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

24

Posts

  • jamsyarbotsjamsyarbots Wilmington, DERegistered User regular
    Last year was my 2nd pax and I made more mistakes last year than I did in 2013.

    1) Wandering the expo hall looking for the shortest line. If you spend hours looking for short lines, you end up committing to nothing and end up playing nothing.

    2) Not wanting to leave the expo hall to go eat. FOMO is a real thing but so is starvation. Take breaks, eat food, drink water.

    3) Being afraid to talk to people. Not wanting to talk to people in lines or events makes the experience very dull.


    Don't do what I did. Learn from my mistakes and have a good time.

    embraceternityvespachica
  • PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    Oops

    PikaPuff on
    jCyyTSo.png
  • Rhea_starstormRhea_starstorm Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2016
    Things I've learned from my 4 yrs at PAX:

    1.Expo hall can be super overwhelming pick a few games/booths your really care about rather than trying to hit everyone. If you try to hit everyone single booth you will spend your entire pax in there and probably still not manage.

    2. Popular panels fill up quickly, so plan to que ahead of time. Zombie dice/ handhelds are a great way to pass the time in line.

    4. If you have a DS turn street pass on. You will get a billion street passes at Pax.

    5. Tabletop free play is a great way to meet other nerds :) if you can go to the one the night before and don't be afraid to ask to play with strangers.

    6. Bring garonla bars/trial mix/other small snack you can carry in your bag and a water bottle.

    Rhea_starstorm on
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    Last year was my 2nd pax and I made more mistakes last year than I did in 2013.

    1) Wandering the expo hall looking for the shortest line. If you spend hours looking for short lines, you end up committing to nothing and end up playing nothing.

    2) Not wanting to leave the expo hall to go eat. FOMO is a real thing but so is starvation. Take breaks, eat food, drink water.

    3) Being afraid to talk to people. Not wanting to talk to people in lines or events makes the experience very dull.


    Don't do what I did. Learn from my mistakes and have a good time.

    I typically drop like a pound or two at conventions because I'll only eat one meal a day, would not recommend it. I have snack bars but there's only so much granola and peanuts I can eat before hunger becomes more appealing.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • n3rdlinkn3rdlink Detroit, MIRegistered User regular
    edited June 2016
    This will be my first PAX but I've been to SDCC a bunch of times and these are a few tips I would suggest:
    • Bring snacks and something to drink in your backpack. (waiting in lines suck and from other's comments there will be a bunch of them)
    • Comfortable shoes.
    • Don't just stick around the convention look for off site stuff (EDIT: Any suggestions on sites or threads that list these events?)
    • gold bond/baby powder (mostly for guys here...I can't speak for females ha.), deodorant in your backpack...it helps

    n3rdlink on
  • Spokane_SnowManSpokane_SnowMan Registered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    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.

    My whole group got sick as dogs with the PAX POX back in 09 with the swine flu going around.

  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    n3rdlink wrote: »
    This will be my first PAX but I've been to SDCC a bunch of times and these are a few tips I would suggest

    First off, hello my fellow SDCC traveler.


    n3rdlink wrote: »
    • Don't just stick around the convention look for off site stuff (EDIT: Any suggestions on sites or threads that list these events?)

    Secondly I'll mention that the forums will be hopping with offsite event information ranging from pre pax dinners and bar crawls to parties. In fact there is a "pax parties" twitter.

    I would also suggest going to the pax subreddit, I mostly use it to exchange swag recon with others who partake in "the hunt", but I believe you'll find offsite event info there as well.

    Hoboking006 on
    May PAX be upon you.
  • bacon_avengerbacon_avenger Defender of Pork Products Pacific NW, USARegistered User regular
    Forgetting my
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    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.

    My whole group got sick as dogs with the PAX POX back in 09 with the swine flu going around.

    https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/03/26 (PAXination, AKA 'The Iron Guard')

    :P

    PAX Prime 2022 Checklist:[ ]Hotel [ ]Time Off [ ]Bobcats [ ]Challenge Coin [ ]Forum Badge
    eIMwu3s.png
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    "This has the added benefit of protecting your core"

    Protip, this only protects your chest, so compensate by doing a lot of planks before the convention.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • n3rdlinkn3rdlink Detroit, MIRegistered User regular
    First off, hello my fellow SDCC traveler.

    Secondly I'll mention that the forums will be hopping with offsite event information ranging from pre pax dinners and bar crawls to parties. In fact there is a "pax parties" twitter.

    I would also suggest going to the pax subreddit, I mostly use it to exchange swag recon with others who partake in "the hunt", but I believe you'll find offsite event info there as well.

