PAX East 2013!

In for 1. I've been itching to visit a PAX event for several years now, and I'm unfortunately missing Pencon in favor of a good friend's wedding. Hoping for an epic Goodjer crowd. Oh man and there's all the Giant Bomb nonsense that usually goes down... too exciting!

Edit: moved.

Amoebic wrote:

Now that I've had a little time to think about it, I think I should be more clear with some details. I don't have a whole lot of cash to go around, so I'm looking to share a double bed room with at least 2 or 3 other people. I'm a happily married, monogamous female gamer who's looking to attend a con solo on the cheap, so I don't want to create an awkward situation where some roomie didn't know those details. Not looking to get folks in the doghouse with their SO's, either :)

Such an arrangement would fit my requirements handily.

@OfficialPAX just Tweeted that 3 day passes are starting to run low.

momgamer wrote:

@OfficialPAX just Tweeted that 3 day passes are starting to run low.

I think we're going to need a bigger boat.

momgamer wrote:

@OfficialPAX just Tweeted that 3 day passes are starting to run low.

I was going to wait until I came home from work, but why risk it. Bought one. Now I just need a room to share.

Seriously? If passes sell out in <24 hours for an event that's 6 months away, my waffling on whether to attend is basically resolved for me.

TheHipGamer wrote:

Seriously? If passes sell out in <24 hours for an event that's 6 months away, my waffling on whether to attend is basically resolved for me.

Hey, at least it's not on Easter weekend this year.

padriec wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

Seriously? If passes sell out in <24 hours for an event that's 6 months away, my waffling on whether to attend is basically resolved for me.

Hey, at least it's not on Easter weekend this year.

A good point! It surprises me that PAX East's scheduling and ticketing is so amateurishly handled, given the professionalism of the con itself.

TheHipGamer wrote:
padriec wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

Seriously? If passes sell out in <24 hours for an event that's 6 months away, my waffling on whether to attend is basically resolved for me.

Hey, at least it's not on Easter weekend this year.

A good point! It surprises me that PAX East's scheduling and ticketing is so amateurishly handled, given the professionalism of the con itself.

I don't want to call you out here, but I'm curious what about this process you refer to as amateurish, and what ideas you have for running it in ways that seem more professional to you.

The Easter weekend was caused because the facility double-sold a date and the other show (some very large medical expo) won and we had to move to the only date they had available. They'd done it several years before, before there even was a PAX East and they didn't tell Reed. That won't happen again.

momgamer wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:
padriec wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

Seriously? If passes sell out in <24 hours for an event that's 6 months away, my waffling on whether to attend is basically resolved for me.

Hey, at least it's not on Easter weekend this year.

A good point! It surprises me that PAX East's scheduling and ticketing is so amateurishly handled, given the professionalism of the con itself.

I don't want to call you out here, but I'm curious what about this process you refer to as amateurish, and what ideas you have for running it in ways that seem more professional to you.

I was wondering that too.

momgamer wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:
padriec wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

Seriously? If passes sell out in <24 hours for an event that's 6 months away, my waffling on whether to attend is basically resolved for me.

Hey, at least it's not on Easter weekend this year.

A good point! It surprises me that PAX East's scheduling and ticketing is so amateurishly handled, given the professionalism of the con itself.

I don't want to call you out here, but I'm curious what about this process you refer to as amateurish, and what ideas you have for running it in ways that seem more professional to you.

The Easter weekend was caused because the facility double-sold a date and the other show (some very large medical expo) won and we had to move to the only date they had available. They'd done it several years before, before there even was a PAX East and they didn't tell Reed. That won't happen again.

The bits that stood out to me -- and note that my conference experience is largely with professional conventions (Dreamforce, ILTA, etc.) rather than gamer-cons, so there is probably a very different level of funding and sponsorship at play:

- Inappropriate venue in 2010 (forgivable as it was the first year of PE, but there should have been a better system for managing total attendance based on space)
- Better use of space in 2011 (using the entire con center was significantly better), but obviously weaker scheduling (conflicting with Easter); I understand why it happened, but that kind of thing still comes across to the ignorant attendee as amateurish
- Rapid sell-out in 2012 (perhaps a sign that a bigger venue is needed? maybe something in NYC?)

