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Posted by SMTDante89

One new tip that may need to be added is to watch out for Scalpers. @Official_PAX tweeted this about three hours ago.

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Posted by Captain_Felafel

Thanks again, this guide will be invaluable!

Posted by Marino

What I meant to say is that it couldn't hurt.

Posted by Marino
@Progn0sticator You most likely won't need it, but it c
Posted by Captain_Felafel

Is it a good idea to bring anything else from my pre-registration packet with me to the show besides just the badge?

Posted by Marino

@YoungFrey said:

Being in a convention center and hotel meeting space, some places might look obvious on a map but be difficult to path too. I know last year, they had what was nearly a hidden floor being accessible only from the back stairs in one hall (I think, even if there was another route that still proves my point because I couldn't find it either). So, what Marino said, ask Enforcers.

You can get there from an escalator in the Expo Hall (which was not there in previous years) or you can get there from outside across the street from the main entrance. That area is the Pike Street Annex and will be where Halo Fest (among other things) are located this year.

Posted by YoungFrey

Being in a convention center and hotel meeting space, some places might look obvious on a map but be difficult to path too.  I know last year, they had what was nearly a hidden floor being accessible only from the back stairs in one hall (I think, even if there was another route that still proves my point because I couldn't find it either).   
 
So, what Marino said, ask Enforcers. 
Posted by Marino

@Progn0sticator said:

So as someone who's never been to PAX before but is going this year, looking at the provided floor map, many of the theaters are missing from it. How easy are those theaters to find in a pinch?

The other maps are on the apps you can download. I haven't found them where I can upload them here. http://pax2011.crowdcompass.com/apps

But either way, there are many "World Maps" posted around the convention center. And, when you arrive, you will be given a swag bag that has a program in it. There is a map in there too.

The Enforcers will help direct you if you get lost though. Just look for the blue shirts.

Posted by Captain_Felafel

So as someone who's never been to PAX before but is going this year, looking at the provided floor map, many of the theaters are missing from it. How easy are those theaters to find in a pinch?

Posted by natetodamax

Even if you don't plan on buying anything, bringing a backpack is definitely essential because the amount of free stuff you can easily get is crazy. I remember at PAX East 2011 my brother would disappear around a corner and show up 10 seconds later with two more shirts.

Posted by YoungFrey
@Lukeweizer said:
I would also suggest NOT losing your badge. In '08, the part of my badge where I clip it to the lanyard broke and I lost the badge. I went to the help desk but they wouldn't help me. Said they were 'out of badges'. I was fucking choked. So I went back to my hotel room only to find out that my friend bitched them out till they magically found a spare badge that 'just showed'. Hang on to your badges for dear life.

Make sure you bring your confirmation email with you (and anything similar that came in your packet).  My badge didn't come in the mail and I was told I could just bring the registration info to them to get mine.  So if you lose yours, that is probably your best bet. 
Posted by Marino

@Lukeweizer said:

I would also suggest NOT losing your badge. In '08, the part of my badge where I clip it to the lanyard broke and I lost the badge. I went to the help desk but they wouldn't help me. Said they were 'out of badges'. I was fucking choked. So I went back to my hotel room only to find out that my friend bitched them out till they magically found a spare badge that 'just showed'. Hang on to your badges for dear life.

Yeah. Losing your badge would be bad. I used to be real paranoid about it during E3, but at least there your name is on the badge and they have a record of you if you lose it. At PAX, it's all anonymous for the most part.

Posted by Marino

@jkuc316 said:

Is there a livestream for PAX Prime?

Not that I'm aware of. I know the GB guys don't live stream the panel. I heard Ryan say once that it would be disrespectful to the people there. In 2009, they showed stuff to the live crowd that was not included in the archive footage.

Posted by Lukeweizer

I would also suggest NOT losing your badge. In '08, the part of my badge where I clip it to the lanyard broke and I lost the badge. I went to the help desk but they wouldn't help me. Said they were 'out of badges'. I was fucking choked. So I went back to my hotel room only to find out that my friend bitched them out till they magically found a spare badge that 'just showed'. Hang on to your badges for dear life.

