The n00b’s Guide to Pax East

the n00bs guide to conventions from a n00b

The amount of people touring the floors of the convention center can be an overpowering experience for a n00b like some of us.  I am a first time con goer myself, and was both excited and scared venture into the crowds this past Friday.

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I must say – I am beyond glad I did.

Going in I was afraid.  Of what I am not entirely sure, but alas I was.  But right from the start I was fine.  I was better than fine – I felt at home.  I was surrounded by people that share the same ideas and love for games. The only problem was that I didn’t know what to expect ahead of time, so at two days in I realized I missed out on a lot.

I missed a panel I wanted to go to on crafting because my group was towing me around to things that were going to be happening for a while past the times they wanted to go.  I had to go to a panel by Blizzard that I was not necessarily interested in, and was followed around by a few random people because of my Magic the Gathering card dress.  

If I could go back I would definitely do a few things differently – so for those of you that are new to the convention scene and want to make your last day better or for those planning on going to a convention in the future here are a few things that I wish I had done:

  •  Check the panels before hand – simple enough, though I had gone through the panels I didn’t really pay attention to what I was reading and found out later on that I really would have enjoyed seeing.
  • Don’t cosplay on your first day – When going to a new place and experience you want to be comfortable and not worried about your costume looking right the whole time.  I personally waited until the second day.  So I had an idea of what I wanted to do, and was able to still experience it all while being stopped by people who wanted pictures or just wished to talk.
  • Scout out the floor first – seeing something interesting and wanting to stay in line and get to it first is a reaction we all have.  Sometimes things will fill out though, and you’ll waste time waiting in line for something that you can go to later when it is less crowded.
  • Don’t be afraid to wait – there will always be lines, especially for giveaways.  Don’t be scared to arrive a few hours early for a panel or wait to meet a player.
  • Keep track of who you want to see – often times gaming teams will post that they will be at the convention and are not announced until shortly before hand to the people at the convention.  If you keep an eye out you can plan ahead.
  • Ditch the group – The thing I really wish I had done.  This is what phones are for!  Walk around by yourself, experience everything and do what you want that some of your group may not want to do.  Make some new friends, and most importantly – HAVE FUN.

So everyone, I hope you are enjoying PAX EAST and I will embrace your loveliness tomorrow.


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