PAX 2015 Trip

I'm super excited that I'm going to PAX this year!  It's a convention I've wanted to go to since the very first year but I've never been able to make the timing work out.  This will be my first time attending.

This year my brother and I are going together and I'm really looking forward to it!

I'm not sure what to expect.  I've never been to any conventions for fun before.  All the conventions I've attended have been work or career related.

PAX is supposed to be the show for gamers by gamers.  It was the answer to E3 being all for the press.  I've only ever heard good things about PAX and I'm hoping to have a great experience.

I'll definitely write about it when I get back from the show.

Does anyone have tips for convention going?  What do you normally take with you on a convention day?  Any tips and tricks I should know about?


  1. 1) Bring comfortable shoes. There will be a LOT of walking. So much walking. I normally clock in about 20k steps a day at PAX average (which means some days are more) according to my DS.

    2) Bring snacks and water. Granola bars, trail mix, something. You will get hungry and you will be in a line. Keep hydrated and healthy.

    3) Hand sanitizer and/or avoid touching people. I got Swine Flu in 2009. I've had con crud. I stopped getting this stuff when I started being fastidious about not touching people and ensuring that when I did touch things (like controllers, or game pieces) that I didn't touch my face or food afterwards until I had a chance to wash. It sounds paranoid, but after 13 PAXes, trust me on this one.

    4) There's more than just the Expo Hall. Don't get me wrong, the Expo hall is amazing (also, come visit our Eon Altar booth, #7006 upstairs on Floor 6 :P Gotta get that plug somewhere), but there are panels, board games to borrow and play, D&D sessions, Magic:tG tournaments, console freeplay areas where you can borrow console games, swathes of PCs to play on, diversity lounge, concerts, handheld lounges, and more. PAX is so much more than the expo hall, but newbies seem to fixate on the Expo Hall because it's living the E3 away from E3 dream.

    5) Get Guidebook app. It is amazing. If you have an iDevice, Android, Blackberry, or Windows Phone, the guidebook app is fantastic. It'll have maps, panel schedules, tournament schedules, a Twitter feed for #PAXLines, and so on.

    6) Don't plan too much. I usually find my time best spent if I decide on one or two things I MUST do on a given day, and then use the rest of the day to putter around and do whatever. Lines are often an hour long (and panels especially can fill up quickly for the popular ones so you're best getting there quite early), or in the expo hall 4+ hours long! Standing in line all the time sucks, but point #4 stands for that. Give yourself time to breathe and take in the atmosphere.

    7) Everyone is there for the same reason: you love games of some sort. Makes it super easy to jump into conversations nearby, especially in lines, even if you're quite introverted. Folks are friendly :) far more so than on the internet. Someone bringing out a card game to play nearby in line? Ask to join. Most will say yes in my experience.

    8) Have fun. Seriously. Not having fun doing an activity? Stop, leave, go do something else. There's SO much to do that even with 4 days, if it's your first PAX, you probably will feel like you missed a bunch of stuff. Don't worry, because there's so much fun to be had, just go have fun.

  2. Tal covered almost everything, but here is my advice:

    Don't stand in line too long for anything. It's easy to get swept up in the hype and spend two hours waiting in line for the super exciting panel / demo, but remember that you'll be playing most of this stuff on your computer at home in the next 6 - 12 months in most cases. Plus, many of the panels are livestreamed on Twitch so you can always just chill out in your hotel room and watch.

    Also PAX is exhausting. The benefit of a hotel room is being able to go sit down for a couple of hours. Don't forget it!

    We're planning on going to the Trion Worlds party on Friday night -- if you don't have plans yet you guys should come!

    1. Good advice. I'm still not sure if we're going to try to wait for any of the big panels and events or if we're just going to wing it and wander the show floor.

      Where do you find out about the parties around the show? I forgot that was even a thing!


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