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PAX veterans, what will you do differently this PAX and what were your biggest mistakes?

Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
A new PAX is upon us and we've all grown a little wiser. Building on your experiences what will you do differently this year, and even better, what are some of your biggest and or funniest mistakes from past conventions?

I'll go first. This year I want to actually go to a concert, I've done Buttoneering, Pax Prank, MTG Parties, off site beta events, and even the Dishonored masquerade party in 2012, but I've never gone to a concert.

I'd have to say my biggest "mistake" was from my first PAX Prime, when I went to set up the hotel (In the days before instant sell out) I thought the price for hotel was per person, not the total. We ended up staying at the Green Tortoise Hostel, a good experience in the end, but definitely one of the dumbest things I've done

May PAX be upon you.
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Posts

  • valdorvaldor Registered User regular
    I always say I will go to a concert, I just never do. So my goal is to actually go to one. Just one night.

    3 time TWDT attendee. One year as House Head Boy and Now Head of House for Slytherin DE.
    4 Year Pax West Attendee
  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    This PAX I'm going to do something on the night before PAX XD All the community stuff is awesome.
    I always contemplated it. But then I don't because I stay with somebody who lives in Redmond... So it's easier to just hang out there the night before.
    Assuming the person is cool with giving me a ride back Thursday night (which I imagine he will be) I've committed to going to something this year.


    I think my biggest mistake was getting distracted running into a PAX friend on my way to a panel. xD
    We talked for like 5-10 minutes, and the line was capped by 2 minutes when I got to the panel.
    Not exactly a terrible mistake xD But I do believe if it happens on my way to a big panel this year again, I'll say something and we can meet up after or some such.

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  • valdorvaldor Registered User regular
    This PAX I'm going to do something on the night before PAX XD All the community stuff is awesome.
    I always contemplated it. But then I don't because I stay with somebody who lives in Redmond... So it's easier to just hang out there the night before.
    Assuming the person is cool with giving me a ride back Thursday night (which I imagine he will be) I've committed to going to something this year.


    I think my biggest mistake was getting distracted running into a PAX friend on my way to a panel. xD
    We talked for like 5-10 minutes, and the line was capped by 2 minutes when I got to the panel.
    Not exactly a terrible mistake xD But I do believe if it happens on my way to a big panel this year again, I'll say something and we can meet up after or some such.

    We hope to see you at the TWDT :)

    3 time TWDT attendee. One year as House Head Boy and Now Head of House for Slytherin DE.
    4 Year Pax West Attendee
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    I think this year I won't be as turned off buying tickets for parties.

    Last year was my first and I was avoiding buying tickets for parties because I was so worried better (free) ones would pop up closer to the days of the event. While some did, I have to admit that paying to go to the TinyBuild party was a highlight for me. Guaranteed entry, no humongous lines (even though the venue was packed) and I ended up having a great time.

    So yeah, I will definitely be less hesitant this year on that front.

  • DeimirDeimir Registered User regular
    My biggest PAX mistake was Prime 2015. I went out to a party with free drinks on Thursday night and had quite a bit. Then on Friday night I did it again. By Saturday morning I was a zombie. Spent all of four hours in the convention center that day, then went back in my hotel room around 2:30pm and didn't leave the room again until Sunday morning.

    This year I'm a PPL gym leader though, so that should be something different.

    Time off: done. Hotel: ??? Travel: ??? Badges: ???
    PAX Prime attendance: '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16
  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    WAIT I JUST REMEMBERED MY REAL BIGGEST MISTAKE!

    Was one of them raffles you enter once daily and they have a drawing at the end of Monday. And you have to be present to win.

    I entered every morning, but forgot about it on Monday evening. Until my brother texted me telling me I had won something... But since I wasn't there, I was SOL. It would have been my first time winning something too. (Just a PSU, thankfully. I'd probably have cried myself to sleep if it was the PC grand prize.)

    The moral of the story...
    Don't forget to show up to raffles if you have to be present to win!

