Pre-PAX Boardgame Night(s) in Melbourne - It's Up to Each of You!

LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
edited May 2013 in PAX Australia
UPDATE 5/21/13
Due to the lack of forum activity for this very first PAX, and due to the newness of the event itself, no coordinated game night is planned at this time. However, please feel free to investigate how gaming works at the individual hotels this year and collect data for a possible meetup next year. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

ORIGINAL POST
On two magical nights each year, namely the Thursday Night Before PAX Prime and PAX East, there is a traditional boardgame meetup in the lobby of the hotel closest to the convention center where PAX is held.

The meetups were spontaneous for many years until the crowds outgrew the hotel lobby and angry shenanigans occurred between the attendees and the hotel lobby bar staff. Since then, the boardgame meetups have been formally organized by a volunteer and coordinated between the Hotel management, the Expo management and PA. At PAX East this year, there will be 3 different boardgame events that night at 3 different hotels, with almost 500 seats available between them.

Interest in a Pre-PAX Boardgame night has been expressed in the threads here, but with PAX attendees staying at so many hotels all over downtown Melbourne, it's difficult to determine whether a single, centralized boardgame meetup would be necessary or whether enough people would be at any one hotel lobby to justify setting it up ahead of time.

Please fill out this survey to help figure out where it might be held

So what do you guys think?

Do you want or need a coordinated boardgame meetup at a single hotel? Multiple hotels?

Does anyone want to be a game night coordinator? (There are procedures to follow if so)

Weigh in below!

Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
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Posts

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    I am liking the idea though it depends on which hotels are gonna see some action like the ibis melbourne for me. I don't mind bringing a few smaller games like zombie dice cos it's small but bigger games i am not so sure cos i am flying in and i want to keep my luggage weight to a minimum going in and out (saving space for any merch).

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • MelaynaMelayna Registered User regular
    I'm not sure if you'd want a centralised gaming venue or prehaps a few scattered. But i'd be happy to volunteer some time and help you organise it. (Not necessarily be co-ordinator as I haven't been to one of these events, but i'm local, have a car and eager :).)

  • ninnanuamninnanuam Registered User regular
    Id be interested in attending something like this but i don't think the hotel im staying at would have room. I stayed there for I'll be your mirror 2 weeks ago and the lobby was almost non existent.

    But id be willing to travel to another hotel in the cbd and could possibly bring some games, zombies and munchkin spring to mind.

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    would be cool if you/we could book a function/conference room and play instead of going and playing individual hotel rooms.

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    thegh0sts wrote: »
    would be cool if you/we could book a function/conference room and play instead of going and playing individual hotel rooms.

    This is exactly what an 'organized, coordinated' game night is about. To a hospitality facility like a hotel, there's a huge difference between a handful of folks hanging out in the lobby's Comfy Chairs versus a preplanned event that's scheduled in a designated area and announced ahead of time. It's outrageously fun, and a fantastic way to get the weekend started in the spirit of the PAX community.

    Unfortunately, paying for a ballroom or conference room can costs hundreds or thousands of dollars for the evening. It's not realistic to pay for this kind of get together.

    The trick is about finding that sweet spot where the hotels can predict enough revenue from bar/meal sales to justify giving the group a free space. That's why these work so well at the other PAXes; both Prime and East have a massive hotel connected (or nearly connected) to the convention center where we can easily predict a few hundred people will attend. The coordinator works with the hotel ahead of time, letting them know what to expect (seats, table needs, timeframes, etc...) and in turn makes sure that the attendees know that the hotel expects resounding bar and restaurant receipts at the end of the night. It's a great way to make everybody happy.

    With the way that the Melbourne PAX is configured, with people staying at so many different hotels so far away from the Showgrounds, it's difficult to gauge how coordinated game nights would work. Only a tiny fraction of the attendees who are staying in hotels are actually on the forums, so they don't know about this event until they walk into their hotel lobby on Thursday night and see a massive mob of people playing games. Herein lies the challenge, as you can probably see. There's no clear single location to hold it in.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • Freeman_78Freeman_78 Melbourne Registered User regular
    too bad you are all not based on the 57 tram line... goes past the showgrounds ..... had many mean booze partys traveling all the pubs along it in my student days.