PAX East does an enormous amount right. The con experience itself is great. What doesn't seem to have worked as smoothly (yet) is the alignment of that experience with a physical space, based on capacity and scheduling.

I honestly don't know how you'd manage those bits better. I can't imagine having to do it -- but there are folks who do equally large events, and I've seen them have smoother launches, so it's probably a question better directed at them?

I really don't want to offend/upset you, and I know you work your butt off to make PAX awesome.

NYC doesn't really have any bigger venues. The Javitz Center is the largest we have, and it's generally considered too small, for the size of the city. Unfortunately, plans to build a new Convention Center in Queens are largely dead, and involved some horrible abuses of eminent domain, in any case.

I understand that and I thank you for it, and I honestly did want to know what you saw. I appreciate the feedback.

I know it isn't something someone not involved would know, but a lot of the stuff you're seeing isn't the organizer's decision to make. The first year, Boston's officials wouldn't believe that PAX would be a large event. That's why they stuck us in the Haynes. They still don't really believe it. The fire marshal is still choking attendance even at the new facility, but the hope is that will ease as the area around the facility is built up and the new section they built comes online this year (like that ridiculous barn needs even more cubic :eyeroll: ). Remember, he has to think about things like egress and access from the whole area, not just the building.

Thing is, a larger venue wouldn't really help the fundamental problem. It doesn't help San Diego, for example. Location doesn't really help, either. New York ComicCon is in the same mess we are. All the geek conventions, even the "little" ones like BlizzCon are having the same issues with selling out, and venue problems.

Part of the problem is the facilities themselves aren't particularly well designed for the needs of a game convention vs an RV show or something. Power and connectivity both within the Center and with the outside internet and phone networks are a nightmare. Floor loads, sound blocking, you name it. The LoL tournament at Prime was a huge challenge and I don't know what they're going to do with it if it comes back next year.

Australia and adding a fourth day to PAX Prime are experiments in trying to help deal with some of the situation. We'll see how this goes.

Tanglebones wrote:

NYC doesn't really have any bigger venues. The Javitz Center is the largest we have, and it's generally considered too small, for the size of the city. Unfortunately, plans to build a new Convention Center in Queens are largely dead, and involved some horrible abuses of eminent domain, in any case.

I also imagine the reason Boston was chosen is because it is one of the few cities with a real presence of game development on the East Coast. From what I've read, Boston and the Triangle in North Carolina are where it's at on the East Coast, so it makes the most sense to put a convention in a location where most of the companies are close to.

That's my guess. New York City just seems like it would be a bitch and two halves to navigate if you have a bunch of game companies trying to bring all that equipment and swag to a single location.

Sadly, I think the only solution to the quick sell-outs and the sheer number of people who want to attend is to price people out; and I don't think anyone wants to do that. Seventy dollars for a three day pass isn't cheap, exactly, but it is not much more than one game purchase for the ability to hang out with similar-minded people, try new games, see upcoming games and be a part of the culture. That is a tremendous value if you care about those things. If the prices go to 70 dollars a day, I could see it selling out in two weeks instead of two days, but wasn't the point of PAX to give gamers a place to be with other gamers, not having it be as exclusive an event as the old E3. Maybe they need to cut down on the Expo Hall to help limit consumer interest? Maybe that would free up enough electricity and floor space to allow another 2 hours worth of ticket sales? It's all just speculation, and the P-A guys went over it when Prime sold out in record time on their site.

That all makes sense, momgamer. I try to not complain too loudly, because running huge events is way, way, way out of my wheelhouse.

Also: between starting the process of buying a 3-day and hitting "confirm", they sold out. Which kinda stinks.

