Venue Size

TinksTinks Registered User new member
edited November 2015 in PAX East
I have a general question about the PAX East venue, granted I don't know if there's anyone publicly on here who can answer it.

I went to the original PAX some odd years ago before it was moved over into South Boston at the Convention Center.
It was moved there because the attendees grew in such size and it became so popular, naturally a bigger space was necessary.

I find myself wondering why this show hasn't found it's way into a bigger venue yet. Or why isn't it expanding to a second weekend?
The show sells out almost instantaneously with an unannounced drop that scorns anyone not checking websites by the hour.
I know I'd like to 3-day pass it with my friends, but we can never get the passes every year and counting. One day is cool and all but it's mostly a rushed experience.

At some point the venue needs to get bigger or you need more days. Scalping isn't being solved because tickets are so limited.
You could resolve scalping issues on some level by increasing your ticket volume.

Tinks on

Posts

  • InkRavenInkRaven Registered User regular
    I know the Convention center is working on a huge expansion that just got approved by the city of boston. Not sure when it will be completed, but I'm sure once it's done tickets should be less of an issue.

    There's always MAGfest!

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    There is no bigger venue in Boston. The only answer would be to move to another city on the eastern seaboard, and new York would be the only option that isn't south of the Mason Dixon line. Beyond that PAX is already contracted to the bcec for something like ten years. Up until recently you could actually find out when PAX is every year for the next decade by going to the bcec's website (though I believe they got that info removed from the bcec site because people were using it to get hotel rooms years in advance of the con itself before room blocks were secured for PAX).

    Yeah passes go quick, and it seems as though three days are being phased out (this is the first year since the inception of pax east that I'll be cruising on three one days rather than a three day pass), but the speed at which tickets sell out won't be affected by venue size. The beast has grown to a size that is undefeatable, it is one of the social events of the nerd calendar, and everyone wants to go, or at least enough people want to go that three days will always sell out in seconds, but that's just the nature of the beast and changing locations will do nothing to change the beast's temperament.

    Sleep on
    schussiltaClannMorgan
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    They've signed an agreement to keep it in Boston through 2024 I believe. Boston is looking into increasing the size of the convention center.

    Also, btw, they have made it more than one weekend already. PAX is in Seattle, Boston, and San Antonio in the USA, and Melbourne Australia. That's 4 huge weekends of PAX to choose from!

    SkeleVaderBekerltgruntiltajayh0vaironysparkles
  • OysterPrimeOysterPrime Registered User regular
    As others have said, there's a contract to keep PAX in Boston for the foreseeable future, and the city is adding on to the convention center.

    The biggest problem, and the one that will never be fixed, is that the demand outstrips supply significantly. I read an article where Robert Khoo stated that they estimate that demand for PAX Prime is ten times higher than the amount of tickets that are available. I didn't see anything about East, but you'd have to figure the demand is pretty close. It doesn't really matter if the convention center gets bigger or if PAX moves to another one, because it's impossible to find a place that could accommodate such an immense demand.

    This is par for the course for fan conventions like this. PAX Prime and East, BlizzCon, and SD and NY Comic-Con all sell out instantaneously. There is no venue that has enough room for everyone who wants to go.

    PAX Prime: 2012, 2014
    PAX East: 2013

    PAX East 2016:
    [ X ] Badge [ X ] Hotel [ X ] Plane Ticket
    ltgruntklzmillerm277
  • pilotman996pilotman996 Boston, MARegistered User regular
    InkRaven wrote: »
    I know the Convention center is working on a huge expansion that just got approved by the city of boston. Not sure when it will be completed, but I'm sure once it's done tickets should be less of an issue.

    THIS. The MA Legislature has approved a 1 Billion $ (yes with a B) expansion to the BCEC to include an expansion of the Con floor by 3 times, and 2 new hotels in addition to the ones under construction.

    This project will be completed in 2019. PAX has a contract with BCEC out until 2020, and was probably one of the reasons this expansion went through.

    q3xyb8ai5maa.png
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I mean they could expand over to the world trade center across the street from the bcec and have more floor space for expo type goings on, but it would kind of put a section of the con on a low foot traffic region and wouldn't expand the number of tickets they were alowed to sell. I'm fairly certain the reason they don't expand to the world trade is because that would actually force them to sell less tickets (because if for some reason a major giveaway was happening in the world trade and half the con descended on the world trade we'd violate their capacity restraints real hard).

