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Pre- and Post-Pax Board Game meet-ups? Who's with me?

Mark BMark B Registered User regular
I acquired my love of board games from going to Pax East, where I really enjoyed the pre-pax board game meet ups.

Is anyone organizing something similar in Philadelphia?

I am local-ish (I live 30 minutes by train from the convention center, and I work about 15 minutes from the convention center), so I can help, but I'm not sure I want to organize the whole thing. If others can help, I can scout the area for locations and help with whatever has to happen on the ground here. I also have a pretty good sized board game collection, and I don't mind bringing some (though the fact I have to take the train limits what I can bring).



  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    I know with East, it was coordinated with the local hotels. I'm not sure if there is a similar space in any of the nearby hotels but that's probably the best place to start.

    Mark B
  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    edited October 2017
    Typically, hotels have a significant minimum food and drink order attached to rentals of their meeting rooms and ballrooms.

    At other PAXes, the community games nights have worked out deals to have hotel run cash bar but waive the minimum order.

    The gamers do drop some cash, but not at nearly the rate of the typical bar patron, so these game nights got hotel support only after a few years of PAXes, once the hotels realized what they were up against. The board gamers are coming, and you can't stop them. They'll order one drink and clog up your bar area for the entire night. Better to get out in front and get them a space to so their thing.

    If you are local, I would recommend stopping by some of the closest hotels and sharing this info. See if any hotel bites.

    Gundabad on
    Mark BSchmulki
  • Mark BMark B Registered User regular
    @Schmulki : Good point. However @Gundabad makes a good point. Hotel locations will have more visibility and attract people who have not read about ahead of time, but it might be hard to convince them this first year. There are several board game meet-ups that meet regularly in Philadelphia, though none of them are on Thursday nights. Maybe one of locations that hosts a game night on another night of week will "get it"? Locations are: a chinese restaurant (old city), a brew pub (old city), and two game stores (West Philadelphia), and a public food court on Penn's campus (University City). None of these have the capacity of a huge crowd, but none of them a super close to the convention center, so we would probably just get a small crowd from the forumers here and maybe on BGG. The two Old City Locations are the easiest to get to using public transportation--it's a short ride on the main subway line.

    I'll contact them and see if there is any possibility of something on the Thursday night. However, I'll need help in planning. For one, I won't be able to stay late on Thursday (I'm already abondoning my non-gaming family for the rest of the weekend), second, we will need more people to bring games. Anyone interested in helping, local or not?

  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    Yea, all the game nights I know of, you've mentioned already and all are in places that would get absolutely destroyed by a pax-sized crowd.

    If we have some numbers from other paxen (and/or if there was a way to know how many tickets were sold going into Unplugged), maybe that could help convince nearby hotels that it would be worth hosting? It's just unfortunately a fairly busy part of the city so there aren't going to be a whole lot of large, open, free indoors spaces to use.

  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    Do not worry at all about people bringing games. Everyone expects to either bring their own games to a pre-PAX game night, or hop into games w/ other people who did. No need to provide.

    In your conversations with hotels, you could talk this up as establishing them as the popular hotel for PAX attendees. If they weren't going to sell all of their rooms out, they surely would now. This is a future year thing as well. If folks see that say, the Marriott, had tons of space for hotel gaming, that's going to be their first choice for 2018 booking.

  • dragnstephdragnsteph Registered User regular
    I organize this for South. Last year we paid for space b/c we're in a similar situation with limited large space near the convention hotel. It's tough to do without admission and/or sponsors, and therefore rough to put together last-minute. Gundabad's points are all well-taken -- reach out to the hotels and talk up the relationship with PAX for ongoing years. I don't know what Unplugged potential attendance will be, at South last year, thrown together very last-minute, we had about 200 people at our game night. We're planning on more this year.

  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    PAX East's pre-PAX game night definitely gets a few hundred. My super-unofficial very rough estimate of how many board gamers we'll have at Unplugged is 4-6x that of what we see at a PAX East.

  • TheOperationsExpertTheOperationsExpert Registered User regular
    What about Frankford Hall? I think the Philly sub used to do meetings there.

  • TheOperationsExpertTheOperationsExpert Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Would anyone be interested in a casual meet-up in Chinatown at Chinatown Square Saturday night? They're open late, have a decent amount of seating in the back, and have a mix of food (including some lighter fare for those who don't want to eat late at night) and drink (no age restrictions on the first floor though). It's like a 5 minute walk from the convention center, for reference. Plus it includes those of us who aren't able to do Thursday nights. Just an idea!

    TheOperationsExpert on
  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    Was anything ever decided about this?

  • Mark BMark B Registered User regular
    @Schmulki I think that we're just going to join the reddit meetup that Thursday this time. I'm sure that there will be lots of gaming in hotel lobbies/restaurants that just happens organically also.

  • Kiss Me GoodByeKiss Me GoodBye Registered User regular
    Hey hey!

    Here's info on the Reddit Weekly Meetup/PAX Mixer thing!

    PAX EAST 2011 * 2012 * 2013 *2014 *2015 *2016 | PAX PRIME 2013| PAX UNPLUGGED 2017
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