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#1 Edited by Rorie (5526 posts) -

Hey, if you came to any of the Parlor Live events at PAX Prime, I wanted to get some general feedback on your experience. This was the biggest off-site Giant Bomb event we've done, to my knowledge, and we all learned a bunch, but I'm really curious about your experiences with the venue/the event staff/the shows/merch table we did, etc. If you think there are areas we can improve on next year (assuming we do this again!), I'd like to hear about it. Alternatively, if there was anything you found particularly cool, that feedback is also handy as well.

If there's anything you don't want to share publicly, please feel free to PM me. I'm still digging my way out from under support tickets, but I'll try to get back to everyone in the next week or so.

If you have any cool pictures/video/Vines from the event, I'd love to see those as well, and it'll help convince the bosses to let us do something like this in the future! Feel free to post them here or link me to them. Thanks!

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#2 Posted by ZandraVandra (322 posts) -

I had a wonderful time. I was lucky and got into the RSVP line, so my experience may be a little different, but overall I loved it.

The venue was great and spacious (for the most part), and I really dug the Megabooth presence. The free food was also incredibly unexpected and quite appreciated - it was a great place to eat breakfast with the community before shenanigans started.

Mario Party Party live was pretty much the best thing. I never would've thought having an audience right there would improve the experience that much.

Thank you so much for putting all this together; it was close to the convention center, accessible, and quite personal at the same time. I had a blast.

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#3 Edited by MATATAT (1224 posts) -

I honestly found this to be one of the better parts of my PAX experience. I've been to 5 or 6 PAX Primes so far and I personally need to take a minute to sit down and relax a bit during PAX and it was nice after going on the show floor and panels to swing by, grab a drink, and watch something dumb like Mario Party for half an hour or so. I also really enjoyed the Pre-PAX party quite a bit. Chatting with GB people and free drinks was awesome. The only thing that kinda bothered me was just the entrance stuff with the registration. It really was slowing things down noticeably. I'm not sure what the reasoning was for it but I assume it was metrics for attendance and how that works into the audience or something. But the rest was pretty good. Sort of an aside also the Thursday night there was only small shirts on display and the other shirts were packaged up. Whoever was managing the booth at the time seemed to think that they couldn't take the shirts out of the plastic. Eventually I did buy a shirt but I was apprehensive about purchasing anything without looking at the size of course. I think on Saturday I finally could see how big a medium was because they had them on display. Not really a big deal though.

Also to add the Megabooth part was pretty good too. Having a couple beers and playing Gang Beasts was fun.

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#4 Posted by rememberyhorse (8 posts) -

I thought it was well set up. I came for the Mario Party Party, but got to wander a round a little and see the games set up there. It was a great chance to see Indie Megabooth games off the floor and with a little more time to digest them. I felt like my 12 dollar rum and coke was a little over priced, but I am sure that was not something you could control. Overall it was a great experience and I would love to see it again if possible.

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#5 Posted by AlwaysBeClothing (1851 posts) -

Definitely the best part of Pax for me. I was one of the first few allowed inside and I got to speak with Jeff, Drew, and Vinny (wish I had remembered to ask for pictures!) before the crush of people. I loved going to all the live events like Mario Party Party, RB Night, even the gamespot events! Free food and drinks really helped me during the show as well, though I would have been there every day regardless.

Lots of fun, I would go to GB hq every year at PAX. I will post pictures and videos when I get the chance!

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#6 Posted by patbaer (191 posts) -

I would say that in the future I hope the shows could be more spread out. I ended up skipping the Beastcast recording because I wanted to hit the show floor at some point on Friday and I assumed that Mario Party Party would end around 6pm (which it did).

The space was great, the Indie Megabooth selections were awesome, and I particularly liked the Thursday pre-party. It was a great PAX kickoff.