Posted by jkuc316

Is there a livestream for PAX Prime?

Posted by rmanthorp

Man this is a GREAT guide! Makes me ALL the more jealous... Have a great time duders!

Moderator
Posted by Marino

If you're going to PAX Prime this week, these guidelines and tips still apply!

Posted by StarvingGamer

Just makes me sadder that I won't be able to go to PAX this year :'(

Posted by Hailinel

@YoungFrey said:

Personally, I'd recommend 2 showers for a lot of people. If you are at a convention all day, you will smell like hell long before the end.

This is why I'm thankful that PAX Prime is in Seattle. I can go home, sleep, shower, and head right back.

Posted by YoungFrey

@big_jon said:

It's sad that people have to be reminded to have a shower each day, especially when so many are fat nerds who sweat a lot.

I ask, when is the Metroid metal concert? I want to see that.

Metroid Metal is Friday night opposite the Giant Bomb panel. If it helps your choice any, they always release the GB panel on video later.

Personally, I'd recommend 2 showers for a lot of people. If you are at a convention all day, you will smell like hell long before the end.

Posted by big_jon

It's sad that people have to be reminded to have a shower each day, especially when so many are fat nerds who sweat a lot.

I ask, when is the Metroid metal concert? I want to see that.

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Posted by YoungFrey

I'll add a few things.  

If you want to buy stuff, Sunday sees tons of price drops as dealers try to unload everything.   

I have no actual epidemology experience, but those beanbag piles are probably more risk then benefit.    And to clear up the general advice on avoiding disease.  Washing your hands after using the bathroom protects other people.  Washing your hands before you eat or otherwise put them in your body protects you.  So you should really do both.   

If you want to look cool and unique, remember that nearly everyone at PAX will try to do it in the same way as you.   Every Penny Arcade T-shirt will be well represented(I don't really get that, but hey whatever they want to do in cool).  Threadless is all over the place, etc ...  So try a little harder if the idea of being next to another guy wearing your coolest shirt bothers you.     
 
Follow the Official PAX account on Twitter if you can.  They give advice on long lines at a time when you can still get in them.   
 
If your dinner isn't going to be fast food, make some reservations, even multiples (but don't be a dick and go crazy).   
 
If you have any interest in autographs, take 2 colors of Sharpie.   
 
Prepare for the minor injuries and ailments.  Pack asprin, anti-diahreahals, moleskin(goes in your shoes to prevent/ameliorate blisters), and some cold pills. 
 
If you don't have tickets and still want to go, there are always scalpers outside the front door.  You will pay extra (I really don't know what), and there are guys who will try to pass modded old badges off as current.   
 
After the Giant Bomb panel, they go to a bar to hang, but they answer questions in the hall first.  That might take an hour or more, so if you go straight to the watering hole pbe prepared for a long wait. 
Posted by rentfn
@natetodamax said:
" I couldn't find anyone selling cookies. Were they there? "
I saw them walk by a few times in line. I asked if they had any dairy free cookies and they felt so bad that they didn't. One guy promised to make some next year and hunt me down.
Posted by ch3burashka

As a frequenter of PAX Prime, I can confirm the importance of these bullet points. All 3 years I've gone I came in late on Sunday; sleep deprivation kicks in like a motherfucker during those 3 days. The concerts are awesome, though I was a retard the first year and didn't go. I believe that was '08, when JoCo was there (FUUUUUU....). As for swag... it seems cool at the moment, but give it a second's thought - do you really need it? If you grab everything, you'll come home with 20 shirts, and give half of them away or throw them away within a month. As for planning for panels, do your best but I can assure you that schedule will get fucked up - you will most likely miss half of them in favor of standing in line. 
 