    I've gone to SDCC the past 5 years straight but I've decided to check out PAX this year. SDCC has become too big of a hassle. You basically choose 1 maybe 2 things you want to do for an entire day. Last year i spent half my time in line for the Lego raffle (i could also go on bitchsesh about the Funko, Marvel, Hasbro etc lines). How would you compare PAX lines to SDCC?

    Thanks for the heads up about Twitter and subreddit. Im following both leading up to PAX.

  • domina_fortunadomina_fortuna Registered User regular
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    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.

    I make it a point to at least get one smoothie and one of their Cold and Flu Buster juices that weekend.
    I'm still not brave enough to try the PAX Crack--anything that green seems wrong to me.

    Granola bars were my friend last year. Light and full of protein and energy. I like taking a short break halfway through the day to sort of take it all in and watch the flood of cosplayers and buttoneers going up and down the escalators, though. Sometimes I'll see a really awesome costume or shirt and it reminds me that I'm among my people.

    IncreaseBlue
  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    n3rdlink wrote: »
    First off, hello my fellow SDCC traveler.

    Secondly I'll mention that the forums will be hopping with offsite event information ranging from pre pax dinners and bar crawls to parties. In fact there is a "pax parties" twitter.

    I would also suggest going to the pax subreddit, I mostly use it to exchange swag recon with others who partake in "the hunt", but I believe you'll find offsite event info there as well.

    I've gone to SDCC the past 5 years straight but I've decided to check out PAX this year. SDCC has become too big of a hassle. You basically choose 1 maybe 2 things you want to do for an entire day. Last year i spent half my time in line for the Lego raffle (i could also go on bitchsesh about the Funko, Marvel, Hasbro etc lines). How would you compare PAX lines to SDCC?

    Thanks for the heads up about Twitter and subreddit. Im following both leading up to PAX.

    While I cannot compare the two as I've not been t o SDCC...

    You could, theoretically, spend all day doing just a couple things because of standing in line. Lines in the expo hall are capped - largely due to available space for the line - and admittance to the line can be sporadic. As a result, there may be people who will circle around just waiting to get in a 3 hour line.
    However, in my opinion, that is a terrible way to do PAX.
    You can talk to the enforcer capping the line for information on how often the line opens up and how fast the lines move though. Some long lines end up only being a half hour wait. Remember, everybody around you is awesome - including the enforcers working the show. So don't be afraid to talk to people!

    In years past the expo hall has been split on two floors: 4th and 6th. The 4th floor is the large one. It has all the big names and most of the crowd. There are likely plenty of things you've never heard of too. Definitely check it out. But last year I spent most of my expo time on the 6th floor. The 6th floor could probably be described as more "indie" and has a much more relaxed feel to it. (Though established brands are here - such as Sierra and EVGA.) On Friday last year, Playful had a demo with an Occulus Rift with zero line on the 6th floor. (And awesome shirts!) By Monday word had spread and their booth was swarmed though. There's also a good number of vendors with fewer crowds here.

    There's also plenty to do outside of the expo hall.

    Similar to expo hall lines being capped, people cannot line up too early for a panel. I believe the rule of thumb is that you cannot line up until the previous panel has entered the room. They don't want people standing in line all day for a panel. In addition, the room is cleared at the end of each panel. So no going to an early panel to hold your seat all day. There is a twitter which will give updates about how full lines for panels are as well (@PAX_lines).

    There are select items which you may have to sign up for a time slot. Last year there was a Kitten room - people signed up in the morning for a time to return to play with kittens. (There w as also a stand by line. But that got pretty long at times.) Pathfinder sign ups gave an ETA of how long it'd be until a game opened. And down the street Vive had a trailer not directly associated with PAX (so it spread via word of mouth, and did not require a badge) who opened at 10am to schedule time slots for everybody in line.

    One other thing I recommend...
    Look at the ads in your program. I'm always excited for my program on Friday morning for the ads. Remember, you are here to see new things! Those ads led me to Playful's booth on Friday morning.

    The Aviatrix on
    x5XpZBK.pngEz7XjRx.pngml9Z6gf.png
    YoungFreyIncreaseBluevespachicaTravman93
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    n3rdlink wrote: »
    First off, hello my fellow SDCC traveler.

    Secondly I'll mention that the forums will be hopping with offsite event information ranging from pre pax dinners and bar crawls to parties. In fact there is a "pax parties" twitter.

    I would also suggest going to the pax subreddit, I mostly use it to exchange swag recon with others who partake in "the hunt", but I believe you'll find offsite event info there as well.