  • MrBroadstoneMrBroadstone Registered User regular
    I thought the BCEC expansion was put on hold earlier this year. The expansion you're talking about are other development projects.


    Here's a recent article:
    http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/real_estate/2015/11/massport-advancing-significant-mixed-use-project.html
    The Massachusetts Port Authority has updated its “significant” mixed-use development on Summer Street across from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston, a project that had been delayed after Gov. Charlie Baker froze plans for a $1 billion expansion of the BCEC.
    Massport CEO Thomas Glynn said in April that he would pursue a contingency plan for the site given the expansion’s funding freeze. Baker spiked the BCEC's $1 billion expansion plan following his inauguration, citing weak financial plans and the state's gaping budget deficit.

    I've yet to find anything where the BCEC itself has had its expansion resumed.

  • KaronethKaroneth Elder Scrolling Online Co-Host Lakehurst, NJRegistered User regular
    MrBroadstone, thanks for the update, glad they are doing something at least. I was quite irritated that the Governor put the BCEC expansion on hold after the entire State Assembly had already approved it and they were supposed to have the funding for it. Certainly any hotels they build there will be full whenever any conventions are on, they will simply take business away from those further away, or bring in more business to the city. For the length of my stay if I was looking at hotels right now via OnPeak I'm not sure any of them would work, as I'll be staying 5 nights. When I last looked I only had like 3 options left in Boston, so more total rooms are needed.

    Needless to say, PAX can benefit from a larger BCEC. However they are not out of options! Much like they have done in Seattle, the Seaport has a large convention space out on their pier, and the Westin has spaces as well that could be utilized should Penny Arcade decide to go that route. Much nicer to keep it under one roof though.

  • KaronethKaroneth Elder Scrolling Online Co-Host Lakehurst, NJRegistered User regular
    I just noticed Sleep's response, and he has a good point. But they make it work for PAX Prime somehow with multiple venues, correct?

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    I realistically can't see a way for PAX East to get bigger and have it still be something people can navigate. I'd rather see it move to more days than a bigger space.

    stardust462PenumbraDisruptedCapitalist
  • pilotman996pilotman996 Boston, MARegistered User regular
    Yes and no. The project was temporarily suspended pending feasibility review, but nothing has been promised either way.

    That being said, the BCEC purchased land in 2013 that included 2 hotels and parking garage that are completed or nearing completion. This is in addition to ongoing private developments.
    Karoneth wrote: »
    I just noticed Sleep's response, and he has a good point. But they make it work for PAX Prime somehow with multiple venues, correct?
    They do make it work for prime, but in Boston there's a few issues.
    1) The footbridge has a people capacity and limiting that would be a pain, especially since apartment buildings exist on that walkway
    2) The only public transit is the Silver line, and doubling the people would put an immeasurable strain on the MBTA and SL busses
    3) BCEC and Seaport WTC are owned by different people, so ensuring PAX abides by both sets of regs and just scheduling would be a huge conflict for PAX staff


    But as Sleep (and a ton of other PAX staff and mods) said, demand VASTLY outweighs supply regardless of how many days/venues you use

    q3xyb8ai5maa.png
  • KaronethKaroneth Elder Scrolling Online Co-Host Lakehurst, NJRegistered User regular
    More space means less people per square foot, unless they expand pass sales so much that they fill the space fully. The more days doesn't convince me, if they added a 4th day such as Monday, which would be fine with me, how many people would buy only the 4th day pass if they had an option to buy all days? Not sure. I think most want to go for the whole event.

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Adding a 4th day ads another batch of possibly hundreds of thousands of tickets and it ostensibly turns Sunday into a full day.

    The other problem with expanding into a larger convention center is filling the space. The expo itself doesn't even fill the bcec. That is why there is so much unused space in the bcec. It is large enough to get the capacity we want, but filling it with developers to host booths is a bit of a trial if I'm not mistaken. PAX east doesn't get announcements (by that time everyone's holding the big announcements for e3), people aren't doing anything but good will at PAX east, trying to get some decent press, and a lot of the big name studios don't always show up (it is why PAX east is quite driven by the inde booth and the tabletop area).