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  • Spokane_SnowManSpokane_SnowMan Registered User regular
    Biggest mistake first year was going with a cheap hotel on a bus route (about 30 min with stops) instead of forking it over to stay down town. Never ever again. Having a place a couple minutes walk away where you can take breaks or simply drop off swag/purchases is worth any price.

    Biggest mistake last year... Saying I was only going to get a couple pins... And then getting every single one. $$$$$$$$.

  • PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    every year: "not going to waste time getting swag at PAX"

    every year: THESE GUYS HAVE A T-SHIRT!!! *waits in line for three hours*

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  • evermore904evermore904 Registered User regular
    Dude, free shirts though.

    My biggest regret last year was wasting ALL my time in the expo hall and only venturing out for like...two panels, and yet not talking to anyone in line or hanging out with anyone outside of my tiny little group. I'm going to do a lot of the community stuff this year because I feel like I really missed out on the social aspect of PAX.

  • CrielCriel Registered User regular
    Only went in 2014 but I think this year i will wait in more lines for some swag, and doing more community events

  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    I think this year I won't be as turned off buying tickets for parties.

    Last year was my first and I was avoiding buying tickets for parties because I was so worried better (free) ones would pop up closer to the days of the event. While some did, I have to admit that paying to go to the TinyBuild party was a highlight for me. Guaranteed entry, no humongous lines (even though the venue was packed) and I ended up having a great time.

    So yeah, I will definitely be less hesitant this year on that front.

    I haven't gone to a paid party either, I'm going to have to file that info away for later.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Biggest mistake first year was going with a cheap hotel on a bus route (about 30 min with stops) instead of forking it over to stay down town. Never ever again. Having a place a couple minutes walk away where you can take breaks or simply drop off swag/purchases is worth any price.

    This is half of why I love BYOC.

    Other half is the sweet ass LAN party, of course. But it is definitely a home away from home at PAX, and makes the Sheraton look like the airport Hilton distance-wise.

  • HodurHodur RedmondRegistered User regular
    Best tips I can give: go eat lunch at 11am, and be back at the show at before the noon crowd rolls out. And anything with a huge line - save until monday and do it then. Lastly - once a day make a point of doing something really cool for someone else to make their day (and maybe their entire PAX). Example: last year I brought a backpack full of poster tubes and randomly handed them out to people I saw trying to carry a rolled up poster... :)

  • SkeleVaderSkeleVader Your Friendly Dark Lord of Destruction Registered User regular
    Hodur wrote: »
    Best tips I can give: go eat lunch at 11am, and be back at the show at before the noon crowd rolls out. And anything with a huge line - save until monday and do it then. Lastly - once a day make a point of doing something really cool for someone else to make their day (and maybe their entire PAX). Example: last year I brought a backpack full of poster tubes and randomly handed them out to people I saw trying to carry a rolled up poster... :)

    I'm actually surprised I haven't seen companies giving out poster tubes. Seems like it would be a very sought after piece of Swag.

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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    bringing a poster tube to pax is one of those lessons I wish I had learned earlier on, even if I don't plan on coming home with a poster every pax

  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    Dude, free shirts though.

    My biggest regret last year was wasting ALL my time in the expo hall and only venturing out for like...two panels, and yet not talking to anyone in line or hanging out with anyone outside of my tiny little group. I'm going to do a lot of the community stuff this year because I feel like I really missed out on the social aspect of PAX.

    If you artistically minded, I would recommend buttoneering as something to look into.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • PotatoemanPotatoeman Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    For the longest time, every PAX I stayed near the airport, which is actually ok.. But damn, last year I stayed downtown and it's just soooo much better/convenient. Despite nearly double the price, it's so worth it.

    Potatoeman on
  • MarsDragonMarsDragon Registered User regular
    Well my biggest win this year was literally moving to Seattle so now I can stay in my own comfy bed instead of paying for a hotel. But that's probably not feasible for most of this forum.