  • Ax0rAx0r Registered User regular
    Definitely think this should happen. I went to PAX Prime a couple years ago, and this was a perfect way to start it off.
    For PAX Aus, my friends and I will be road tripping down, so we'll have a whole stack of board games with us to play and share around. We need to have a place which has enough space to accommodate people - The Hilton or something, I would imagine. We'd get ourselves to wherever it needed to be.
    If someone local to Melbourne volunteered to organise this, that would probably be ideal - they'd be able to go and check out the space and tables etc, as well as speak in person to managers etc.

    Hopefully the activity on this forum might pick up in the next couple months...

  • zerochosenzerochosen WollongongRegistered User regular
    I'd love to be involved in this, and will be flying down on that day. I guess it will depend on if I get to be an Enforcer or not and what commitments that will entail.

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  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    would love to see this happen :D

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    I would love this to happen :) perhaps set up a survey on doodle.com to see not only which hotel(s) has the greatest number of formers there, but also which ones people would be most willing to travel to? (Yes equals where you're staying, ifneedbe equals where you're willing to go, no equals you wouldn't go to a gamenight there).

    HI3789R.png
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    where in a hotel's facilities would you host it?

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • Ax0rAx0r Registered User regular
    At PAX Prime, it's held in the lobby of the Hilton, as well as the ground floor bar at the Hilton. Worked really well. Any reasonably upmarket hotel will have similar levels of space and facilities, it's just a question of whether they'd have us

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    which of the hotels are "up market"? ibis hotel?

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • vonhistvonhist Mr Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Hi,
    I'd love to be involved in this. As a local I could bring my BSG board game and maybe a couple of others.

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    maybe we can use the hotel poll (if there's one already out there) and gauge where the majority of people are attending PAX AUS are staying and hold pre-PAX AUS events at those hotels.

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • FatSoDaFatSoDa Professor Doctor AustraliaRegistered User regular
    the bar of a hotel usually has plenty of tables, and so long as people are buying something per table your going to be ok with the bar staff

    [E]nforcing it Like I stole it
    paxaus.gif

    PAX Aus Enforcer
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    buy a bowl of hot chips/fries for the yanks and a few drinks and it should be OK :D

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • RiketzRiketz Registered User regular
    Im so down for this. I could bring along my World of Warcraft Monopoly. :3

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    anyone got metal gear solid risk? though the nature of risk in general is that it takes forever to play.

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • RiketzRiketz Registered User regular
    The space cafe hotel has a bar in the lobby. Drinks and boardgames :3

  • KaneskiKaneski Registered User regular
    Hope this shiz goes down. Some of the items on my boardgame shelf are getting dusty. I'm local to Melbourne, and could happily bring some... 20ish games. Also happy to help them run, not necessarily play. I'm sure I'll get my fix at actual PAX...

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    yay for zombie dice!

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • AnzekayAnzekay Registered User regular
    I'll be in town from the wednesday before PAX weekend, along with a few guys I'm sharing accomadation with. I know I for one would be pretty interested in this, and I suspect they would be too.

  • nfgDannfgDan Media Hack MelbourneRegistered User new member
    If this gets up and running I can potentially bring:
    Game of Thrones
    Munchkin + Expansions 2,3,5 and Penny Arcade
    Small World
    Risk 2210 AD
    Billionare (not the monopoly thing, the card one)

    Being a local I can help out somewhat with organising and ferrying equipment. Tweet to me @nfgDan
    During the Weekend itself myself and my SO will be staying at Crown so we'll be semi-centrally located.
    When details are set in clay (if not stone) I would like the opportunity to publish an article at Non-Fiction Gaming promoting the pre-event.

    p.s: I'm not sure if this kind of thing would traditionally have DnD but I've never tried it and keen to give it a go if some wizened operator sets it up.

  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Woah! Sorry for not responding earlier, you guys, there wasn't much activity on this thread for the first few weeks so I kinda dismissed it. Mea Culpa.

    So the relevant questions for Melbourne are exactly as stated in the OP. I'll get a survey posted per the thread suggestions, but we'll still need a coordinator in Melbourne to be the boots-on-the-ground, since I won't be attending PAX Au. Think of me as facilitating from a distance.