    I've gone to SDCC the past 5 years straight but I've decided to check out PAX this year. SDCC has become too big of a hassle. You basically choose 1 maybe 2 things you want to do for an entire day. Last year i spent half my time in line for the Lego raffle (i could also go on bitchsesh about the Funko, Marvel, Hasbro etc lines). How would you compare PAX lines to SDCC?

    Thanks for the heads up about Twitter and subreddit. Im following both leading up to PAX.

    The lines are long if your looking for AAA in the expo hall, however the panels aren't nearly as bad.

    The only thing I would warn you about is that they cap lines in the expo hall, then will tell you to come back in 20 minutes, only to open the line in 5. This happens at SDCC, but I feel like the the differences are more exagerated.

    The longest line I was in was about 3 hours, when they promoted Epic Mickey 2 by having Disney artist sketch whatever character you wanted.

    May PAX be upon you.
    Rhea_starstorm
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    I also forgot to mention that Adult Swim games is on the 6th floor.

    May PAX be upon you.
    n3rdlink
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited June 2016
    Everyone who has never attended a forum community event should consider that a massive mistake and rectify that this year. :biggrin: Also, you should spend way more time with the smaller booths and way less in the big ones cause the smaller ones are usually staffed by excited devs and tend to have really neat games to try.

    Personally, this my eighth PAX Prime so at this point I'm just like a ghost that just roams the convention center randomly and gets into shenanigans. I've kinda done everything by this point so I don't worry about anything and just go goof off for a few days.

    That said, I am very excited that this may be my first PAX since my first PAX where I may have a functioning voice on Friday due to not having to yell for like five hours the night before.

    TOGSolid on
    wWuzwvJ.png
    YoungFreyforbiddenvoiddm_magic
  • beowuffbeowuff Registered User regular
    Best recommendations?

    1) Carry a water bottle and refill it often.
    2) Carry food. I like Chocolate Chip Cliff bars.
    3) Don't be afraid to leave the convention center. For food. For events. Seattle has some great near by places to eat that are not packed due to people not going more than 2 blocks from the hall. Lot's of great events as well.
    4) Play games. My biggest mistake every year is getting overwhelmed and not wanting to wait in lines. Either wait in lines, or hit up the free game library. Make some friends if you don't have some with you (and even if you do). Play games with them.
    5) Find some panels that sound interesting and go to them. You can always leave if it's not interesting.
    6) Be flexible. Panel line capped? Try another panel. Or pick head back to the expo hall. Or use that time to pick up some gear form a booth.

    Rhea_starstormbacon_avengerjukkakhan
  • Desert LeviathanDesert Leviathan Registered User regular
    I will not eat Fish & Chips and/or Clam Chowder for every meal.

    Realizing lately that I don't really trust or respect basically any of the moderators here. So, good luck with life, friends! Hit me up on Twitter @DesertLeviathan
    Travman93
  • z0raz0ra Registered User regular
    I will not eat Fish & Chips and/or Clam Chowder for every meal.

    Clam Chowder is life

  • SolelronSolelron Wandering Gamer Cornelius, ORRegistered User regular
    I will balance my packing better so as not to overload my friends or my vehicle with stuff that will never get used (like extra board games)

    Hoboking006
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    Solelron wrote: »
    I will balance my packing better so as not to overload my friends or my vehicle with stuff that will never get used (like extra board games)

    We park at SeaTac and take the tram in, the 30 minute commute and 20 minute walk uphill makes for a good incentive for my group to pack light.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • bubblegumnexbubblegumnex Registered User regular
    Buy a pack of socks. I did it last year and I'm doing it again this year.

    Changing your socks twice daily will make your feet happy.

    <@zerzhul&gt; bubblegumnex: you were so very fucked up
    <@zerzhul&gt; you win at twdt
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I buy a new pack of socks and underwear for every pax. It's great having constant fresh undergarments available all the time.

    The AviatrixTravman93MightyDuelLadySCroatian SensationDesert Leviathan
  • krae_mankrae_man Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I buy a new pack of socks and underwear for every pax. It's great having constant fresh undergarments available all the time.

    Multiple pairs of socks per day is a must too.

    DashD
  • MvrckMvrck Dwarven MountainhomeRegistered User regular
    krae_man wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I buy a new pack of socks and underwear for every pax. It's great having constant fresh undergarments available all the time.

    Multiple pairs of socks per day is a must too.

    Especially if it rains. It means you won't regret wandering outside for food and then coming back.

