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How to "work" at PAX?

zealezeale Saint LouisRegistered User regular
Hey guys, I know the obvious answer to this is "be an enforcer", which I will certainly look into for South next year, but after South I really found some of the booth staffs to be amazing and I'd really like to find a way to be a part of that someday. Has anyone been booth staff that might have any recommendations on how to get into doing something like this? Obviously they provide a pass, but do they also typically cover lodging and/or travel costs? This is not a deal breaker, of course, but if this was something they pay for it would massively increase my ability to attend future PAXen. Let me reiterate that I'm not trying to make this a full-time job or anything, it just seems like a really interesting way to spend a weekend enjoying something I love "on the clock".

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Posts

  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    I'm not entirely sure this is universal, but for every company I've worked for, the booth staff is usually employees of the company who volunteer to man the booth in exchange for paid travel/lodging. Sometimes there are local model/temp agencies that can fill spots if needed, but I don't think that's too popular at PAX.

    I always recommend Enforcing, however I may be slightly biased.

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  • zealezeale Saint LouisRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the input jonxp! I am definitely going to look into enforcing, but my next PAX will be Prime and, to my knowledge, they won't be recruiting any enforcers for that one at least.

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  • HearthsingerHearthsinger Actor/Writer NYCRegistered User regular
    Booths fill spots with company employees, especially because of the epic "no booth babe policy." This means that people at booths know their game and honestly want you to play it. You'll often find devs right in the booths- even for big titles. So, outside of enforcing, that means you'd need to be making a career out of tat or interning. There might be some acceptions and all cons are different but that seems to be my experience at 4 easts sand one south.

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  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    I've heard a few companies that have recruited fans to supplement their booth staff in the past. Sometimes for a badge, sometimes just for some swag, and for varying amounts of hours. I volunteered at the CCP booth one Prime years ago, was paid in a shirt and some button I think, I imagine I probably heard about it from their site, it was during a time I was playing Eve. Beyond following all the possible exhibitors twitters i'm not sure how you would best find out about those things though. Best of luck.

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  • orthancstoneorthancstone TexasRegistered User regular
    Not sure if this is quite what you were thinking of, but MC Frontalot had tweeted out a request for assistance with his Bandland booth a few days prior to the show. So might find some last second opportunities by watching various social media outlets.

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  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    Smaller developers do indeed get volunteer fans to help them with the booth. With a bigger company I imagine everyone at the booth is an employee.

    If you are running a booth as an employee, then it's a business trip and all of your travel expenses will be paid for by your employer. A volunteer, however, will maybe get a pass and have to pay for their expenses out of pocket.

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  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    I think it does mostly come down to following the right social media. Frontalot was mentioned and I've seen Paul and Storm using twitter to find merch volunteers at shows (though I don't know about PAX specifically). I think I've seen the dice rings people looking for PAX help a few times.
    Also, if you're looking to volunteer PAX time, cookie brigade always needs help ;)

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  • TemigTemig East [E] North Shore - MARegistered User regular
    The games/companies that I've seen looking for actual booth help have done so in their forums which makes sense as they'll get responses from their fans who probably do know something about the product if they're frequenting the forums. It also means they're giving the pass to someone who is very likely to support them and who will get a really great memory out of it instead of someone just looking to score a free pass.

    The arrangements I've seen in the past have varied, but typically include the pass and a shirt (to be worn while working the booth, but also as a souvenir). I've seen lodging offered, but it's certainly not the norm. I don't recall ever having seen travel provided for a volunteer gig. Depending on the company you may find yourself walking away with some swag and/or actual product. I know someone who was asked to work a booth at GenCon (they do a board game related podcast) that got their lodging paid for, their pass of course, and got to select several hundred dollars worth of games from the publisher's library but that was certainly an atypical case.

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  • muddy9494muddy9494 Registered User regular
    To work at one of the booths you usually have to be an employee of the company. Some companies do look for volunteers or personal assistants in exchange for a free badge, swag and some other stuff. My advice would to keep a keen eye out for openings at companies that exhibit at PAX, or keep your eyes open for volunteer requests from those companies for PAX.

    Many do not openly request from what I've noticed though. They usually can find a volunteer from within their own personal network of friends/family. So try making friends with companies that exhibit at PAX or just shoot them an email and ask if they need a volunteer. You never know!

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