I just thought of a new bulletpoint: BRING FOOD. Cannot stress that enough. The lines for the Subway are as long as the lines for the games, and since it's a line for food as opposed to a line for games, it feels like a waste of time. Either buy a Meatball sub at 8AM (that'll keep you full all day, trust me), or bring your own food. 
 
Also, as a basic rule, don't be an asshole; be courteous, and don't carry 7 swag bags around with you. 

Posted by Valwryn
@Marino said:
" @UnsolvedParadox: That's okay. I broke my own rule by not going to concerts this year in favor of the Giant Bomb related activities Friday and Saturday night. I'm glad the guide worked for you. 
 
@Valwryn: Awesome. How was it going to TGS? After so many E3's and PAX's, I hope to make it there one day. "
TGS is a fucking madhouse! I've never seen so many people packed into one place. The craziest part of it, is each company has their own stage/speaker setup, which face towards the center of the convention floor, so when you're walking the main floor you have 6 simultaneous presentations being screamed at you in Japanese... mildly entertaining.
 
Really I only spent about 2 hours at TGS and spend the rest of the time seeing the area. Having just attended every second of Pax'09, sleeping for a week because of pax pox, then leaving for Japan 2 weeks later for another Video-game convention, I wasn't exactly in the mood to absorb digital media. Makes me feel sorry of the GB guys sometimes, of how many times they have to review those incremental "sneak peaks" convention after convention.
Posted by Marino
@natetodamax: Yeah, I saw them a few times. At the Omegathon finals they announced that the cookie brigade made over $9000.
Posted by natetodamax

I couldn't find anyone selling cookies. Were they there?

Posted by Marino
@UnsolvedParadox: That's okay. I broke my own rule by not going to concerts this year in favor of the Giant Bomb related activities Friday and Saturday night. I'm glad the guide worked for you. 
 
@Valwryn: Awesome. How was it going to TGS? After so many E3's and PAX's, I hope to make it there one day.
Posted by Valwryn

Good post man. I won the 2009 Omegathon - Skeeball finals (and subsequently got Pax Pox) and you did the descriptions well :). Very good PAX guide. 

Posted by UnsolvedParadox

Your guide was awesome, thanks dude! I broke one of the cardinal rules and slept a huge chunk of Saturday, but it gave me the gas to make all of the concerts that day. 

Posted by andyboy

@Marino Thanks :) Can't wait to see Giant Bomb at PAX East

Posted by Marino
@andyboy: I think I got most of the basics on there. Not much else I can recommend.
Posted by andyboy

This will be my first PAX ever as well as my first for covering it as Media. Any quick advice besides the ones you have said in this guide already?

Posted by Marino
@rentfn: Always best to play it safe and be early for something that you're really wanting to see. Friday seems to be panel heavy for me this year, so there won't be much opportunity to get a feel for how to judge when to show up.
Posted by rentfn

The theaters are bigger at the new venue but I think the waits will be the same time because they are letting more people in because of the larger venue. I would show up an hour early to the panels just in cases. If you go to a few panels on Friday you might be able to gage how long the waits will be the rest of the weekend...well maybe not Saturday, Saturday is always insane. 
 
@PsEG From what I noticed last year the Enforcers were trying their best but when people started lining up for the next panel and they were getting mixed up with the line for the panel about to start it got a little hectic. After awhile they will just make a sign that says "the line for so and so starts back here" but a few times when the lines were getting out of control they asked people to come back to line up for the next panel, there isn't enough room right now. That last problem should be addressed with a bigger venue, from what i remember the halls are bigger then the last one.

Posted by Marino
@PsEG: Generally they let you start lining up once the previous panel's line has entered the theater. On some occasions, I've seen them set up a makeshift waiting area for people showing up early for the panel after the one the line is currently for, but they'll usually tell you to come back later. Most panels tend to go over time a little as well, so that 30 minute buffer tends to be more like 15 minutes once you get everyone cleared out.
Posted by Trace
@Marino: I figure I'll ask while we're on the topic. How were the Enforcers in regards to lining up way early or starting lines for a specific panel, from your view? It looks like most of the lesser theatres are operating on a 90 minute cycle, with sixty minutes of panel and a thirty minute break, and I've heard rumblings that the Enforcers generally only let the line for a panel start once the panel right before it's running in the theater.
 
