'm now wondering if we should check in on Thursday night...

    After my 4th year carpooling I really started to wonder whether it was worth paying for a hotel when I live 9 miles away. Glad to hear you think it's worth the extra money! I'm near Northgate and after dropping three others off on the way north, the last mile or two driving alone at 2am are so scary while so exhausted! This year I did throw a toothbrush and contact supplies in a cosmetic bag in the trunk in case I had to couch surf and luckily was slightly more awake this time than in past years. Also considered cabbing it since a cab ride home would be about the same as the $26 parking at WSCC.

    It's definitely worth every penny, in my opinion. Having a space that is quiet and limited to just the two of us is invaluable after all day spent amongst 20,000 people at PAX. No worrying about how to drive home at 1am, no worrying about the husband driving home at 3am, having an extra 1-2 hours of sleep since there's no transit time, having space to leave things without worry, and having my own bathroom available are all major points in favor. Of course this is not the cheapest option, but even sharing a double room with another few people would give you nearly the same benefits at part of the cost.

    Oh, and the other thing I learned this year - for the love of $DEITY, do NOT GO TO WORK ON MONDAY after PAX. That was damn near the stupidest thing I did all weekend...even though I'd had 7 hours of sleep, my brain was so fried that I got nearly nothing done and left early to go home and nap anyway.

    Rw4xnu6.png
    PAX Prime Attendee since 2006, BYOC Attendee 2008-2012, Buttoneer 2010-2014
    https://www.pinnypals.com/pals/alegria
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    alegria wrote:
    alegria wrote:
    Kana wrote:
    - Even though I'm a local, I really need to pay for a hotel room next year. It removes so much need for planning and worrying that I might get too tired and/or drunk to drive home.

    The [E] husband and I have done this for two years now - it is REALLY helpful, especially with him working weird shifts. I had to miss out on JoCo in 2009 because of his shifts (had to get home to care for the dogs!), and so we now board the dogs with friends and stay at the Hyatt. Worth. Every. Penny. I'm now wondering if we should check in on Thursday night...

    After my 4th year carpooling I really started to wonder whether it was worth paying for a hotel when I live 9 miles away. Glad to hear you think it's worth the extra money! I'm near Northgate and after dropping three others off on the way north, the last mile or two driving alone at 2am are so scary while so exhausted! This year I did throw a toothbrush and contact supplies in a cosmetic bag in the trunk in case I had to couch surf and luckily was slightly more awake this time than in past years. Also considered cabbing it since a cab ride home would be about the same as the $26 parking at WSCC.

    It's definitely worth every penny, in my opinion. Having a space that is quiet and limited to just the two of us is invaluable after all day spent amongst 20,000 people at PAX. No worrying about how to drive home at 1am, no worrying about the husband driving home at 3am, having an extra 1-2 hours of sleep since there's no transit time, having space to leave things without worry, and having my own bathroom available are all major points in favor. Of course this is not the cheapest option, but even sharing a double room with another few people would give you nearly the same benefits at part of the cost.
    Oh, and the other thing I learned this year - for the love of $DEITY, do NOT GO TO WORK ON MONDAY after PAX. That was damn near the stupidest thing I did all weekend...even though I'd had 7 hours of sleep, my brain was so fried that I got nearly nothing done and left early to go home and nap anyway.

    As an addendum.... don't go to work Tuesday either ;) and maybe not wednesday...

  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote:
    alegria wrote:
    alegria wrote:
    Kana wrote:
    - Even though I'm a local, I really need to pay for a hotel room next year. It removes so much need for planning and worrying that I might get too tired and/or drunk to drive home.

    The [E] husband and I have done this for two years now - it is REALLY helpful, especially with him working weird shifts. I had to miss out on JoCo in 2009 because of his shifts (had to get home to care for the dogs!), and so we now board the dogs with friends and stay at the Hyatt. Worth. Every. Penny. I'm now wondering if we should check in on Thursday night...

    After my 4th year carpooling I really started to wonder whether it was worth paying for a hotel when I live 9 miles away. Glad to hear you think it's worth the extra money! I'm near Northgate and after dropping three others off on the way north, the last mile or two driving alone at 2am are so scary while so exhausted! This year I did throw a toothbrush and contact supplies in a cosmetic bag in the trunk in case I had to couch surf and luckily was slightly more awake this time than in past years. Also considered cabbing it since a cab ride home would be about the same as the $26 parking at WSCC.