    When looking at the main issues of capacity at the moment the real dynamics to look at are the lines. As it is, with the current number of attendees, lines fill near instantly. If you don't make the front of the queue in the morning you don't get to try triple a video game titles, and I've had friends that were the front of the line (literally first in line), and by the time they got to the triple a they wanted to try (they basically ran from queue to queue) the triple a title had it's demo line filled for the day (mere seconds after doors opened). The same happens with almost any big game, or device (heck I've even seen it happen in table top). The trouble is that those lines are not capacity driven, they are demo time driven. Adding a larger number of people just means more people disappointed that they can't try certain games because the demos take time and they literally can't allow more people into the demo line, or more people pissed about waiting all day for a super short demo. Either way that good will I was talking about before gets dried up.

    Increasing number of days for the con solves a lot of the problems that merely getting more space doesn't at all solve. Getting more space would drive up the number of tickets per day, but it wouldn't increase the amount of time available to service those extra attendees and would leave a lot of attendees swinging in the wind with little to do. In my mind I'd say that as soon as the bcec is expanded and capacity goes up they need to expand the con to 4 days.

    The problem of selling out near instantly will never be solved no matter how many days or how much space they add. I just put a few hundred dollars aside every year in preparation to buy tickets and apologize to whoever I'm in a meeting with when I need to get the tickets because I know I need to do it near the instant the passes are released. Like I said earlier, nature of the beast.

    Keroanschuss
  • TinksTinks Registered User new member
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Also, btw, they have made it more than one weekend already. PAX is in Seattle, Boston, and San Antonio in the USA, and Melbourne Australia. That's 4 huge weekends of PAX to choose from!
    That's just silly. I have fond memories of the times I've been to PAX but I'm not flying to make a show across the country.
    Especially when those shows will likely only guarantee me a day of actual attendance just like PAX East.

    The only option I see is expanding these shows, especially with the information swirling in this topic.
    There's a lot of talk around contracts, so I'm not sure if they only have permission for the three day increments- but I feel like expansion of a day or more would be ideal. Hell how about consecutive weekends?
    I'm sure PRIME and others could also handle/benefit from this type of format growth.

    It makes sense in Boston because Boston hosts such a great indie scene when it comes to gaming.
    I would still attend it in New York even if it meant a bit more travel, which is likely an inevitable city for the show when Boston years are up.
    PAX would then benefit from more companies willing to commit and greater numbers, facilities, etc.

    It's good news that the BCEC is expanding but it doesn't solve the problems these conventions now face. It is a problem and an opportunity these shows aren't taking advantage of at the same time.
    I have no doubt PAX is a ton of work, but I would think the demand would create more jobs and opportunities for PA to expand these shows already. The resources have to be available.

  • OysterPrimeOysterPrime Registered User regular
    Tinks wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Also, btw, they have made it more than one weekend already. PAX is in Seattle, Boston, and San Antonio in the USA, and Melbourne Australia. That's 4 huge weekends of PAX to choose from!
    There's a lot of talk around contracts, so I'm not sure if they only have permission for the three day increments- but I feel like expansion of a day or more would be ideal. Hell how about consecutive weekends?
    Having a convention like this span across two weekends is hardly feasible. It's a lot of money to book the convention center, and having developers attend on two weekends would be a lot more work. These conventions are a massive undertaking for everyone involved when they're just three days. The only thing I see happening would be if East went to four days like Prime.

    PAX Prime: 2012, 2014
    PAX East: 2013

    PAX East 2016:
    [ X ] Badge [ X ] Hotel [ X ] Plane Ticket
    stardust462
  • TopherRocksTopherRocks Rockstar Beard Grower Kent, OH or Long Island, NYRegistered User regular
    Tinks wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Also, btw, they have made it more than one weekend already. PAX is in Seattle, Boston, and San Antonio in the USA, and Melbourne Australia. That's 4 huge weekends of PAX to choose from!
    That's just silly. I have fond memories of the times I've been to PAX but I'm not flying to make a show across the country.
    Especially when those shows will likely only guarantee me a day of actual attendance just like PAX East.
    South is still pretty new to the point that they don't sell out yet, it'd be easy to get in every day assuming you can get there. All 3 individual day passes are showing solid supply if being green is anything to go by.