Not to start a dangerous trend of encouraging lining up too early here, but knowing how much earlier in advance someone could line up will certain help plan my panel attendance out.
Moderator
Posted by Marino
@StealthRaptor said:
" @Mahonay: Even with the new venue? Grrr.... "
It's a bigger venue, but I don't know if the theater rooms are actually any bigger. It's hard to tell from the map. I'd still recommend showing up an hour early to stuff like Giant Bomb.
Posted by Marino
@Mahonay said:
" @Marino:  I'm imagining a lot of good after parties at the end of the night.  Any that you'd recommend or is it generally pretty fluid every year as far as what goes on? "
Hard for me to say since it's a different venue this year. Last year it was in an area that had a ton of options within walking distance. The new venue is much larger, but seems more isolated in terms of places to go.
Posted by StealthRaptor
@Mahonay: Even with the new venue? Grrr....
Posted by Mahonay
@StealthRaptor said:
" Any idea if it's going to be less crazy this year? Last year you had to get in line at least an hour early for some of the panels or you wouldn't even get a seat. "
Sounds like it's going to be similar this year.
Posted by Mahonay
@Marino: 
Awesome.  I think those were my main concerns.  I figured as much about having to show up an hour early for most of the panels.  Nice to know that the main theater events are more flexible.  I think more than anything now I just have to memorize some of the convention center layout. 
 
I'm imagining a lot of good after parties at the end of the night.  Any that you'd recommend or is it generally pretty fluid every year as far as what goes on?
Posted by Zidd

East '10 was amazing and hopefully East '11 will be even better because of the GB presence and far larger venue.

Posted by Marino
@Mahonay: If it's something in the main theatre, it's not so much about getting in, it's about getting a good seat. In all of the other theaters, you run the risk of simply not getting in at all if you don't show up early. I'd recommend at least going by the theater you want to get in about an hour ahead of time and scope out the line that probably already started.  Generally there will be an enforcer standing at the end of the line who is keeping track of when to cut off the line.
Posted by Mahonay

Thanks, that will really help me whittle it down.  Right now I've picked out the "Giant Bombcast" (naturally) and "Whose Banhammer is it Anyway?" as the two I am sure I want to hit up.  Also of course I've been told the Saturday night concert is a must.
 
I've been thinking about going to a Rage demonstration but I don't know if my interest for that game matches what the massive lines will likely be for that.

Posted by Marino
@Mahonay: I typically go to four or five tops.  I've got some that I do every time and then I usually try to throw in a random one.
 
PAX Prime 2010 - Mega 64, Giant Bomb, Weekend Confirmed 
PAX East 2010 - Wil Wheaton Keynote, Mega64, The Death of Print, X-Play Live 
PAX 2009 - Mega64, Assassin's Creed II/Splinter Cell Conviction Presentation, Listen Up Live, Hiring Managers, Giant Bomb 
Posted by Mahonay

Those of you that have attended PAX or PAX East before, what is usually your ideal Panel to Floor Time ratio?  Trying to choose what panels I want to see and how many.

Posted by Matt

If you have a iPhone or Android device I can't recommend The Conventionist enough. It's great app that has the full schedule, lets you set alarms for specific panels, maps and other stuff. Get it! http://www.conventionist.com/   

Posted by rentfn

A shower in the morning gets you ready to stand in those lines all day :)

Posted by afrokola

Really spot on in so many ways!! The que line can get pretty nasty by Sunday, don't be one of the people that adds to the stench for the love of god!! Also, going off your point to bring some snacks for waiting in line, typically at these conventions it's wise to grab your lunch before waiting in line and then eating it while you wait. It doesn't seem like the most traditional idea in the world, but people are not going to bother you about it! Just don't drop it.

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