I know this is a modthread in the other subforums, and I know this subforum is particularly sleepy outside the leadup to PAX, however I did want to get a few things down, and welcome anyone else to join in.
Firstly, I only went into the expo hall twice, and not for long, and only to the Indy section those times. Our crew don't do the queue room, we just skip to the other end (where the bars are - that's where our pax mostly takes place). Second, This was our 6th PAX on the trot, we've gotten good at it, so we know how to avoid the pitfalls.
Negatives - The lines! Again, we don't do the queue room. But what a mess it was! This year the queue room had shrunk by many times, leaving on Friday the lines to spill out the front door in an unorganised mess, with the Saturday not seeming to be much better. We walked right past all this of course to the other end, but what a disaster! Imagine if it was raining or very cold, having people (often these are the newest attendees too) stand around outside is not good enough, especially since its a downgrade from every other year. My idea to fix it? Use the other end - the new section and the slightly lame PAX bar (when we have such great bars across the way) OR - especaially because the queue room is only really fully used at the start of the day - have the queue, then have a bunch of enforcers fill the queue room space with tables and chairs for tabletop.
The keynote! Oh boy I am sure she is a fantastic author. But this was a very weak and boring start to the show. The interview style is just plain wrong for a keynote - the other ones have been a more stirring address to the crowd, and far more apt. This was not so great. Fix it by ditching the interview style.
Overall crowd - seemed much bigger this year, and you could really feel the extra pressure, especially in line management. Our enforcers are incredible, but they are volunteers, not professional event/crowd managers - and this did show with the size of the event this year. (Controversial opinion time) - with the size and success of the show, its time to start paying and training the enforcers. MOST attendees now have no idea about PA, or any idea that the guys in yellow shirts are angels who are giving up their best weekend of the year. Also, I don't think Reedpop care either, they just like not having to pay wages or training (or insurance?). I know team yellow are happy to do the work, but they should be compensated and also get some training for their own protection.
Expo hall and long lines - I heard lots of complaining about this, but not from me! My total line time for this pax would be less than ten mins, and I didn't feel like I missed out on a thing. I actually didn't even notice EB was there.
Awful loud giveaways in the expo hall. I know people love free stuff but this should be banned or locked down hard. The enforcers did a great job keeping the paths clear, but again, this is a tough job for a volunteer. This is also why I don't do the expo hall. This is also where I would whinge about fortnite or whatever, but that's my own opinion and it just is a non issue, pax is so big there is not much need to see anything you don't like
Booth babes sneaking back in! NO NO NO - Its not really cosplay if its professional advertising. That's... Cospro? hmm
Positives (aside from the usual)
EB seemed like a net gain, if anything. I didn't go there, but it seemed like people liked being able to shop.
Tabletop and tabletop shop area, better than ever this year. Level up dice booth - wow.
General Assembly and Boatmakers (bars, and yes nothing really to do with PAX)
Childs play charity (Wednesday night) and just amazing
The new layout, shifting BYOC upstairs seems like a good use of space.
I'll come back and post more cos I'm about to log off and head home!