    It's definitely worth every penny, in my opinion. Having a space that is quiet and limited to just the two of us is invaluable after all day spent amongst 20,000 people at PAX. No worrying about how to drive home at 1am, no worrying about the husband driving home at 3am, having an extra 1-2 hours of sleep since there's no transit time, having space to leave things without worry, and having my own bathroom available are all major points in favor. Of course this is not the cheapest option, but even sharing a double room with another few people would give you nearly the same benefits at part of the cost.
    Oh, and the other thing I learned this year - for the love of $DEITY, do NOT GO TO WORK ON MONDAY after PAX. That was damn near the stupidest thing I did all weekend...even though I'd had 7 hours of sleep, my brain was so fried that I got nearly nothing done and left early to go home and nap anyway.

    As an addendum.... don't go to work Tuesday either ;) and maybe not wednesday...

    Monday is a travel day anyway! We don't all live in Seattle ;)

  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Next year will be better. Monday is an auto-holiday given it'll be back on Labor Day weekend!

    Oh yeah, gonna add that Taphouse Grill is an awesome place to go eat. Reasonable prices for what you get (Something like $17 for full rack of ribs after barely eating all day? Yes please).

    Note: I'm used to SF financial district prices

    Dracil on
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  • SamyelSamyel Registered User regular
    skylatron wrote:
    [
    Damn, PAX and the community is supposed to be about understanding and bonding. Thanks for killing my post-PAX buzz...over NOTHING.

    Maybe you should consider giving up coffee. You seem a little tightly wound.

    Another thing I learned is that everyone is really tired and over-stimulated by the end of PAX, and it's worth putting in special effort to stay chill and be understanding that other people may be sharper than they'd otherwise be.

    "It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity."
  • recycledairrecycledair Registered User regular
    Just FYI, for parking, Pacific Place this summer had $10 parking for the day while we were at PAX on Saturday and Sunday. Pretty good considering it's literally a block away! Hopefully they'll do the summer rates thing again next year. :)

  • Gene ParmesanGene Parmesan Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I was sick all weekend, so next years PAX you better believe I'm doing immune boosters and vitamins the month leading up to the event. It also drove home that I need to eat better overall.

    Other than that there is no reason to arrive in town before 5 on Thursday (apart from the tour of course) and night flights are a bad idea.

    Gene Parmesan on
  • Gene ParmesanGene Parmesan Registered User regular
    Oh and I'll have to gin up some kind of rental thing for the pre and post PAX get togethers. And doing on on Sunday might not be necessary.

    heck, doing them at all might not be necessary, people will show up regardless of a thread.

  • TraitoriousTraitorious Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    A little late to the party, so I'll try to add new thoughts.
    -Pick up stuff from your trip to QFC (or other grocery store of choice) for your hotelmates if they won't be getting in until after dark. Saw a little bit of the shadyness walking back around 8ish when the sun was setting, but friend didn't arrive until a little after 11pm and wasn't going to chance walking the 12 or so blocks. I picked up some extra stuff during my shopping run to tide him over until he went Saturday late morning.

    -It's okay to go sightsee even if it's your first time and you think you have to stay near the convention center to do everything/not miss something. It was my first time in Seattle, so I went down to Pike Place Market, and tried some recommendations from the food thread away from the convention center as well.

    -I'm considering making a sign next year for (3)DS download play games I brought. Didn't see too many people doing download play while in the queue hall in the mornings. Of course I think this is due to people not knowing who has brought what, and sitting around in the download play lobby for more than 10 minutes trying to find something is just slightly boring.

    Traitorious on
  • p0rtugalviip0rtugalvii Registered User regular
    4 year vet. Still much to learn.
    -bring snack foods
    -leave the convention center to buy food and drink
    -Tournaments are super fun and intense. My friend and I did the brawl tourney and it was a blast to play and watch others play.
    -stay in the expo hall till closing unless you're hitting panels
    -tabletop games and mtg are awesome. Try them.
    -Have an opening plan for when doors open. Look at the floor map early so you can bum rush your favorite AAA title.
    -Waiting for doors to open is super fun. You meet awesome people. I waited outside Thursday since 9pm. Played gin rummy with this Canadian dude and line partied and napped till 6am when doors opened.
    -swag is awesome but space it out so you're not wasting 3 days on swag that may or may not be awesome. I overswagged on Friday. Lol.
    -get a close hotel for dropoffs. I live close so I end up backpacking everything and it is a pain. Worth the money for a dropoff and a close bed spot.
    -check out the Indie games. There were some pretty sweet games with creative concepts. There was this cool tron like digipen game that was super cool looking.