    If any of you have Project-Managey skills and would be interested in running this event for PAX Au, please get in contact with me for all the gory details which are too long and tedious to list off here.

    LexiconGrrl on
    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    thegh0sts wrote: »
    where in a hotel's facilities would you host it?

    That depends on the hotel. The game night has gotten too big for the hotel lobbies at Prime (Sheraton) and at East (Westin), so we work with the hotel ahead of time to figure that out. We sat 300+ people at the Westin in Boston this year, and I think we could have sat 500 if there'd been chairs. This being the first year of PAX Au, it's going to be much smaller but I still think you can expect to need either a single space to seat 75, or multiple spaces to seat 20 each.

    At this past East, we had game nights at 2 different hotels. The Westin gave us the lobby, the mezzanine lobby, and the entire restaurant. The Mariott gave a private back room in the lobby bar. It really just depends on each hotel's layout and how many people are expected.
    thegh0sts wrote: »
    which of the hotels are "up market"? ibis hotel?
    I wouldn't call Ibis an "up market" hotel chain, though I do like to stay at them. Think more along the lines of Mariott, Westin, Sheraton, Hilton.

    LexiconGrrl on
    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    well, i'll be happy to join an event if there's one going down in the nearest hotel.

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • MagnusCarterMagnusCarter Registered User regular
    I'll be joining in whatever is happening and happy to go to wherever that is.

  • RiketzRiketz Registered User regular
    919944_10151876739184535_264385863_o_zpscbee0c5c.jpg

    Drawing up the designs for Artorias :3

  • DeliverancexxDeliverancexx Registered User new member
    thegh0sts wrote: »
    which of the hotels are "up market"? ibis hotel?

    Melbournes upmarket hotels are Crown, Crown Metropol, Sofitel, Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Hilton on the Park, Windsor. All of these are spread between Southbank (Crowns), East Melbourne (Parks) and the CBD. I've stayed at them all except Crown Towers and Park Hyatt and can recommend for large (semi)-public lobby areas with bar/snacks the Hilton on the Park which is opposite the MCG and Jolimont train station and on both the 48 and 75 tram lines. Windsor is out unless they give you the private dining area, Sofitel might work if they staff the bar area in the lobby which I've only seen them do for High Tea, no idea about Crown and the Metropol lobby doesn't have a bar from memory as its connected to the casino. Grand Hyatt would work well and is very central.

    All in all I'd recommend the Grand Hyatt or Hilton on the Park, leaning towards Grand Hyatt as its much newer and better lit.

    I haven't stayed at many of the non 5 star Melbourne hotels but the Rendezvous has a basement restaurant that could work and the Mecure Welcome (I think) has a slighty smaller bar that might work for 20-30 people. Both and very central.

    Please note this is all from memory and some might not be 100% still accurate.
    Other than that, I would totally be up for this, I'm a local in Richmond so can go to anywhere I've mentioned.

  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Hey you guys - final update:

    So this being the very first PAX in Australia and all, it looks like there's very little PAXer presence on the forums. So little, in fact, that it's impossible to really gauge how to best plan a single boardgame night, or if a single night would even be viable.

    SO! It's looking like potential boardgaming will happen in each individual hotel. I know a couple of you have reached out to volunteer to coordinate a bigass game night, but honestly, I think that it would be an exercise in futility this first year... but perhaps next year we'll have a better idea of how things work in Melbourne.

    For anyone interested in setting up a big coordinated game night for NEXT year, please pay close attention to the crowds in your hotel. Maybe even walk around and check out the various hotels in Melbourne to see who has a lot of gamers and who can accommodate more. We'll open this thread up next year to reevaluate the findings from this first year.

    Oh, and if anybody wants to go ahead and try to set something up this first year, please feel free to PM me if you have any questions or need anything.

    Cheers!

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • KaneskiKaneski Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Pooh.

    Plan B.

    Kaneski on
  • DeliverancexxDeliverancexx Registered User new member
    Plan B is a cool little BYOFood bar on Bridge Rd in Richmond. I'm sure they'd let us bring games in if we promised them $X in bar sales ;-)

  • KaneskiKaneski Registered User regular
    "You must drink beer, or else you can't play boardgames!"