    I can't think of that many mistakes I've made over the years. Bringing too much stuff was a mistake my first year (pack as light as you can without skimping on clean underwear) but nothing so much after that. Biggest consistent win is hiking up Pike/Pine to Capitol Hill for food. It's so much better than what you can get around the con it's totally worth the nine or ten blocks uphill. Stretch your legs!

  • SinoSambaSinoSamba CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    I'm going to be bringing a small, collapsible chair. Last year I braved the Minecraft Story Mode line and it killed my energy for the rest of the day. Even rushing to get in line early, the wait was 3h and different than panels, the lines on the expo hall have very little room to sit on the floor.

    3DS FC: 3239-2323-6239
  • Nfan10039Nfan10039 Streamer/Gamer/Developer Montreal (Seattle eventually....)Registered User regular
    Last year, I played way too many tournaments. The tournament scene (at least for me) is the worst at Pax prime. Anime conventions do it better. This year, no tournaments and I'm staying at a friends place. Should be a great year this time. I also hope to attend lots of parties (both per and post pax)

    ajor19ru24j1.png
    Just a nerd into anything Nintendo, anime, MCU, Star Wars, and board games/card games.
    Also a computer scientist and a streamer.
  • VolkatVolkat SANVERS WARRIOR T-town, WARegistered User regular
    This will be my fourth PAX and every year I go by booths knowing I want to demo things, but in my mind I get line shock and feel like I'm wasting time for other things so I wander aimlessly seeing things I've been by before and probably could have knocked out a few lines in that time to actually demo something I wanted to play. I demoed a number of games at PAX South this year since lines weren't as huge there and really enjoyed it. This year, I'm going to make a better effort to tough out a few queues and actually demo some titles. Also, attend moar parties!

    SOON.
  • jukkakhanjukkakhan Registered User regular
    After 5 PAXen, I know what works for me over the weekend. The things I learned the hard way my first year:
    • PAX =/= Expo Hall. It has it's allure, but don't spend all your time in there. Go to a panel, a concert, play some tabletop, meet new people.
    • Pace yourself. Take breaks, hydrate, don't skimp on food. If you have a hotel room, a mid day shower is a great pick-me-up.
    • If you like art, get a poster tube. I have a plastic one with a strap now, but a cardboard one will do. The Fedex in the WSCC will have a few, but you better buy it early.
    • Community Events. We are all your friends now. Come hang out with us. We are PAX.

    PimDtoK.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Maybe I'm odd, but one piece of advice that helps me:

    Each day, pick one non-expo non-free play thing to do and do it. It's easy to spend all day sailing on a sea of stuff from place to place, kinda aimless, and then you turn around and the whole day is gone and you wish you'd done <thing>.

    So go do it.

  • RowwieRowwie CanadaRegistered User regular
    My biggest PAX mistake was my first PAX in 2011. My fiance got our 3 day badges about 3 weeks prior to the event (ah, the good ol' days), and couldn't get a room downtown. We ended up staying in a hotel about 30 minutes outside of Seattle (because we knew nothing about Seattle) and driving in each day. Morning traffic was awful, parking downtown was expensive. We arrive on Friday morning, had no idea where to go... I'm pretty sure we ended up cutting in the entry line. We were so dazzled by the expo hall we just wandered around trying to soak it all in. For three days.

    We went to no outside events, no panels, no concerts, no parties. We were such PAX noobs and we had no idea we were missing out on the grander PAX experience.

    Since then we've established a good relationship with a downtown hotel we love, we have the Guidebook app and make plans ahead of the event, we get in to Seattle at least two days early, and we've been PAX ambassadors for friends who are new to PAX.
    And that last part is the best. Seeing PAX from the perspective of someone who's never been is great. The event can be overwhelming.

    Every PAX after our first one has been a better experience than the previous one.

    Prime 2011- Vintage Nintendo
    Prime 2012- Melisandre (GoT)
    Prime 2013- Regular nerd attire
    Prime 2014- Aurin Esper from WIldstar + Vintage Chell
    Prime 2015- Splatoon Inkling + Dream Sequence Bee + Aurin Esper + Vintage Chell
    Prime2016- Handmade nerdy dresses (cosplay break)


  • Kaollasu78Kaollasu78 Portland, OrRegistered User regular
    MarsDragon wrote: »
    Well my biggest win this year was literally moving to Seattle so now I can stay in my own comfy bed instead of paying for a hotel. But that's probably not feasible for most of this forum.