    AJeaRLh.png
    ltgrunt
  • jdixon1972jdixon1972 Registered User regular
    Guys, every year people talk about wanting the BCEC to expand or adding another day to East. Heck, even I was one back during the first 3 years of East. As for adding a forth day, I think I brought this up and Zerzhul said something to the point that Prime only went four days because it doesn't have enough space and they wanted more people to experience Prime (Zerzhul, please forgive me if I didn't get that right). East currently has plenty of space, so I don't see this happening anytime soon. Besides, there are fire laws in effect to only allow so many people in at a time anyway. And for BCEC expansion, yeh, I don't see that happening any time soon either. The MA government is so screwy right now that I just don't see this starting any time soon. I personally think that the area around the BCEC needs more development (more hotels, restaurants, shopping). Once that happens, I feel that maybe the government will change it's attitude about the expansion.

    Do I want this expansion stuff to happen, heck yeh. I guess I have just formed a jaded attitude about all this because I don't really think the city cares. Seriously, this talk has been going on for 6 years. I guess, though, we can still dream :)

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Tinks wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Also, btw, they have made it more than one weekend already. PAX is in Seattle, Boston, and San Antonio in the USA, and Melbourne Australia. That's 4 huge weekends of PAX to choose from!
    That's just silly. I have fond memories of the times I've been to PAX but I'm not flying to make a show across the country.
    Especially when those shows will likely only guarantee me a day of actual attendance just like PAX East.
    And this is part of their plan to make sure many different people get to go to a PAX.
    I have no doubt PAX is a ton of work, but I would think the demand would create more jobs and opportunities for PA to expand these shows already. The resources have to be available.
    It doesn't actually work like that. It would just end up being the same people working on the show for more hours than they have available to do so. It's been mentioned, for example, that when shows conflict, some companies will only send reps to one show (gamescom and east last year), they don't just hire more people to send them to both shows.

    Overall, I get what you're saying. Everyone who likes PAX wants more PAX! They have done that by adding more PAXes, and they have said they are done adding more shows. Expanding East to two weekends isn't just making East bigger, that's adding another whole show. Now, I do think they will eventually add a fourth day to East (speculation of course), but what you're talking about just isn't going to happen.

    ilta
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    jdixon1972 wrote: »
    Do I want this expansion stuff to happen, heck yeh. I guess I have just formed a jaded attitude about all this because I don't really think the city cares. Seriously, this talk has been going on for 6 years. I guess, though, we can still dream :)

    Well if the skate park under the highway is any indication then they will get on to finishing these expansions in about 10 more years.

    Nah for real though the seaport district is exploding for businesses, chances are the expansion of the bcec is getting held up because of 1 new leadership in the statehouse and in city hall and 2 because we were trying to get our ducks in a row for a possible Olympic bid (thank Odin that shit didn't happen) that may have meant a change in direction for expansion in the seaport district.

    However buildings like the bcec or any expansion to it takes like a decade just to get the documentation right before a shovel ever hits the dirt. Especially given the probable square footage of the expansion and the fact that they are likely trying to hit a Leed cert with the expansion. I can't even begin to guess how much extra red tape and crap must be involved in the documentation phase for a government funded project, but once all of it is done the expansion will probably shoot out of the ground in like a year or two tops.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    I have no doubt the BCEC expansion will move forward eventually. That said - there's a lot of space that isn't filled already, as all of the queue rooms could easily be turned into additional show space with the queue moving into filling hallways.
    The crunches are as described above - demos on the show floor are basically a "ha ha good luck", and there's always a crunch for tabletop.

    DisruptedCapitalist
  • rtm416rtm416 NYRegistered User regular
    On a personal note, I wouldn't mind them moving it to the Jacob Javits Center in 2025, but that's just a selfish proximity thing. I believe the Javits center is also quite a bit larger than the BCEC as well.

    SK3ozR5.png
  • aBByNormaLaBByNormaL Registered User regular
    rtm416 wrote: »
    On a personal note, I wouldn't mind them moving it to the Jacob Javits Center in 2025, but that's just a selfish proximity thing. I believe the Javits center is also quite a bit larger than the BCEC as well.