    MiddyBot
  • DaPaladinDaPaladin Registered User regular
    I struggle with being a host and wanting to make sure everyone is having a good time. So I'll not go to a panel or event because I'm not sure someone else will like it or be bored. This year I plan to just go and do what I want and others can follow if they want. We'll see how well I do that. Also, eat, bring snacks, and water (with EmergencyC for PAX Pox fighting).

    jparp8146qaj.png
    DapperPumpkin
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    Buy a pack of socks. I did it last year and I'm doing it again this year.

    Changing your socks twice daily will make your feet happy.
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I buy a new pack of socks and underwear for every pax. It's great having constant fresh undergarments available all the time.

    I have to say this is a new one, definitely gonna try this.

    May PAX be upon you.
    Brody
  • havok978havok978 Baltimore, MdRegistered User regular
    krae_man wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I buy a new pack of socks and underwear for every pax. It's great having constant fresh undergarments available all the time.

    Multiple pairs of socks per day is a must too.

    I started doing this a year or two ago as well. A change of socks about halfway through the day when you've constantly on your feet feels amazing.

    XyqJPIp.png
  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    So I've never brought a change of socks for midday.
    I may do so this year.

    Because when I went to East, I bought socks and immediately put them on.
    It really did feel surprisingly good.

    And everybody raves about how great it is. xD

    x5XpZBK.pngEz7XjRx.pngml9Z6gf.png
  • DashDDashD Dread Pirate Chef Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Mvrck wrote: »
    krae_man wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I buy a new pack of socks and underwear for every pax. It's great having constant fresh undergarments available all the time.

    Multiple pairs of socks per day is a must too.

    Especially if it rains. It means you won't regret wandering outside for food and then coming back.

    This. Be prepared for rain, always. PAX is very spread out and Seattle weather can be unpredictable. Also, the weather man lies.

    One problem I had at early PAXen was trying to accommodate everyone in my party. I solved that by soloing. This also gives me the added benefit of meeting new people at PAX every year. Don't be afraid to talk to the people you are waiting in line with or sitting next to at lunch (and do eat). You meet some very cool people and I have made some great friends that way.


    "Brilliant! Oh wait, if we were meant to fly, we would have been born with little bags of nuts."
    PAX_Badge_Sig.png
  • dragon keeper xdragon keeper x Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I buy a new pack of socks and underwear for every pax. It's great having constant fresh undergarments available all the time.

    This right here ladies and gentleman is one of the most important things to consider doing, nothing beats nice new cushy socks when you are walking all day all weekend.

    Max sig size: 500x80px <3 Moe
    sig_dragonx.jpg
  • LairdLaird Registered User regular
    n3rdlink wrote: »
    First off, hello my fellow SDCC traveler.

    Secondly I'll mention that the forums will be hopping with offsite event information ranging from pre pax dinners and bar crawls to parties. In fact there is a "pax parties" twitter.

    I would also suggest going to the pax subreddit, I mostly use it to exchange swag recon with others who partake in "the hunt", but I believe you'll find offsite event info there as well.

    I've gone to SDCC the past 5 years straight but I've decided to check out PAX this year. SDCC has become too big of a hassle. You basically choose 1 maybe 2 things you want to do for an entire day. Last year i spent half my time in line for the Lego raffle (i could also go on bitchsesh about the Funko, Marvel, Hasbro etc lines). How would you compare PAX lines to SDCC?

    Thanks for the heads up about Twitter and subreddit. Im following both leading up to PAX.

    If you can handle SDCC, you'll be fine at PAX.(11 years straight at sdcc and soon to be 12 at Prime for me.)

    n3rdlink
  • MightyMighty Omeganaut '15 '16 '17 NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Id say one of my biggest regrets was doing that stupid QR search for Xbox one year. We spent 80% of our time looking for those codes, and I got nothing for my efforts.

    I like swag as much as the next guy, but know a sunk-cost fallacy, and dip out of a line if it's not moving at all.

    Enter into raffles and such, but remember you cant be in multiple places. I'd rather get an email about winning later with a code, than have to be at 6 locations on Monday evening.

    AAA games are cool, but everyone else and their dog is going to shoot to get there too. Go visit smaller booths, and hit that big one on the last day. (or be a champion speed walker.)

    I will always regret I never got anything signed by Khoo. I got his face-pin though, so i got that going for me.