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#7 Posted by Mushroomer (18 posts) -

I was lucky enough to get one of the VIP tickets, and I loved the experience. The first hour with demos, free drinks, and light chatter with GB folk was splendid. Got a good seat for the panel, and one of my questions even got asked. Having merch available to purchase on-site was great, and made me feel like I could give back for such an awesome event. The following Rock Band night was a bit of a shitshow, but I think that was to be expected (if not the point).

That all said, I do wonder how the non-VIP experience must've felt. My ticket was obtained through blind luck, and it seems like they sold out near-instantly. I noticed that there weren't enough seats in the theater for everybody who came, and it would've been disappointing to watch that panel on a bar TV (especially with the mic issues). While Parlor's close location definetely made it convenient to attend, I wonder if it was big enough for the number of people who wanted to attend. I know finding the right spot must've been difficult though (especially when renting out a space for a weekend), so I wonder if a bigger venue would've even been feasible.

My other big complaint has to be the scheduling of events on Friday. I really wanted to attend Mario Party Party 5, but I couldn't justify spending four hours of my limited PAX time (especially when the show floor was still open) to watch it in person. Which sucks, because it seemed like a blast from the video. I really wish I didn't have to make that sort of choice - PAX has enough panels going on in the afternoon as is. Maybe hold Mario Party Party 6 in an evening slot?

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#8 Posted by benfoldsone (55 posts) -
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#9 Edited by Waluigi (23 posts) -

The Parlor stuff was a blast. I really, really enjoyed the Live thing on Thursday and I think the audience presence for Mario Party Party was perfect. And even though it "sold out" super fast, I really liked the whole 100 person VIP event thing, but that's probably because I managed to get into it. Meeting the giantbomb crew was rad.

Anyways here are some cool pictures I took.

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#10 Posted by Niceanims (1754 posts) -

It was the best. I'm constantly surprised how much funnier you guys are in person

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#11 Posted by tildebees (175 posts) -

I was there Thursday night and for the beastcast and mario party party on Friday, and I had a fantastic time all around! I was a little nervous about showing up by myself Thursday night especially because I have no experience in bars or 21+ venues but I saw you, Rorie, as I was getting in line outside, and immediately I felt like I must be safe there. I think I had more fun hanging out at the parlor and watching the giant bomb guys do their thing than I did in the convention center, and I would definitely come back to a similar event in Seattle next year even if I couldn't make it to PAX. Thank you so much to everyone who made it happen!

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#12 Posted by Michael_J (28 posts) -

This was seriously the second best PAX (behind GB's first panel in 2008) I've ever been to and I never stepped foot on the show floor (I didn't even have tickets), I just attended GB shows at the Parlor Live. Thank you so, so much for putting these shows on - my face still hurts from laughing for 4 hours straight at the Mario Party Party! I was also lucky enough to get into the member's only event and not only did I get free drinks, I also got to meet the GB crew - seriously a dream come true!

I guess if I had to complain about something it might be the Friday shows, I had to play hookie in order to attend but it was totally worth it.

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#13 Posted by Rorie (5526 posts) -

I thought it was well set up. I came for the Mario Party Party, but got to wander a round a little and see the games set up there. It was a great chance to see Indie Megabooth games off the floor and with a little more time to digest them. I felt like my 12 dollar rum and coke was a little over priced, but I am sure that was not something you could control. Overall it was a great experience and I would love to see it again if possible.

Yeah, I think I had something similar for a shot of bourbon at some point. Drinks were definitely pricey outside of the happy hours.

Staff
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#14 Posted by Rorie (5526 posts) -

I was there Thursday night and for the beastcast and mario party party on Friday, and I had a fantastic time all around! I was a little nervous about showing up by myself Thursday night especially because I have no experience in bars or 21+ venues but I saw you, Rorie, as I was getting in line outside, and immediately I felt like I must be safe there. I think I had more fun hanging out at the parlor and watching the giant bomb guys do their thing than I did in the convention center, and I would definitely come back to a similar event in Seattle next year even if I couldn't make it to PAX. Thank you so much to everyone who made it happen!