  • troubleshootertroubleshooter Registered User regular
    Hey guys, I'm a Melbourne local, and my main impetus for coming to PAX this year was hearing about the board gaming hall, which sounds like amazing fun. For those who have experienced it at previous PAXs, is it a fairly social atmosphere where randoms can just form groups for games? I'm pretty much flying solo but hoping to get in some board time and meet some new people. Also, does word spread re: these large pop up gaming events at the hotels?

    I also saw that many of you flying in will only be bringing compact/travel games.
    I'm considering bringing a different game or two on each of the three days... Would love to play some Eclipse if anyone else knows the rules, (other favourites I have Puerto Rico, Agricola, Robo Rally, Cash n Guns, Dominion)

  • StupidStupid Newcastle, NSWRegistered User regular
    edited June 2013
    Hey guys, I'm a Melbourne local, and my main impetus for coming to PAX this year was hearing about the board gaming hall, which sounds like amazing fun. For those who have experienced it at previous PAXs, is it a fairly social atmosphere where randoms can just form groups for games? I'm pretty much flying solo but hoping to get in some board time and meet some new people. Also, does word spread re: these large pop up gaming events at the hotels?

    I also saw that many of you flying in will only be bringing compact/travel games.
    I'm considering bringing a different game or two on each of the three days... Would love to play some Eclipse if anyone else knows the rules, (other favourites I have Puerto Rico, Agricola, Robo Rally, Cash n Guns, Dominion)

    This is more of a general question and I suspect it will be moved to the FAQ thread, but yes it is exactly as you have described. At other PAXes, there is what amounts to a typical local game shoppe set up that has oodles of games. You (the attendee) can "check out" the games a la a normal lending library. You need to provide some kind of valid ID and if I recall you provide a credit card or some other item that has a reasonably large intrinsic value. Then you take your borrowed game to one of a bevy of conference rooms (at Prime) or a large hall (at East), plunk down at a table and look for people willing to play. Oft time you will see one or two people wandering about with a game and a small LFG sign. (Alternately, you can wander around looking for people with the afforementioned LFG signs and join in on those games. Both are equally valid strategies.)


    A similar setup is available for consoles, and handhelds.

    We've met oodles of very cool people doing exactly this.

    The downside is that these games, controllers and components touch a lot of hands over the weekend. If one person has a cold or flu, they give it to the people playing the game, and the next people who check it out as well. Over the course of the weekend, you are pretty much guaranteed to come in contact with a wide variety of virii, bacteria and other human-hosted microbes. It's a very worthwhile tradeoff.

    Stupid on

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  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Hey guys, I'm a Melbourne local, and my main impetus for coming to PAX this year was hearing about the board gaming hall, which sounds like amazing fun. For those who have experienced it at previous PAXs, is it a fairly social atmosphere where randoms can just form groups for games? I'm pretty much flying solo but hoping to get in some board time and meet some new people. Also, does word spread re: these large pop up gaming events at the hotels?

    Tabletop at the Con: There typically a twitter feed: @TT_HQ that is used with varying success to advertise or look for games in the hall. Honestly the biggest challenge is overcoming inherent shyness to walk up and ask a table and just ask if you can join in a game. The second biggest challenge is OH MY GOD THERE'S A THOUSAND PEOPLE PLAYING BOARD GAMES HERE. *overwhelmed freeze*. It can be tough to figure out how to approach folks in such a huge crowd.

    Hotel Gaming Foreknowledge: Word doesn't really spread unless someone posts to the forums. One of the reasons there's a huge Thursday evening board game meetup at Prime and East is because it's so visible to everyone checking in to *the* hotel. With so many hotels in Melbourne, figuring out how to advertise the game night(s) is new territory. The forum threads here are the best bet, but will only reach a tiny percentage of the attendees.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • YugYug [ PAX Australia ] Content & Communications Manager AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Hmmm ... if you guys can lock down some places for Thursday boardgaming, I can make some posts on the PAX Aus facebook/twitter directing board gamers to go to this thread to organise meet ups. Or a new thread might be even better.

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  • MelaynaMelayna Registered User regular
    I'm still trying to get some locations definately penciled in. Problem is trying to work out where ALOT of people are staying.

This discussion has been closed.