    I can't think of that many mistakes I've made over the years. Bringing too much stuff was a mistake my first year (pack as light as you can without skimping on clean underwear) but nothing so much after that. Biggest consistent win is hiking up Pike/Pine to Capitol Hill for food. It's so much better than what you can get around the con it's totally worth the nine or ten blocks uphill. Stretch your legs!

    That was the plan for us last year when we moved here, but found that staying across the street was still worth every penny. Don't have to worry about traffic, paid parking, carrying full bags all day and most importantly we sleep. 405-I5 traffic is the worst lol

    919eoupaoo36.png
  • forbiddenvoidforbiddenvoid Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    It's hard to call any part of the PAX experience a mistake... except the first year my wife and I came, we didn't go on Monday, even though we had the badges to. That was a pretty terrible idea. I think the most important thing is to realize you can't do everything and get the FOMO out of your head. We did a lot of community events last year, and the Magic party (which was outstanding). This year, we'll probably tackle the Nintendo booth (is there really any way they don't show Zelda?), but we want to be more indie focused otherwise. Board games, weird giveaways, etc.

    Best advice though, if you're there for the weekend, scout the expo hall on Friday, and show up early Monday morning for whatever Triple AAA titles you want to play. You'll waste a lot of time in lines otherwise.

    ewnk2szpswv2.png

    PAX. PAX. PAX. Boom.
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    I think my biggest mistake is laying on a communal beanbag. I swear there is no faster way to catch a cold. Next to that was not looking at the maps my first year. I missed whole floors of stuff.
    My advice is: commit to stuff you think you might like but aren't 100% on. I do a lot of waiting for the perfect combination of cool looking game and no line. Well that almost never happens (if it's a big game, it literally never does).

  • BluemeaneBluemeane Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    SinoSamba wrote: »
    I'm going to be bringing a small, collapsible chair. Last year I braved the Minecraft Story Mode line and it killed my energy for the rest of the day. Even rushing to get in line early, the wait was 3h and different than panels, the lines on the expo hall have very little room to sit on the floor.

    This is the one I use. Pretty comfy, light, durable, and small when folded. o

    Oh and Cheap too!


    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NC3GOSO/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Bluemeane on
    jj0mqt5d2a94.png


    PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAXXXXXXXXXXX!
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    I think my biggest mistake is laying on a communal beanbag. I swear there is no faster way to catch a cold. Next to that was not looking at the maps my first year. I missed whole floors of stuff.
    My advice is: commit to stuff you think you might like but aren't 100% on. I do a lot of waiting for the perfect combination of cool looking game and no line. Well that almost never happens (if it's a big game, it literally never does).

    To be fair you would probably get sick either way, that said I don't trust those things.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    PAX Crack is a drink and you should get one. It's at a juice place on the third? floor of the convention center behind the escalators.
    zerzhul wrote: »
    That stuff is gross.

    it might be a placebo effect, but it works for me. past two years when I felt sick or my throat was killing me, I'd get one in the morning. after a while, I'd feel much better. But yeah you're right, the stuff is gross.

    PikaPuff on
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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    That stuff is gross.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    I think my biggest mistake is laying on a communal beanbag. I swear there is no faster way to catch a cold. Next to that was not looking at the maps my first year. I missed whole floors of stuff.
    My advice is: commit to stuff you think you might like but aren't 100% on. I do a lot of waiting for the perfect combination of cool looking game and no line. Well that almost never happens (if it's a big game, it literally never does).

    To be fair you would probably get sick either way, that said I don't trust those things.

    The only time I got sick at PAX (of 6) was the one I used a bean bag. I know that isn't proof, but a piles of bags where many people rest their faces for hours at a time is going to be swimming with germs.

  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    PAX Crack is a drink and you should get one.