    Twitch: twitch.tv\dreadmighty
    TOGSolidClannMorganRhea_starstormgorgeousplanetvespachicaTravman93Lazorz
  • DapperPumpkinDapperPumpkin Registered User regular
    Mighty wrote: »
    Id say one of my biggest regrets was doing that stupid QR search for Xbox one year. We spent 80% of our time looking for those codes, and I got nothing for my efforts.
    Oh, I had a completely different experience. I loved that XBox QR code hunt. We spent a bunch of time collecting codes on Friday, redeemed them first thing Saturday morning for prizes (got a great $400 sound bar that I still use all the time) and then didn't spend any more time on it for the rest of the weekend. Remains one of my favourite experiences from PAX.

    gorgeousplanet
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    Alright I got a new one, forgot about this until I went back to the gym after a few weeks and two days later moving an inch is agonizing.

    Physically condition yourselves.

    Last year, about two months before SDCC, I twisted my ankle bad. So obviously I stopped going to the gym for a month. Well after I could walk easilu I thought, "I should skip legs so I don't hurt myself more for a while longer"(I still did deadlifts, clearly I just wanted an excuse to slack off). Well SDCC comes around and walking around and standing was murder on my calves.
    Not the day of mind you, the day after, when you have to do it all over but now your legs are all tight and sore.

    Unless your a nurse or a park ranger, most of us aren't used to standing and walking for hours, and if we're being honest most of us who think they'll get a foldable camper stool never will, so do your legs a favor and condition them. Take a backpack, load it with a bunch of heavy books, and just walk around the block for an hour or so everyday(whatever you can manage). Once your done (or if you don't want to go outside in the first place), do some squats with that weight, the extra spring In your step can mean the difference when you bum rush the expo hall lines.

    May PAX be upon you.
    Travman93ClannMorgan
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    Wash your hands before you handle food.

    I had just played some game demos (using controllers that had god knows how many other people touch it) right before I ate some finger foods and literally started getting sick a few hours later.

    In fact, just wash your hands a lot.

    Undead Scottsman on
    Pavio
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman 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.

    As a person who hates using public restrooms (It's not the quality; I just have problems with using the bathroom if other people are in there) having a nearby hotel is a godsend.

    Some other tips I've thought of

    -Bring some minor medical supplies. Nothing fancy: headache medicine, anti-acids, some band-aids. Basic stuff to help take care of minor nuisance that can pop up during the convention.
    -Bring a box of granola bars or energy bars in your luggage and keep a few on you. Having a access quick snack during long line waits can be helpful, and can help take the edge off so you're not starving in the middle of a panel.
    -Bring a water bottle. Preferably one you can clip on to your person somewhere.
    -Have a purse or a fanny-pack or a backpack something so you can carry some stuff with you at all times(I use my ipad bag)
    -Don't go to PAX with new shoes. Make sure they're properly broken in first.
    -You'll be doing a lot of walking and standing up, so you might start developing painful callouses (I get them on my pinky toes). Slapping a bandaid over them when you first notice them can reduce friction and prevent them from getting really painful.
    -I find it useful to pack an extension cable with multiple ports on it. In the past I've had my 3DS, my Ipad and my phone all needing power and my cable has three outlets on it, so I don't have to hunt around the room for empty outlets or unplug lamps and what-have-you. Also nice for airports when outlets are at a premium.

    TOGSolidTravman93
  • dm_magicdm_magic Registered User regular
    Carry hand sanitizer.

    bn4KEyz.png
    n3rdlink
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    Wash your hands before you handle food.

    I had just played some game demos (using controllers that had god knows how many other people touch it) right before I ate some finger foods and literally started getting sick a few hours later.

    In fact, just wash your hands a lot.

    Not just eating, touching you face is enough. So at the very least, wash them after touching anything, especially a controller.

  • SolelronSolelron Wandering Gamer Cornelius, ORRegistered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    Wash your hands before you handle food.

    I had just played some game demos (using controllers that had god knows how many other people touch it) right before I ate some finger foods and literally started getting sick a few hours later.

    In fact, just wash your hands a lot.

    Not just eating, touching you face is enough. So at the very least, wash them after touching anything, especially a controller.

    they have hand sanitizer packs that you can attach to your belt loop, bag, etc for like 99 cents. easier than trying to find a restroom as often as you really should wash your hands :)

    Side: I learned the socks trick last year. I tend to wear Sandals a lot, but I'm discovering splitting my day between sandals and another pair of support shoes is very helpful.

  • MalgarasMalgaras Registered User regular
    PAX #11 for me.

    What I'm doing differently this year: Living in Seattle!

    Biggest mistake from last year: So these panelists at our theatre brought this fog machine...

    1tLJUH2O.png
    jamsyarbots
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