Awesome, glad to hear it!

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#15 Edited by mashzapotato (164 posts) -

I was there for the Thursday night event, both early VIP stuff and later. It was great! I noticed there was a lot of glass getting knocked over and smashing on the ground which made me a little worried. But otherwise it was awesome! I wish I had made more time to check out the games you had set up there. But yeah, awesome. Also I somehow had this picture on my phone the next morning...

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#16 Posted by butano (1999 posts) -

The fact that there was free happy hour and free breakfasts made it an instant stop in the mornings and the evenings. Wasn't able to make it for the Thursday night show, but the times I was there it was worth coming to. I do wish the Mario Party event could've happened around 6ish instead of the afternoon, since PAX has a ton of other panels in the afternoon and there's really not enough time for any of them.

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#17 Posted by KaneRobot (2774 posts) -

Also I somehow had this picture on my phone the next morning...

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Oh my god

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#18 Edited by triplestan (259 posts) -

As a group of three 20 year olds, the bouncers were surprisingly friendly to my friends and I. And we got cool black X's across our hands like CM Punk.

Otherwise I think the events were bunched up a little too close to each other, but it's hard to find time for a four hour session of Mario Party, so I'll give that a pass.

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#19 Edited by mrfluke (6083 posts) -

I think other than the time of the events at the Parlor (Absolutely nothing against the events, but Mario Party or the Beastcast would have been an amazing way to finish a Pax day with, not sacrifice rare Pax time for, like i felt bad attending my panels knowing i was missing Mario Party Live :p ) and the audio outside by the bar was almost nonexistent (but it s also a bar :P)

that space was great, it was like a good home base for the community.

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#20 Edited by ABomb88 (5 posts) -

First of the drink tokens were a nice touch. No need to buy me drinks to get me to show up. Also the free soda upstairs and the free popcorn by the bathrooms. On Thursdays day night the stage room was packed and it was hard to hear from the bar side so I ended up going to the upstairs bar which was empty. It was not much better up there to hear them talking. I cannot remember if it was a volume issue or poor mics or both. That might be one thing that could be checked better. I was there on Friday night also just about when the tokens were to expire. I think that it was only 8 pm. Nothing going on at the stage. I seemed like the lights came on and we were getting kicked out at 9 pm, maybe it was 10pm but it felt really early. I guess with nothing happening the number of customers had died down.

Overall it was a great idea and I was happy that y'all hosted. There were long lines to get in on Saturday & Sunday nights when I walked by which was great to see.

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#21 Edited by punkrawkpunk88 (3 posts) -

I was only there Saturday morning, but it was my favorite part of pax. It was a really nice environment to sit down and take a break from the extremely long lines of pax. The breakfast was awesome (I wasn't expecting much and it ended up being really good. I would have been fine paying for it. So having that much food for free was amazing), and it was awesome just chilling out in the audience while snacking and getting some great entertainment. The indie games were also a really nice touch. My friends and I probably played gangbeasts for a half an hour. All of the staff at the Parlor were very kind, and I didn't have a single negative experience there. So yeah, my only regret was not spending Thursday and Friday there!

Thank you for the event

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#22 Posted by acfoltzer (7 posts) -

The Mario Party Party was a ... religious experience. I live in Portland and had a conference in Vancouver starting Sunday, so I was only able to be there for Friday and Saturday, but y'all helped make the most of it. I felt really welcome and, even though I wasn't there with anyone I knew, found it easy to start conversations and have a good time both with the GB staff and other attendees.

A couple things that would be nice to improve. 1) the food was welcome but the throughput was often not enough: a tray of hot dogs would come out, the first few people in line would snatch them up, and then the line would be stuck for many minutes until another tray arrived. I decided after a couple tries that I wasn't going to waste mingling/show-watching time waiting in line, so I fell back to my own emergency snacks. 2) Hoo boy, those were some expensive drinks. The sum caught me off guard when cashing out on the first night, and I had to restrain myself on Friday, though by then we were all drunk on Drew's sweet victory. 3) Friday got slow pretty quickly and I wound up going to some other parties; maybe this is working-as-intended, though?