    PSN: p0rtugal_VII
    XBL: DJBlackMage
    Youtube: p0rtugalvii
    Twitter: @p0rtugalvii
  • emimonsteremimonster Silicon ValleyRegistered User regular
    Somebody said Camelpak. This isn't a bad plan, but don't overfill it as you can refill it throughout the day, and you don't want too much added weight. FOR SURE bring a water carrying device of some kind. Hell, pack 2 or 3 if you're travelling in, bc you'll probably lose 1 (if lost and found is any indication).

    Look for people who have bags that are branded as swag (like halo, Torlight 2, etc were handing out) so you can go get a bag yourself to carry extra swag you picked up if you got more big stuff than planned.

    Definitely cut short on too much stuff (laptops, etc). 1 book. or 1 ds. or 1 iphonetouch. That's all you need (with its charger). I had my trusty book and that is me set the whole day of Friday Panel lines. Or, if you have a line game you really want to play, chances are people around you will be happy to join in! Small games without the need for lots of room (hell, a simple deck of cards) are good.

    If you're in the area, scope out parking Thursday or Friday morning. Go to parking garages and ask them what their Friday and Saturday prices are going to be during the event. Just up the street it was 20$ on Friday and I paid 24 down to the southeast! And there was probably better than 20$ a block or 2 farther.

  • HemisphereHemisphere Registered User regular
    -It never hurts to keep some 'just in case' medication on your person. A couple of Advil and Imodium AD tablets can prove to be your best friend in times of need. On a similar note it's probably a good idea to do a bit of a pre-convention search for local drug stores. Knowing about the Bartells on 5th and Olive for example can really come through on so many levels (medications, snacks, sewing kits, toiletries, etc)

    -While you know your body best and what you're capable of handling. It's probably a good idea to stay away from foods that might cause your stomach to hate you. The last thing anyone wants is to have to dash through the Expo hall trying to find a bathroom or standing in the hot sun and being queasy waiting for a panel. I didn't have trouble with this but I did spend some time around someone who had consumed way too much sugar and suffered for it throughout the day. I just had a monster headache on Friday and nothing to take for it.

    -Naked Juice smoothies are awesome. I drank a glass before I left for the convention center each day but I think it really kept me going when my appetite was completely shot due to stress/excitement/etc. Also if you don't have a huge appetite or room on your person for snack bars and the like the local Starbucks actually have a pretty awesome assortment of snack plates. Being able to grab something with peanut butter, fruit, cheese, etc. can really help keep a person going.

    -Bring chargers

    -Next year I'm actually going to bring a business card of some sort with contact information on it. I ended up using 'notes' in my phone to keep track of everything but it would have been nice just to be able to just hand out something quickly to some of the awesome people that I met over the weekend.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Hemisphere wrote:
    -It never hurts to keep some 'just in case' medication on your person. A couple of Advil and Imodium AD tablets can prove to be your best friend in times of need. On a similar note it's probably a good idea to do a bit of a pre-convention search for local drug stores. Knowing about the Bartells on 5th and Olive for example can really come through on so many levels (medications, snacks, sewing kits, toiletries, etc)

    -While you know your body best and what you're capable of handling. It's probably a good idea to stay away from foods that might cause your stomach to hate you. The last thing anyone wants is to have to dash through the Expo hall trying to find a bathroom or standing in the hot sun and being queasy waiting for a panel. I didn't have trouble with this but I did spend some time around someone who had consumed way too much sugar and suffered for it throughout the day. I just had a monster headache on Friday and nothing to take for it.

    -Naked Juice smoothies are awesome. I drank a glass before I left for the convention center each day but I think it really kept me going when my appetite was completely shot due to stress/excitement/etc. Also if you don't have a huge appetite or room on your person for snack bars and the like the local Starbucks actually have a pretty awesome assortment of snack plates. Being able to grab something with peanut butter, fruit, cheese, etc. can really help keep a person going.

    -Bring chargers
    -Next year I'm actually going to bring a business card of some sort with contact information on it. I ended up using 'notes' in my phone to keep track of everything but it would have been nice just to be able to just hand out something quickly to some of the awesome people that I met over the weekend.

    This is always a good idea. A card with some basic contact information can come in very handy, even if it's just an email and a steam handle (or xbox or psn or whatever).

