PAX South Guide - Plan A Better PAX South Trip
PAX South Guide
This is an unofficial PAX South guide site I’ve put together with the goal of helping folks plan a better trip to PAX South, whether they are returning or this is their first year. The site goes over many of the same topics in the Q&A thread on the PAX South forum, but in more detail.
As the site is new I’m open to your feedback, either here or by clicking on the “Feedback” link on the site’s front page. I have a few more topics I'm hoping to get done before PAX South is upon us. Thanks for checking it out.
The only thing I would recommend adding to your list is to take some immunity boosters prior to and during your visit to PAX. Most folks that haven't gone to a con before don't know about the 'con cold' and it never fails that I get a cold after (or during!) a weekend of being at a con. Tens of thousands of people funneling through one area sharing air and controllers and cards and all sorts of stuff is a recipe for disaster. I personally use and recommend Zicam; it's homeopathic and if you get the dissolvable tab they're actually quite good. It has helped minimize my downtime and keep my spirits up when I do get sick. I've tried others things like Airborne and Emergen-C but they don't seem to be quite as effective as Zicam for me personally.
Thanks, glad you're liking it. The not stopping for photos in the Expo Hall is a new rule PAX implemented at Prime this year, I'm just helping spread the word. I have some notes about going over "con crud," I'll see if I can get that done soon. I personally take vitamin C pills a few days before and after I fly to help with the same thing, but as you said different things work for different people.
I will say, though, that people should bring their own personal hand sanitizer if possible. There are bottles that can clip on to a backpack like any other keychain, making it possible to be carried without taking up precious cargo room (or leaking all over your loots). I don't remember seeing many sanitizer stations at South last year, but I didn't really bother to look since I had my own.
A couple of other thoughts:
- Consider gel insoles for your shoes, especially if you're not used to being on your feet all day. I noticed several people changing socks about mid-day at the convention center, which is also a good idea as socks are light and (as you mentioned) walking around the Riverwalk in January can result in wet feet.
- Look up the convention center on Google Maps and take a look around on your own. So many people seem to arrive in SA having absolutely no idea where to go or how to get there, relying on navigating on the fly or asking around. While that's valid, having a reference of the general vicinity in your head can help you navigate safely. There are plenty of landmarks to help.
- Be kind to the Convention Center staff. A smile and quick "Thanks!" goes a long way. Yes, stopping for frequent badge checks/cosplay weapon checks can be annoying when there's so much to see and do, but their efforts help the event flow smoothly and keep us all a little safer. Keep the eyerolls and dramatic sighs to a minimum, please. This goes for your interactions with our incredible Enforcers, too.
- You can find cheap plastic ponchos for about $1 at just about any supermarket. They're compact, ultralight and surprisingly useful in sudden downpours -- even if you end up soaked, you can wrap your backpack and save your expensive electronics/awesome merch from a watery death!
- THIS IS YOUR TRIBE. While we're all special individual snowflakes, we are all here to celebrate our similar joys. Don't be afraid to reach out to a stranger, to strike up a conversation where you'd normally be silent. Ask questions, laugh freely, play games with strangers. These are your people and most will be your friend if you show any inclination. That said...
-Print up a handful of business cards with whatever contact information you care to give out: Name, e-mail, website, Facebook, Twitter, Steam, etc. People can stash it with their other loot and add you to their lists later. Handing someone a physical item (doesn't have to be fancy) can help spark the memory of a specific person after three days of wading through seas of faces.
Finally, just for emphasis: Wheaton's Law. Don't be a dick.
Nice guide by the way
I've only done Prime twice and honestly never noticed much drinking on site, even on the down low. Now that isn't to say I wasn't offered a flask or two over a game of Munchkin, but it didn't seem a big thing
I've never seen a PAX rule about it one way or another. The convention center similarly doesn't post any rules on it, though I see mention that they do allow events which serve alcohol. The food/drink venders in the convention center did not offer alcohol at last year's PAX South. To add to your concerns Texas has weird and varied laws concerning alcohol, some of which aren't by county or city but by "juridical zones" (part of Dallas is dry, part is wet).
I would offer this advise: Save the drinking for after hours, whether bar hoping, at a party, or playing games in the hotel lobby. There are a number of drawbacks to drinking at the con, including dehydration and lowering your immune response in an area filled with tens of thousands of potential disease carriers (no offense, everyone). I would also avoid drinking outside, as you're more likely have a run in with the police there verses in a bar or your hotel.
Glad you liked the guide, thanks.
The only (very minor) thing I would add to the DS section is if you are doing a lot of streetpassing, or other activities, you'll want to turn your brightness down and/or get a usb charge cable to go with your battery: http://amzn.com/B0024ZT3XO
The handheld area has chargers for your handhelds if it needs a mid day top up.
Ah, I didn't know that, thank you. I never actually stopped by last year, just went through all my passes and played a little while in line and had to charge near the end of the day.
Just a head's up, on the letter going out with badges (the first of them are showing up today) it is stated that there will be a new bag check at PAX South, like what they do at PAX East. The PAX East checks are for dangerous items, but just be aware.
Thanks. I'll add both those tips on the next page update. I have one of those DS charge cables, but last year I didn't have a DS battery issue and want to save my smaller USB battery for my phone, so leaving mine in the hotel.
Great to know, I'll add that bit as well. Thanks.
Since you go to the trouble of describing the crosswalk sounds, I suggest adding an additional note about how a couple of them work. Some of the major intersections right next to the convention center have crosswalks that do not alternate like traditional ones. Instead, there is a longer wait and then all four lights go red, stopping all traffic. Then all crosswalks engage, allowing foot traffic. If people are just arriving on their first day, bleary-eyed in the morning, this can throw them off if they have to cross twice. If you are a fast walker, you can legally cross two corners (say, west-to-east and then north-to-south) by sticking to the crosswalks before the "Don't Walk" pops back up.
Better to drink at a bar after the floor closes with some people you trust, and certainly not in a huge crowd of people.
Awesome right up, I had never heard of the H1Nerd1 outbreak at Prime...in hindsight it's pretty funny. XD Btw I don't think your link to that Wired.com story coded right, if I copy the link it comes out as a sentence and not a URL.
Fixed the link, thanks.
Not currently. There's @paxparties for tracking during the weekend. Some of the party details aren't known until that weekend, and I won't be updating the site while at PAX (the site is designed as a planning tool, then you switch over to Guidebook and Twitter for live updates).
Updated the Nintendo DS page with y'alls suggestions. Thanks.
Done. Thanks for the feedback.
This is my last update before PAX South begins. After San Antonio I will begin work on a PAX East guide.