Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

PAX Prime 2012 Planning Tips, Part One - Scheduling

Coming up in just over a week is PAX Prime 2012. I am beyond excited, and now that the official schedule has been released it’s time to start planning the weekend. This week I'm bringing you my three very comprehensive tips to make sure you have a happy and healthy PAX. A PAX survival guide, if you will. Today is tip number one, with two and three following this Thursday and Friday.

Make a Schedule: this applies to panels, exhibition, tabletop, and competitions.

Part of Saturday's schedule, courtesy of the PAX Prime 2012 scheduling page.

The first and foremost tip is schedule your time. PAX is thirty seven hours. There are thousands of hours of things to do. PAX is the ultimate amusement park of awesome geeky things, and unless you have a time machine, you’re going to miss a lot of it.

There’s a schedule of events online. Learn it, use it, love it. You'll get the most out of your PAX experience if you know which events you’ll die if you miss before you step through the door. Having a set schedule of  “Can’t Miss” items will make the conference, which is organized chaos, feel more organized.

A sampling of the chaos from PAX Prime 2010, photo by Kiko Villasenor.

It’s a challenge for even the most seasoned attendees to properly split their time between panels of industry specialists, the Key Note address, Q&As with Gabe and Tycho, an expo hall bursting at the seams with playable games, a whole floor of table top and card games, a handheld lounge covered from head to tea kettle in bean bag chairs, and more... so much more.

Many of the biggest panels, games, and competitions will have huge lines, some with multiple hour waits. Make sure you get to where you’re going early. If you’re not sure when to queue up for a certain event ask an Enforcer in that area, that’s what they’re there for. For panels, pay special attention to whether or not the panel room will be emptied between events. If it isn’t, consider sitting through the panel before the popular panel that you actually want to see. Who knows, it might even be interesting!

The expo hall from PAX 2007. A photo from my own collection.

The best times for the expo hall -> You don’t even have to like panels to take advantage of them. During the really popular panels like Friday’s PA Q&A and Saturday’s Make-A-Strip panel there will be less people everywhere else. It’s a great time to get your anxious mitts on the latest and greatest expo hall games. If you can manage to shake off Saturday night’s drunken stupor before everyone else, Sunday morning is another time when the lines will be shorter. Sunday evening around an hour before the hall closes is (comparatively speaking) slow.

Do you have anything super helpful and/or important to add? I'm always on the lookout for insider information about the expo hall and panels! Be sure to check back tomorrow to get some great tips on socializing!



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