  • nianianianianiania Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Never, ever, ever, ever, miss the Gearbox panel.
    Don't you dare.

    nianiania on
    2014 Tri-Wizard Drinking Tournament
    Hufflepuff: Death Eaters / Head of House
  • HemisphereHemisphere Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote:
    This is always a good idea. A card with some basic contact information can come in very handy, even if it's just an email and a steam handle (or xbox or psn or whatever).

    That's exactly what I was thinking~! I mean http://us.moo.com/ has some awesome options so I figured I could just throw some of my random artwork stuff on one side and email, XBL, Twitter, G+, etc. information on the other.

  • emimonsteremimonster Silicon ValleyRegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote:
    Hemisphere wrote:
    -It never hurts to keep some 'just in case' medication on your person. A couple of Advil and Imodium AD tablets can prove to be your best friend in times of need. On a similar note it's probably a good idea to do a bit of a pre-convention search for local drug stores. Knowing about the Bartells on 5th and Olive for example can really come through on so many levels (medications, snacks, sewing kits, toiletries, etc)

    -While you know your body best and what you're capable of handling. It's probably a good idea to stay away from foods that might cause your stomach to hate you. The last thing anyone wants is to have to dash through the Expo hall trying to find a bathroom or standing in the hot sun and being queasy waiting for a panel. I didn't have trouble with this but I did spend some time around someone who had consumed way too much sugar and suffered for it throughout the day. I just had a monster headache on Friday and nothing to take for it.

    -Naked Juice smoothies are awesome. I drank a glass before I left for the convention center each day but I think it really kept me going when my appetite was completely shot due to stress/excitement/etc. Also if you don't have a huge appetite or room on your person for snack bars and the like the local Starbucks actually have a pretty awesome assortment of snack plates. Being able to grab something with peanut butter, fruit, cheese, etc. can really help keep a person going.

    -Bring chargers
    -Next year I'm actually going to bring a business card of some sort with contact information on it. I ended up using 'notes' in my phone to keep track of everything but it would have been nice just to be able to just hand out something quickly to some of the awesome people that I met over the weekend.

    This is always a good idea. A card with some basic contact information can come in very handy, even if it's just an email and a steam handle (or xbox or psn or whatever).

    Quoted for great point-ness! I will totally do this next year ^_^

  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Salem MARegistered User regular
    emimonster wrote:
    zerzhul wrote:
    Hemisphere wrote:
    -It never hurts to keep some 'just in case' medication on your person. A couple of Advil and Imodium AD tablets can prove to be your best friend in times of need. On a similar note it's probably a good idea to do a bit of a pre-convention search for local drug stores. Knowing about the Bartells on 5th and Olive for example can really come through on so many levels (medications, snacks, sewing kits, toiletries, etc)

    -While you know your body best and what you're capable of handling. It's probably a good idea to stay away from foods that might cause your stomach to hate you. The last thing anyone wants is to have to dash through the Expo hall trying to find a bathroom or standing in the hot sun and being queasy waiting for a panel. I didn't have trouble with this but I did spend some time around someone who had consumed way too much sugar and suffered for it throughout the day. I just had a monster headache on Friday and nothing to take for it.

    -Naked Juice smoothies are awesome. I drank a glass before I left for the convention center each day but I think it really kept me going when my appetite was completely shot due to stress/excitement/etc. Also if you don't have a huge appetite or room on your person for snack bars and the like the local Starbucks actually have a pretty awesome assortment of snack plates. Being able to grab something with peanut butter, fruit, cheese, etc. can really help keep a person going.

    -Bring chargers
    -Next year I'm actually going to bring a business card of some sort with contact information on it. I ended up using 'notes' in my phone to keep track of everything but it would have been nice just to be able to just hand out something quickly to some of the awesome people that I met over the weekend.

    This is always a good idea. A card with some basic contact information can come in very handy, even if it's just an email and a steam handle (or xbox or psn or whatever).

    Quoted for great point-ness! I will totally do this next year ^_^

    i hope this doesn't come off too much like advertising, but i really like vistaprint.com for this purpose. if you're not real picky about design and order them far enough in advance, you can get about 250 business cards for just a few dollars shipping. i have multiple vistaprint business cards that i use for different purposes, always been happy with them.

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  • akjakakjak Thera Spooky GymRegistered User regular
    Moo's cards are great! You can get the little half-size ones, which I love.