Bought Fri/Sat, on the assumption that this will be more fun (a) when I'm not simultaneously buying a house the Monday following, and (b) I can find the Goodjer table and game there more than with random crowds.

I'm pondering running a Call of Cthulhu one-shot. Would there be interest in a 3-hour-ish session, if I tried to make that actually happen?

I was just coming here to post that, too.

According to @OfficialPAX, 3-day passes are sold out. There are still single-day passes available for all three days, as far as I know of.

re: Call of Cthulhu - hell yes!

I'd recommend having pre-gens for people, though.

Tanglebones wrote:

re: Call of Cthulhu - hell yes!

I'd recommend having pre-gens for people, though.

Yep! It's a con-module I've run previously for my home group, with pre-gens. I'd prefer to find a spot off of the main floor for it, as it works better in a slightly quieter/creepier space.

TheHipGamer wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

re: Call of Cthulhu - hell yes!

I'd recommend having pre-gens for people, though.

Yep! It's a con-module I've run previously for my home group, with pre-gens. I'd prefer to find a spot off of the main floor for it, as it works better in a slightly quieter/creepier space.

There's that corner/balcony area in the lobby of the Westin that's quieter, if nothing else. Or, I bet the Tabletop gang or perhaps a certain someone I don't know might be able to find you a nook. It depends on when you want to run it.

TheHipGamer wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

re: Call of Cthulhu - hell yes!

I'd recommend having pre-gens for people, though.

Yep! It's a con-module I've run previously for my home group, with pre-gens. I'd prefer to find a spot off of the main floor for it, as it works better in a slightly quieter/creepier space.

Maybe one of the old taverns near haymarket?

Edit: assuming you're willing to go off grounds....

shoptroll wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

re: Call of Cthulhu - hell yes!

I'd recommend having pre-gens for people, though.

Yep! It's a con-module I've run previously for my home group, with pre-gens. I'd prefer to find a spot off of the main floor for it, as it works better in a slightly quieter/creepier space.

Maybe one of the old taverns near haymarket?

Edit: assuming you're willing to go off grounds....

Haymarket on a Friday or Saturday night is generally a morass of collar-popping fratboys.

Well, darn it. I saw this thread go up yesterday, checked the PAX East site, saw ticket availability, but needed to get some confirmations done before I could place an order... and now... yeah.

Well, I'm in for Friday and Saturday, at least!

Since 3 day passes are already sold out, it looks like Doc and I will not be attending this year. Which is kind of fine by me, as nothing could really top our one and only time there in 2011, where the twins were born during PAX ha

IMAGE(http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h174/missy9579/paxbabies2.jpg)

Slumberland wrote:

Yeah, they won't charge anything to your card until 30 days before, when they usually charge the equivalent of a single night's stay. But even that should be refundable up until a couple days before the event.

Okay, I've set up a reservation at the Collonade for a 4 person room, early check-in on the 22nd, check-out on the 25th. If anyone wants to split the room send me a pm, it'd be $201 per person (after tax). Fair warning though, I snore.

Stengah wrote:
Slumberland wrote:

Yeah, they won't charge anything to your card until 30 days before, when they usually charge the equivalent of a single night's stay. But even that should be refundable up until a couple days before the event.

Okay, I've set up a reservation at the Collonade for a 4 person room, early check-in on the 22nd, check-out on the 25th. If anyone wants to split the room send me a pm, it'd be $201 per person (after tax). Fair warning though, I snore.

In other words: bring duct tape!

Ok so since 3 day passes are sold out. which day is better for GWJ'r interactions? Friday or Sat?

Since my wife and I live in Boston (or near enough) we are in for the 3 days, looking forward to seeing everyone

RooneyFan wrote:

Ok so since 3 day passes are sold out. which day is better for GWJ'r interactions? Friday or Sat?

Tricky to say - I'm sure tons of GWJ folks will be around on both days; in years past, the S&T was on Saturday, but that's offsite, so it won't require a pass. If you want to maximize your fun, and have the time, but not the money, I'd get a Friday pass then come to the Saturday S&T.