    Based on the website description for each, Javits appears considerably smaller ...

    JAVITS - "With 840,000 square feet of flexible exhibition space occupying six city blocks along the scenic Hudson River, the facility can accommodate any size event, at any time. It’s no wonder that 35,000 companies choose it as their preferred venue every year." (from their website)

    BCEC - "Beyond the beauty and symbolism of the building’s modern, glass-lined interior, the BCEC’s 2.1 million square feet of flexible space—the largest convention space in the Northeast—provides an open canvas for both your event and your imagination." (from their website)

    PAX East 2016 .... gots my Passes [x] Hotel [x] Flights [x] Packed [..] .... ok we're all good !!!!!
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Yeah I think the next largest on the eastern seaboard that isn't in the south (because there's already a PAX in the south) is in New York City, and I really hope they don't ever move the con down there just because the hotels will be insane on cost, or will be so far away from the con you miss half the con trying to get to the con. Also full disclosure I live in Boston so having the con right here keeps it feasible for me to go to PAX east every year. I just hope the bcec doesn't try to get cute when they renegotiate the contracts in a few years.

  • MrBroadstoneMrBroadstone Registered User regular
    That's a bad comparison. You're comparing Javits' exhibit hall space to the BCEC's total space. Even that comparison is not perfect due to big differences in how the two are layed out.

    Also the contract between PAX and mass convention authority is until 2028. http://southbostontoday.com/a-decade-of-success-a-solid-future-ahead/ and http://massconvention.com/assets/pdf/MCCA_AR2014_01262014.pdf (page 5, see "14" sales fact on the left side)

    pilotman996
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah, comparing size numbers is very hard in total space based on things like wikipedia or whatever which all represent the space differently, you really have to find and compare these three things:
    expo space to expo space
    meeting space to meeting space
    ballroom space to ballroom space

  • rtm416rtm416 NYRegistered User regular
    Yeah it's my bad. I should have been clearer. I was just talking exhibit hall to exhibit hall. Javits has around 240k sqft more exhibit hall space.

    SK3ozR5.png
  • klzklz Registered User regular
    The Javits is just such a horrible location with regards to proximity of hotels and lack of non-Expo space compared to the BCEC, not to mention the higher costs to put a show on at that venue, i just don't see any chance of East moving to NYC. This is coming from a native NY'e too. It's a terrible location for something like Pax that has so many different things happening compared to NYCC, for example, and even then, they had to expand to venues several blocks away to handle extra panels. The mad rush for hotels with the close 4 hotels is bad enough as it is. NY has one hotel nearby (across the street) and it's not that big, which I consider a huge problem for the exhibitors and staff.

    rtm416KaronethCanderson1989MrBroadstone
  • rtm416rtm416 NYRegistered User regular
    klz wrote: »
    The Javits is just such a horrible location with regards to proximity of hotels and lack of non-Expo space compared to the BCEC, not to mention the higher costs to put a show on at that venue, i just don't see any chance of East moving to NYC. This is coming from a native NY'e too. It's a terrible location for something like Pax that has so many different things happening compared to NYCC, for example, and even then, they had to expand to venues several blocks away to handle extra panels. The mad rush for hotels with the close 4 hotels is bad enough as it is. NY has one hotel nearby (across the street) and it's not that big, which I consider a huge problem for the exhibitors and staff.

    Oh I agree it's unrealistic, but I was just speaking mostly in jest, as I could easily skip on a hotel if it was moved to the Javits center.

    SK3ozR5.png
  • TinksTinks Registered User new member
    edited December 2015
    In response to Zerzhul

    Many different types of people? To me it seems like only those who can spend their time waiting for their roll out to happen are likely to gain access. Which kills whatever diversity goal they're shooting for


    Also my comment on demand/jobs was mainly a remark on the profitability of the show.

    Tinks on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2015
    I didn't say types. I said many different people. As in individuals. Having more paxes in different parts of the country allows more people overall to go to PAX. Having them in different places instead of more PAX in just one place helps to spread the PAX around to different locales so it's not just the same people going to every available moment of pax.

    zerzhul on
    ltgrunt
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