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  • RedwingedblackbirdRedwingedblackbird Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Don't wear a Spider-Man costume with no pockets... :P

  • RedwingedblackbirdRedwingedblackbird Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    tvethiopia wrote:
    emimonster wrote:
    zerzhul wrote:
    Hemisphere wrote:
    -It never hurts to keep some 'just in case' medication on your person. A couple of Advil and Imodium AD tablets can prove to be your best friend in times of need. On a similar note it's probably a good idea to do a bit of a pre-convention search for local drug stores. Knowing about the Bartells on 5th and Olive for example can really come through on so many levels (medications, snacks, sewing kits, toiletries, etc)

    -While you know your body best and what you're capable of handling. It's probably a good idea to stay away from foods that might cause your stomach to hate you. The last thing anyone wants is to have to dash through the Expo hall trying to find a bathroom or standing in the hot sun and being queasy waiting for a panel. I didn't have trouble with this but I did spend some time around someone who had consumed way too much sugar and suffered for it throughout the day. I just had a monster headache on Friday and nothing to take for it.

    -Naked Juice smoothies are awesome. I drank a glass before I left for the convention center each day but I think it really kept me going when my appetite was completely shot due to stress/excitement/etc. Also if you don't have a huge appetite or room on your person for snack bars and the like the local Starbucks actually have a pretty awesome assortment of snack plates. Being able to grab something with peanut butter, fruit, cheese, etc. can really help keep a person going.

    -Bring chargers
    -Next year I'm actually going to bring a business card of some sort with contact information on it. I ended up using 'notes' in my phone to keep track of everything but it would have been nice just to be able to just hand out something quickly to some of the awesome people that I met over the weekend.

    This is always a good idea. A card with some basic contact information can come in very handy, even if it's just an email and a steam handle (or xbox or psn or whatever).

    Quoted for great point-ness! I will totally do this next year ^_^

    i hope this doesn't come off too much like advertising, but i really like vistaprint.com for this purpose. if you're not real picky about design and order them far enough in advance, you can get about 250 business cards for just a few dollars shipping. i have multiple vistaprint business cards that i use for different purposes, always been happy with them.

    That's what I did... brought some business cards. Actually gave out a couple too :)

  • nanaki254nanaki254 Registered User regular
    nianiania wrote:
    Never, ever, ever, ever, miss the Gearbox panel.
    Don't you dare.

    This. That was the best panel I have been to this PAX (And probably all other paxes i been to). Free food and the free gift. Plus it seems like Gearbox really had a good time at the panel.

    emimonster wrote:
    Somebody said Camelpak. This isn't a bad plan, but don't overfill it as you can refill it throughout the day, and you don't want too much added weight. FOR SURE bring a water carrying device of some kind. Hell, pack 2 or 3 if you're travelling in, bc you'll probably lose 1 (if lost and found is any indication).

    Look for people who have bags that are branded as swag (like halo, Torlight 2, etc were handing out) so you can go get a bag yourself to carry extra swag you picked up if you got more big stuff than planned.

    If you were lucky, Gamespot gave away drinking pouches - very neat of them to do so :D

    I won a bag at Wakfu's wheel (call it lucky or unlucky). That bag was VERY durable, despite the look and feel of it.
    Halofest's bag was sweet as well, and the early birds got the mega blocks set that came with the bag.

    I missed out on Sony's bag, because I thought you had to play in one of their booths (and sit in an hour+ long line). Oh the things I learn afterwards.

    But yeah. Every PAX I been to, there was always 2 or 3 booths that give out excellent bags.

    Remember the Nexon bags anyone?

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  • palmerpalmer Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    zerzhul wrote:
    As an addendum.... don't go to work Tuesday either ;) and maybe not wednesday...

    I slept in till 9 on Tuesday, I was so tired!

    Erm... that's 9 PM. At night.
    Tuesday.
    I was vaguely mobile on Monday, but not what could be considered human, by any stretch... yet I slept more on Tuesday.

    - - -
    tvethiopia wrote:
    i hope this doesn't come off too much like advertising, but i really like vistaprint.com for this purpose. if you're not real picky about design and order them far enough in advance, you can get about 250 business cards for just a few dollars shipping. i have multiple vistaprint business cards that i use for different purposes, always been happy with them.

    Seconding Vistaprint. Sign up for their emails, but FILTER them because they send every second day. The deals in the emails stay valid for a week or so, so you can combine sales from separate emails. You do need to click through from each relevant email to activate them on the site though.