Great job in all though, and thanks again for having us. I'll certainly be looking forward to next year.

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#23 Posted by natto (140 posts) -

I thought the whole thing was fantastic. The only GB event I attended was the Mario Party Party, but the setup was great. It seemed like there was enough seats for those who came on time and the viewing angles were fine. I also came back to the venue every so often during the weekend just to hang out and decompress. It was close enough to PAX where I could head over whenever I was ready and far enough to avoid the sea of people outside the convention center. I'd love to see it again next year.

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#24 Posted by kidzombie (141 posts) -

I had an RSVP for Thursday, and I was there for the live Beastcast. I enjoyed it there. To have free breakfast was a good surprise. The only thing I'll suggest is that if there was going to be another pre-PAX event with alcohol is to not give us glass. There were a few broken glasses during Thursday night and it probably didn't reflect us too well with the Parlor.

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#25 Edited by ketchupman36 (91 posts) -

My only complaint is that I didn't get any free drink tokens :P

I was there for the VIP thing on Thursday but maybe I was just oblivious as to where they were being distributed. So maybe better announcements on the free drinks? That minor transgression aside, I thought the whole event was really well organized and it was a lot of fun. I didn't go to PAX so I thought this was a really cool way to feel like I was part of it and to have a chance to meet the GB crew. I liked the mini-Indie Mega Booth. I had a no real problems with the venue other than having to pay $10 for a pint of Manny's (WTF?!?!). I did appreciate the free food and water though. If inflated alcohol costs is the price for you guys to rent out a private venue, then so be it

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#26 Posted by SourPatchJames (33 posts) -

I was only able to make it to the second half of the Mario Party show which was AMAZING LIVE! The video, while good, doesn't capture the energy the audience had for the show. The venue, the setup, and the staff were all great. It really blew away my expectations when you guys first announced an off-site venue. I loved seeing the Indie Mega Booth games and chatting up other duders. Maybe the only complaint I can see is if you could find a bigger venue for the show/stage? It was mostly standing room only for people who couldn't make it on time. Other than that, I really hope you guys are able to rent out more venues for future PAXs. I just wished I could have flown into town on Thursday and catch the Thursday night show!

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#27 Posted by Fobwashed (2772 posts) -

The Parlor was super awesome and all the live shows were fantastic to watch! Great job putting this whole thing together. Overall it was way better than the other GB meet up venues you've done in the past if only because of the increased capacity =]

I took a lot of vines but this is probably my favorite. Just the audience chanting Drew over and over again during the Mario Party Party =D

https://vine.co/v/eIZg2AJLzT3

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#28 Posted by pushBAK (32 posts) -

Swank as shit. Loved it.

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#29 Posted by rdldr (22 posts) -

I only went to the Thursday event and a bit of the Mario Party Party, as the line to get in was pretty daunting with the registration, back checks, pat downs, etc.

That said, it was my highlight of PAX, being able to share a pint with Vinny, Jeff, Dan, Jason, etc. was awesome. Turns out they're just some regular funny dudes like they seem, and are fun to shoot the shit with. Not sure I quite managed to drink my yearly sub in free beer, but I gave it a try...

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#30 Posted by jacobmccourt (287 posts) -

I tried to get a ticket to the "exclusive hour" but they went so quickly - is there some way that a lottery could be done for those?

I checked out the Parlor on Friday. I came by about an hour before Mario Party Party 5 and was able to grab a pop, some nachos, grab some GameSpot and CrunchyRoll swag and try some indies. That was great. I stayed for about 1.5 hours into the Party and then left because I didn't want miss the floor for four hours during the first day. I'm wondering if the events could be more spread out. Due to panels in the AM, I wasn't able to check out the Kinda Funny meet-up or any of the breakfast events - I would have really liked to see those.

