PAX East (better known as the Penny Arcade Expo in beautiful Boston, MA) is a convention held every year that brings you the most interesting and up to date news on gaming of all kinds (tabletop, card, video, etc.), with panels of all kinds being held till the wee hours of the morning.
On my solo journey from Texas to Boston, I venture forth on my first trip inside the PAX East domain.
Day One: The First Impression
What I have experienced day one has so far been nothing short of spectacular.
Coming into this expo, I was more than a bit nervous. The excitement was there, sure, but my first convention experience with hometown Dallas Quakecon was such a let down. With underwhelming panels, limited events, lack luster titles being discussed at my first convention, I almost expected to be disappointed walking through the halls of the Boston Convention Center.
Color me pleasantly surprised when I found out this was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
Sure I could be exaggerating just a little, but you can’t lie on something this big.
Something in the Air
From the bus ride to the convention center, the mood was electric. I came solo on this trip so it became essential to pair up with a group, to have a buffer and feel not so isolated. Plus, this trip was about networking, and the best place to start was here.
Once my PAX East Sherpa ushered myself and our group into the halls, I was instantly greeted by the sights of cosplayers to my left and my right, and when I thought that was unique enough, the moving display of Fire Fall whirred and sounded loudly as we stepped further in.
Long Line, Short Wait
The lines getting in were some of the biggest I have ever seen, it was like experiencing Black Friday shopping only multiplied by 50. This was enough to catch any inexperienced expo goer off guard. I was thrown and almost expected to be waiting for hours. Luckily, the wait was only 35-45 minutes.
Once on the expo floor, the time to take all of the booths in was now. I could not begin to describe you the overwhelming sensations that ran through my head. This brings up the question: “What to do first?”
Get the Goods & Get them Early
A tip for all other first time expo/convention goers:
First stop on your journey will always need to be the big merch booths. In this case, it was the PAX East merch booth. Day 1 is the only day to visit or buy anything in those stores, as by the end of the convention, all the things you really wanted will be gone.
To keep this from being anything too long, I will say the initial experience is something that will definitely rank in the top 10 of my life, right along side my first gaming console, and the day my articles first started getting publicity.
I will be posting a Youtube daily wrap on today’s events, so if you want to hear a panel by panel update of all my wacky hi-jinks, I’ll post a link up later tonight when it’s live.