    I do demos for a large board game company, so I got business cards and banners to promote myself, network and for table dressage at cons.
    I got Free Shipping from one email, 80% off Banners from another, added a couple other things in and boom... I got three banners, 750 business cards, a self-inking stamp and a few other bits and bobs for $32. Normal prices for that would have been closer to $100.

    Best part is that VistaPrint seems to have offices in like 20 different countries, so you can probably order in your native currency, and have it mailed domestically (no customs)!

    palmer on
  • OmniscientlyMeOmniscientlyMe Registered User regular
    My food strategy is simple. First, eat before heading off to PAX. For the rest, pack a sandwich, sliced apple, granola bar, and maybe another piece of food or two if you plan on staying late. Then just eat whenever you're hungry while waiting in line for something. It's cheap, convenient and a lot healthier than most of the local food vendors.

    Most importantly, don't pack candy bars or things that will melt.

  • SilverEternitySilverEternity Registered User regular
    1. It's very nice staying within walking distance of the expo. I did not during PAX East and staying close was wonderful at PAX Prime.

    2. Never, ever, ever go to PAX with someone who is not a gamer. It will be miserable for both people (I should have known better but didn't want to go alone) and will be awkward in line as that person says all the negative things they believe about gamers.

    3. It was a good decision to only go out a couple nights (instead of every night) this time. Getting at least one good nights sleep was well worth it.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Third PAX, still learning...

    - If you live more than a ten minute bus ride away, a hotel is worth every penny. And the Sheraton isn't all that much more expensive and also worth every penny.

    - Every year I pack my backpack lighter....this year was just a smartphone, charger, headphones. Next year I may add a DS. And....

    - Bring a poster tube. Many booths that sell (or give away) posters won't have them.

    - Leave early if your schedule allows for lunch...got into Blue C (right across the street) at 11 on Friday with a 5 minute wait. By the time we left, the line was down the block. Beat the rush.

    - Sega did free food and booze at Gameworks. It was awesome. But the line was insane, so we wound up not eating (we got drinks brought to our table, because we were baller like that). Drinking like eight drinks on an empty stomach is a BAD IDEA. Key lesson, keep some kind of food on you for something like that. Even a Clif bar woulda helped.

    All I got for now. Probably more later.

  • Airious24Airious24 Registered User regular
    krikitarmy wrote:
    For cheap parking, look up El Corazon (It's where the Protomen had their concert). Drive from there towards the convention center and you'll find dozens of lots in the area where you can get all day parking for less than $15. You'll have to walk a bit, but compared to the walking you'll do the rest of the day it's nothing.

    I paid $10 on Saturday by getting $8 10 hour parking and returning at 6 to buy $2 evening parking. On Sunday I paid $12 for 24 hour parking at a slightly closer location.

    I do agree that if you don't mind walking there are plenty of places to park for cheap. Also most buses (especially ones in the transit tunnel) are free if you get off and on within city limits, so you can park even further for cheaper. But what most people seem to forget, is all street parking is FREE on Sundays!

  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    *SNIP*
    - Bring a poster tube. Many booths that sell (or give away) posters won't have them.

    *Snip*

    Pack said poster tube for the expo hall on swag day. The wife and I didn't do this and our posters got wrinkley on our way back.
    Also, oddly one of the DnD one's got a bit damaged trying to fit it into the tube. So either a) Buy a bigger tube (ours was USPS medium) or b) remove rubberbands first.

  • 61Ranchero61Ranchero Registered User regular
    - Go to the gym and work out, old man! I'm only about 40-50lbs overweight but I'm sedentary and hitting the stage in my life where my muscles have significantly deteriorated (I'm 40). Every single part of my lower body was in pain by the end of Friday and for fully 3 days after PAX. Plus, a few years in the Army aeons ago have not done kind things to my knees.

    - Poster tube. I already knew this, blew it off and regretted it.

    - Cell phone, DS, small MP3 player, headphones, batteries, chargers. No other electronics next time. My bluetooth headphones were worthless thanks to interference.

    - No outside boardgames. Play whats there. Had more friends along this time, thought it would be a good idea. No one played them. We were all too busy.

    - Ibuprofen, Immodium AD and Pepcid. Kept me going (see first line).

  • drakk2drakk2 Registered User regular
    For everyone, a warning:

    DONT STAY AT THE HOTEL SEATTLE.
    Unless you're only 2-3 people in there, and only going to sleep there, it's a pretty bad choice. The reviews aren't wrong, we couldn't even control the hot water in the shower, among many other problems.

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