Options

I'm so disappointed in the panels.

aworldnervelinkaworldnervelink Registered User regular
I just got back from my first PAX East. In general it was totally awesome, but I was appalled to see how the panels were being managed. The first panel I went to was hardly 1/4 full, so I had no idea of the cattle herd thing that was going on. The next one I tried to go to - the only one I REALLY cared about for the entire weekend - was full when I got there. It became apparent after a few more attempts that the only way to get into these things is to waste hours of time standing in lines. In my opinion this is not a professional way to run an event.

This is really not a difficult problem to solve - just have people choose the panels they want to attend when they register. If you are on the list you walk right into the theater, if not you don't go in. Event fills up, it moves to a larger room ahead of time. You need fewer enforcers and a lot less masking tape. It's so simple that I can't believe it's not being done this way. I go to a lot of conferences across many disparate genres and I've never seen anything like this.

Does anyone else feel this way?

Android developer of Werewolves and Villagers.

Posts

  • Options
    DolarrahDolarrah New JerseyRegistered User regular
    Panel Management at PAX has sucked every year I have gone, but if you know the way it works ahead of time it is manageable. The PAX East Convention is best summarized by the South Park Episode about the "Line Ride" where the boys wait in line for hours only to find out the line was the ride. You will gain more information about stuff by standing in line and talking to people then you will from the panelists. Most of what they have to say is a rehash of what you will learn on the line or on the floor. So next year talk to the people around you while waiting in line and you can probably catch up on sleep while sitting in the actual panel so you are refreshed for the parties that night.

  • Options
    kropotkinkropotkin Forum Badge Creator London UKRegistered User regular
    If you're going to panels you make a judgement call on when to queue up. If it's something like Giant Bomb, you wait in line at least 1.5 hours before it starts. If it's a little more niche, then you can pop in 30 mins before it starts. To ask people to register for panels restricts them as it forces them to attend when they may find they have other things to do. Essentially if you want to attend a panel, plan ahead!

    ryr7xy0i2ynw.png





  • Options
    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    I mean I get the frustration, but it's pretty fair to everyone considering if you show up early enough, you get in - contrast that with the alternative of just not having a chance to get into a panel because you weren't online to pre-register at a certain time, and to have empty seats in the theater because some number of registrants changed their minds at the last minute.

    I didn't go to the most most popular panels this year (though I went to Irrational's panel) and didn't have any problems at all getting in by showing up ~1 hour early. Which isn't unreasonable for an hour long panel, considering a) you get to talk to other PAXers while you wait, and b) some people were waiting 3 hours to play game demos.

    3DS FC: 2079-6424-8577 | PSN: KaeruX65 | Steam: Karulytic | FFXIV: Wonder Boy
  • Options
    jdixon1972jdixon1972 Registered User regular
    Sounds like a good idea, but your formula wont work. You may use less enforcers for lines, but you'll need more for tech support, let alone the charges that PAX would incur to get the software to do it. Please remember that enforcers aren't paid either. I'm not trying to start a war saying anything about how PAX is run. I've been to all 4 Easts. I'm used to it. In my opinion, this year was the best yet for line management. It will continue to get better. Just be glad there is a convention like this on the east coast.

  • Options
    vttymvttym Ardent Gamer Northern NJRegistered User regular
    Exception to the ESO party, the lines are where I had the most fun at Pax, playing Spaceteam, talking to people, etc.

    Pax is a social experience. Its not like other conferences or expos. I am glad for this.

  • Options
    vttymvttym Ardent Gamer Northern NJRegistered User regular
    edited March 2013
    *double post is redundant*

    vttym on
  • Options
    aworldnervelinkaworldnervelink Registered User regular
    I'll write the software. There, that solves one issue. ;-) To Grundle's point about pre-registering, the letter I got with my passes specifically gives thanks "for registering pre, as it helps basically everything about the show." This would seem to be in the same vein. Even polling people about what panels they are interested in would help ensure adequate room capacity.

