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Starting from Square One

LordBraska1999LordBraska1999 Bahston, MARegistered User regular
edited May 2017 in PAX South
Hey southies, I'm an Easter that's had to move to New Orleans for work for the next 3 or 4 years. I went to PAX South from 2010 to 2016 when I had to move. I've finally talked my wife into the long trip to West so now I need you. I'm looking for as much info as I can get as well as major differences between east and west. Any and all info is appreciated.

LordBraska1999 on


  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    edited May 2017
    Not sure why you're asking about West in the South forum, but...

    (Caveat: haven't been to East for the past 2 years now, otherwise been to every US show and the first two AUS)

    The most stark difference is in location. The BCEC is a big building that contains all of the show, but the area surrounding it is...well, it's not as un-built as it was a few years ago, but it's nothing compared to, say, the Back Bay area. Contrast that to the WSCC, which is really a couple of smaller convention centers stacked on top of each other (built over a freeway, for good measure). PAX West fills up all of this space...and its annex...and meeting rooms in several surrounding hotels. Be prepared to walk (there are shuttles available, but they don't run all the time and they have to deal with traffic). However, the show takes place in the heart of downtown Seattle, which means you have plenty of options outside of the show for things (food, groceries, bars, etc.), and anything not in the downtown core is easily accessible by public transit.

    Weather is another obvious difference, because location and time of the year. Last time I was at East was just after Snowpocalypse happened. It's usually mid 70's and gorgeous at West (although last year was on the rainy side).

    West is a 4-day show that takes place over Labor Day weekend (most of the time). 4 days means more content, but I'd be hard-pressed to come up with any major differences in the content provided between the two shows, outside of what exhibitors bring, but that will change every show regardless.

    All this effort for the wrong show :(

    whypick1 on
    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • LordBraska1999LordBraska1999 Bahston, MARegistered User regular
    ha I meant south. I said west because...well I'm an idiot.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    edited May 2017
    ha I meant south. I said west because...well I'm an idiot.

    I've never been to East, but I have been to South and West. South is easily the smallest of the 3 North American PAXen (so far, it's steadily growing, and Unplugged might become the smallest one). Far fewer big developers, less in the expo hall, etc... If the show part of the show is the most important thing to you, South might be disappointing. Especially if seeing AAA releases is your thing. It is located in downtown San Antonio, so there are a lot of food, hotel, and nightlife choices. It's not Seattle, but it's still nice. The San Antonio riverwalk is quite touristy, but still full of food and drinking places. From what I know, it's way more convenient on all those fronts than Boston currently is. But a side effect of a smaller show is with the reduced pressure to see/do everything you will have much more time to hang out with other people attending. So South is more of the friendship PAX.

    Also, you can edit your original post so anybody new to the thread isn't also confused.

    YoungFrey on
  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    Basically what all @YoungFrey said. I'll add that SA is considerably cheaper than Boston across the board, which is nice.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
  • Rogue_hunterRogue_hunter Breaks Through Brick Walls Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    FriendshipPAX was the best PAX. Less stress on the show floor because there aren't all that many super booths clogging up your floor time. The panels felt far more relaxed, much like the panels on the last day of Prime. Focus more on spending time with friends you're going with or have made through the forums/community, or make new ones just playing in the expansive tabletop or pc/console freeplay areas.

    PlayStation Network: Rogue_hunter
    Steam: Rogue_hunter
    Games for Windows Live: Roguality
  • cabsycabsy the fattest rainbow unicorn Registered User regular
    I think from comments that you're asking about East vs South?

    Weather: East is very unpredictable, as you know. Some years it's 65-70 and beautiful, some years it's negative degrees and terrible. South is pretty consistent in that regard, from a northern perspective the 'winter' weather in Texas is basically gorgeous even when it is 'bad'. by South you'll be used to NO weather, though, so you might start to think of 50-70 degrees as "cold".

    Crowd: Obviously South has less attendance, which can make it feel much less insane. Tabletop area is hyuge and always well-populated. Not as many big devs bringing NEW EXCITING THINGS to expo, but I'm not much of an Expo person anyway so that doesn't bother me.

    Space: Both buildings are fuckoff huge, South uses less of the space because the crowd is smaller but it is still absolutely possible to walk 800 years to find something just like it is at the BCEC. I was in recovery from surgery this year and if I had wanted to do much more exploring I would have asked for a wheelchair rental or something. It's a big space.

    Environmental things:
    SA has awful transit, Boston has pretty awesome transit. That part is sort of a bummer. But we do have Uber/Lyft/etc and there's always a billion promo codes floating around for free rides. Unlike Boston, however, SA has a large number of very reasonably priced hotels within easy walking distance from the con.

    Everything is cheaper than Boston. The con is more centrally located and you can easily walk to a large variety of food locations, movie theaters, a mall, the freakin' Alamo, the Riverwalk is right there, whatever your little heart may desire. We started going to South because it was cheaper to fly two people to SA from Rochester and share a suite at the Homewood with one roommate than it was to drive to Boston from Rochester and share a room with 2-3 roommates. It was cheaper to fly two people to Austin from ROC, rent a car going one-way, drive around and be tourists, pay expensive hotel valet parking for two days, catch a cab to the SA airport, and fly back from SA to ROC.

    Local people here are southern-friendly, if you're a dyed in the wool New England person you may not find that a positive but I love it. We actually liked SA enough from our two South trips that we moved here after I finished my four year degree. Your Uber drivers will talk to you lots if you give them half a chance. People in stores will say hello and strike up conversations.

    There's a decent amount of sprawl going on so if you want to add other things to your trip, like Sea World or Six Flags or something, you're gonna have to drive. But unlike Boston, driving here is pretty easy and relatively straightforward.

    crashmurphyDesert Leviathan
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