The space was super conveniently near the action, but the upstairs section seemed to be nearly unused. I understand the "sign-in" process slowed things down later in the day.

I nearly lost it when I physically ran into Drew (sorry Drew) and saw Brad in the washroom. It was awesome to see the duders live. I really hope that CBSi extends this idea to all three US PAX cities.

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#31 Posted by gnomeonfire (1124 posts) -

I had more fun hanging out at the Parlor than I did going to anything else at PAX. If Giantbomb does this again in the future I will probably skip out on PAX and just go to the GB live events. Also the free drinks was an awesome perk. The venue was pretty chill too.

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#32 Posted by ScaryGaryofAk (75 posts) -

I had a good time there at the Pre Party. IT was pretty crowded but ti was a good time, I also got tripped by Rorie when I was in the Audience of the panel, but that's not his fault it was dark and my leg was in the way, Which is my bad

Anyways I had a blast! I just wish I wasnt so nervous to talk to anyone there :)

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#33 Edited by Cybexx (1629 posts) -

I did not manage to RSVP in time, I always seem to be working on shipping a project at the end of August. I was checking the forums occasionally but I forgot to check Twitter, next year I'll remember to set the Twitter app to send me notifications from the @frailgesture account. Thankfully it mostly worked out for me anyways. I wasn't anticipating the waitlist / everyone else line to be as long as it was. I was there about 45 minutes early and it was already snaking around the corner and most of the way to the next corner. It did not take too terribly long to get in once that line was moving though. I was able to get into the Theatre room, all the seats were taken and a lot of the standing room was full in certain sections but I was able to find a spot to stand on the right side behind some chairs that was out of the way of foot traffic.

The pre-pax event was great, a bit crowded but fine, it was a good way to end my PAX Dev experience and get into the mindset for PAX Prime. The venue location was really great, more convenient than a bunch of the official PAX theaters. The Indie Minibooth stuff was cool, good selection of games. I caught up with some of the devs I knew from Vancouver BC, they were happy to talk to people about their games but they were a bit confused about how long they should be tending their booths, they also could not stay as late as the event since they needed to set up for their main booth in the Expo Hall the next day. Rich came by while I was talking to Brad, I didn't want to interrupt him but I snuck in a high five. Caught up with Rich on the showfloor a couple days later where I was able to talk with him for a bit and exchange business cards, he was surprised I was old enough to have watched him on Gamespot since I look maybe 18 despite being 29.

I attended the Beastcast Live on Saturday morning, foregoing Kim Swift's keynote because that was being recorded. The Beastcast was fun and I had a seat that time since I got there early. I swung by later to watch a bit of Mario Party Party, I intended to stay for 15 minutes and ended up hanging out for nearly an hour.

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#34 Posted by inevpatoria (7409 posts) -

I watched a guy wait outside the men's restroom for @danryckert and try to coerce him into drinking by showing Dan baby photos on his phone. That was pretty amazing. Props to that dude.

But, honestly. The Giant Bomb/Gamespot events at The Parlor were more or less the highlights of PAX. Logistically, I don't know how you might avoid problems like overcrowding, even with a bar the size of The Parlor, but it was navigable enough. I can't recall--was there an elevator to the bottom floor? I think accessibility for individuals who use wheelchairs was my only question, but if I missed an easy way to get to the party/stage area, then it's a non-concern.

The events were spectacular, top to bottom, and maybe the biggest perk outside of meeting the Giant Bomb staff + community was the option to see some Megabooth games in a relatively more intimate setting (versus the complete bedlam of a show floor). Definitely want that to make a return.

Overall, a job extremely well done by your event planning teams. Hosting Mario Party Party there proved to be a stroke of genius. Can't wait to see how the GB/GS crew one-ups their work next year.