    I look at it this way. I can play games (and party) at home. I can drive to game stores. I cannot, however, see these panels anywhere else but at PAX, and that is where the real value is. If it is so much trouble to get in it makes me think twice about buying a 3-day pass next time around when maybe 1 day of cruising the expo floor would do it.

    Android developer of Werewolves and Villagers.
  • Options
    gamerman1227gamerman1227 Registered User regular
    vttym wrote: »
    Exception to the ESO party, the lines are where I had the most fun at Pax, playing Spaceteam, talking to people, etc.

    Pax is a social experience. Its not like other conferences or expos. I am glad for this.

    I dunno, I waited in quite a few lines this weekend, and most people, especially if they are in groups, seemed more bothered and annoyed by arbitrary conversation from someone they don't know.

  • Options
    d0ughb0yd0ughb0y Registered User regular
    1. The logistics to put what you're looking for into place is very high.
    2. Now, instead of complaining about waiting in line, you'll have people complaining about being locked out of panels because they couldn't register fast enough.
    3. You're missing one of the most important parts of PAX: making friends and being cool in lines. You have no idea how much fun you can have, how many new games you learn, how many great experiences and stories you hear, and how many COOKIES you get.

  • Options
    aikoeaikoe Registered User regular
    As someone who used to attend GenCon, I feel pretty qualified to say that the "register for panels ahead of time" model is one of the stupidest ways to ruin a convention. OP, if you'd done your research or thought about it, you'd realize that there are 70K+ people trying to get into panels, and you can't reasonably expect to just walk into a popular panel like you would at a small convention. Waiting in a line is not painful or damaging to the convention experience. You meet great people, play fun games, and learn a little time management. They've been running PAX like this for years and I personally think that you shouldn't hold the convention responsible for your misconceptions.

    PAX East 2014: 3-Day Pass [X] | Hotel Room [X] | Transportation [X] | Time Off [X] | Costume [ ]
    NEED TWO ROOMS IN THE WESTIN ON THURSDAY NIGHT! Please PM me!
  • Options
    sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Just gonna throw this out there. Your idea would never work because the schedule is never finalized/released until like two weeks before the con.

    And if you weren't you really should have been following pax lines on Twitter. Skiped east this year, but compared to prime they had their stuff way in check and were tweeting so much I had to unfollow temporarily on my main amount. And as others have said you're never going to be able to show up to a popular panel 30min before and expect to get in.

  • Options
    PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    I actually thought lines were handled very well this year, got to meet some interesting people and play MtG from the swag bags.

    I also waited an hour max in a line, that's the thing with PAX if you want to do something you'll have to sacrifice a bit, you just won't be able to do everything at one PAX. (Mostly Main Theater stuff, but also the Scott & Kris/LoadingReadyRun panels)

    PayneTrayne on
    PAX East 2015:Get on Pokecrawl Team Yellow Silver [ ] Pass [X] Vacation Time [X] Hotel [X] Flights [ ] PAX East 2015 Complete [ X ] Sell Extra Set of Badges because Friend Bailed [ ]
  • Options
    Sir AurosSir Auros Registered User regular
    The only issue I saw with a panel was that the Magic panel was in a much smaller theater than what the demand required. I thought Pax Lines did a great job on Twitter.

  • Options
    BinaryPieBinaryPie Registered User regular
    I had no problems with the panel lines. I planned waiting them into my day as 'rest time', so chilling out for the 0.5 to 1.5hrs in them was kinda nice.

  • Options
    RegimentRegiment Registered User regular
    I always pack M:TG Duel Decks, the newest Pokemon, and Cthulhu Dice, and just take the lines. Like BinaryPie said, it's rest time. And I've never seen people in lines who weren't busy and refused to play games or whatever, and when I don't ask, I've been invited into some myself.Having people preregister for panels would take away the opportunity to look at the schedule an hour or so out and say "this looks like fun, let me grab a seat and check it out".