    It is a drink which I do not recommend.
    But alas, I am a slave to marketing and when people name things PAX related, I cannot help it.


    So far I've only gotten the PAX pox at South this past year. Surprised me, given it was the first time I ever used sanitizer randomly in the day xD

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  • havok978havok978 Baltimore, MdRegistered User regular
    edited June 2016
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    every year: "not going to waste time getting swag at PAX"

    every year: THESE GUYS HAVE A T-SHIRT!!! *waits in line for three hours*

    I learned my lesson with that after like my 2nd or 3rd year of PAX, I don't remember what year Duke Nukem Forever was there (2010? 2011?), but I remember standing in a line that ended up being like 5 hours. Not only were my back and knees dead, but a significant chunk of my day was gone. Never again. If I can't get to it in like an hour tops, I'll come back later.

    havok978 on
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  • havok978havok978 Baltimore, MdRegistered User regular
    SinoSamba wrote: »
    I'm going to be bringing a small, collapsible chair. Last year I braved the Minecraft Story Mode line and it killed my energy for the rest of the day. Even rushing to get in line early, the wait was 3h and different than panels, the lines on the expo hall have very little room to sit on the floor.

    Now here's something I've been talking about doing for a few years but have yet to get around to.

    XyqJPIp.png
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    havok978 wrote: »
    i
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    every year: "not going to waste time getting swag at PAX"

    every year: THESE GUYS HAVE A T-SHIRT!!! *waits in line for three hours*

    I learned my lesson with that after like my 2nd or 3rd year of PAX, I don't remember what year Duke Nukem Forever was there (2010? 2011?), but I remember standing in a line that ended up being like 5 hours. Not only were my back and knees dead, but a significant chunk of my day was gone. Never again. If I can't get to it in like an hour tops, I'll come back later.

    Funny thing you mention Duke Nukem Forever. When I was first looking into PAX I was on the fence, it didn't have alot of money and I had never drove that far before. Then I saw the news that PAX had Duke Nukem Forever. I know that the game wasn't great, but the fact that a major developer decided on PAX as the event to reveal they were putting to rest one of the most infamous cases of vaporware sealed the deal for me.

    The next year we got tickets and road tripped it from central California with a Duke Nukem Forever sticker on the back (its still there after almost five years). Around 3 hours north of Sacramento a car honked at us as they passed and flashed their PAX badges. I hit the gas to catch up to them and showed them ours before I slowed back down. I don't know who they were but that was my first experience of PAX's esprit de corps.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • jukkakhanjukkakhan Registered User regular
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    every year: "not going to waste time getting swag at PAX"

    every year: THESE GUYS HAVE A T-SHIRT!!! *waits in line for three hours*

    Agreed. I learned my lesson on swag my first year. Spent my Sunday morning in line for a free OnLive console. Used it like twice.

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  • Sushi HeroSushi Hero Northern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    I think my worst blunders were a) one year drinking WAY too much on my birthday (which usually falls somewhere on pax weekend) amd being horrendously sick that night and the next morning, and b) trying to overcommit to the evening activities. There are a ton of fun things to do, but it's more enjoyable if you aren't hopping around, waiting in lines to get in, and then leaving an hour later to repeat the process. Better to just pick one that sounds awesome ahead of time and enjoy it.

  • BombClancyBombClancy Sugar Lady Registered User regular
    1. Staying home instead of getting a hotel.
    2. Make dinner reservations ahead of time.
    3. Make sure I have a huge breakfast; I will my food ahead of time so I don't have to make it each day.
    4. Spending more time with friends.
    5. Spend more time networking.

    what do you call a pile of kittens? A meoooowntain!
    itweet
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Right Here, Right Now Drives a BuickModerator mod
    After a decade of PAX there aren't too many mistakes I still make. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make is only getting one smoothie at the Juicy Cafe, especially if you're with friends. I always get 2 and never regret it. Two smoothies is usually enough to supplement a meal, especially with added protein. I make two trips a day and only have to stop too eat real food for dinner.

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