    I never lose, I just win sideways.
  • Options
    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Please consolidate all constructive feedback to the constructive feedback thread.

  • Options
    deathsquirreldeathsquirrel Registered User regular
    I just got back from my first PAX East. In general it was totally awesome, but I was appalled to see how the panels were being managed. The first panel I went to was hardly 1/4 full, so I had no idea of the cattle herd thing that was going on. The next one I tried to go to - the only one I REALLY cared about for the entire weekend - was full when I got there. It became apparent after a few more attempts that the only way to get into these things is to waste hours of time standing in lines. In my opinion this is not a professional way to run an event.

    This is really not a difficult problem to solve - just have people choose the panels they want to attend when they register. If you are on the list you walk right into the theater, if not you don't go in. Event fills up, it moves to a larger room ahead of time. You need fewer enforcers and a lot less masking tape. It's so simple that I can't believe it's not being done this way. I go to a lot of conferences across many disparate genres and I've never seen anything like this.

    Does anyone else feel this way?

    I am sorry, but what you suggest is not a good alternative. As enforcers we do everything we can to make your wait in line more pleasant, but the fact is, if you want to see a panel that other people also want to see, you have to weigh the waiting against the benefit of seeing the panel. What you are suggesting is not even remotely possible with the logistics of running a show the size of PAX East. It is not simple. Events can't just be juggled around like that. The panels are scheduled around when the speakers are available to speak. There are so many panels offered that asking EVERY attendee to preregister for a panel would be a huge logistical nightmare that would create an insane amount of paperwork. We'd have to check names off at the door, check ID's. The people themselves would be burdened by having to decide what they want to see months before they see it, and they may forget or change their mind.

    I'm sorry that you felt that you wasted your time in line, but waiting in line is the price you must pay if you want to do the same thing everyone else does. Next time I suggest going to tabletop or expo hall first, and pickup a new game, or bring one of your own, and play with your friends or strangers in line. Hope you have more fun next year.

  • Options
    deathsquirreldeathsquirrel Registered User regular
    I just got back from my first PAX East. In general it was totally awesome, but I was appalled to see how the panels were being managed. The first panel I went to was hardly 1/4 full, so I had no idea of the cattle herd thing that was going on. The next one I tried to go to - the only one I REALLY cared about for the entire weekend - was full when I got there. It became apparent after a few more attempts that the only way to get into these things is to waste hours of time standing in lines. In my opinion this is not a professional way to run an event.

    This is really not a difficult problem to solve - just have people choose the panels they want to attend when they register. If you are on the list you walk right into the theater, if not you don't go in. Event fills up, it moves to a larger room ahead of time. You need fewer enforcers and a lot less masking tape. It's so simple that I can't believe it's not being done this way. I go to a lot of conferences across many disparate genres and I've never seen anything like this.

    Does anyone else feel this way?

    I am sorry, but what you suggest is not a good alternative. As enforcers we do everything we can to make your wait in line more pleasant, but the fact is, if you want to see a panel that other people also want to see, you have to weigh the waiting against the benefit of seeing the panel. What you are suggesting is not even remotely possible with the logistics of running a show the size of PAX East. It is not simple. Events can't just be juggled around like that. The panels are scheduled around when the speakers are available to speak. There are so many panels offered that asking EVERY attendee to preregister for a panel would be a huge logistical nightmare that would create an insane amount of paperwork. We'd have to check names off at the door, check ID's. The people themselves would be burdened by having to decide what they want to see months before they see it, and they may forget or change their mind.

    I'm sorry that you felt that you wasted your time in line, but waiting in line is the price you must pay if you want to do the same thing everyone else does. Next time I suggest going to tabletop or expo hall first, and pickup a new game, or bring one of your own, and play with your friends or strangers in line. Hope you have more fun next year.

This discussion has been closed.