With the final countdown to PAX East commenced in earnest, time to get prepared is quickly running out. It’s game on come Friday… are you ready?
The following is based on the past 7 years’ experiences between PAX East & Prime, brought to you by your humble narrator, who will be going out into the field next week as the Powered Labs PAX East correspondent. Here’s part three of our survival series: PAX PROPER.
Final packing: Pack up the last few things you needed out the night before, such as electronics, and ALSO PACK THE CHARGERS!
Caffeinate: I’m not kidding. You will need it.
TAKE VITAMIN C: The Pax Plague is real. You don’t want it.
Buy additional caffeine products: Starbucks Doubleshots or Red Bulls or 5 Hour energy – whatever you prefer. They are hard to find at the event and if you do find them you can bet they will be overpriced.
EAT A FULL BREAKFAST: PACK ON THE CARBS and PROTEIN! You want this meal to last as long as humanly possible. Eat until you feel like you can’t eat any more. If you’re lucky enough to get a hotel that offers a free breakfast buffet, grab as much food as you can and store it in your hotel room – you will be undeniably happy to have a midnight snack later. I seriously take like three plates of food back to my room every day so that I can avoid starvation.
ARRIVE OVER AN HOUR EARLY: (maybe even 2+) There will be a ton of people already there. Otherwise you may choose to –
Arrive an hour late: Don’t want to wait in that line? You can just walk right in if you give the con about an hour to kick off. If the weather is forecast to be terrible or the temperature too low, you might wisely opt to go later to avoid exposure.
If you forget to download Guidebook: Install it now and you don’t need to wait in the second line to get that PAX pamphlet! This app will keep you from needing to reference the maps inside the pamphlet, not to mention waiting in this line is HORRENDOUS.
Hit the showfloor: When you have downtime between panels, go out to the floor. Study the showfloor map and try to hit all the developers you care to see or meet. If you have spare time and you’ve already hit your target booths, feel free to wander.
SANITIZE: If you are going to play any of the games in the booths, make sure to wipe down the EQ you’ll be touching with sanitary wipes when it’s your turn. If anyone tries to give you any bs, appropriately respond with a death stare: every year a huge percentage of pax attendees get sick when they return home or before they even finish the con. I personally don’t touch any of that stuff! Not worth it to me. And guess what, I never get sick.
Deoderize: Bring perfume or cologne!! It might be for you as a common courtesy to others, or so you don’t have to smell everyone elses’ BO. This tiny little detail is so widely overlooked at PAX that I would call it an Odor Epidemic born of inconsideration. Bringing a travel-size deodorant is a good idea in case you do a lot of hauling ass or waiting in hot rooms for panels – which will probably happen. If you know you sweat a lot, DEFINITELY bring one.
Aerate: Bring a small (4×6 inches will do) stiff piece of paper to fan yourself with while you’re in lines – you will NOT regret it. A flier for a local club or party is a good, easy to find fan! If you can get a print of your own work, even better! You could hand them out to other people as promotional fans!
BRING SNACKS: I can’t stress it enough. DON’T eat the con food.. it isn’t good, it’s too expensive, and there will be long lines everywhere. Instead save your money to have a decent lunch outside the con – but plan it between panels and make sure to escape before you can’t make it to the next panel! You might want to time the transit to your lunch destination so you can properly plan how long you’ll need to head back. Try to get lunch after 2pm so that you aren’t wasting a lot of time waiting to get food.
CAFFEINE: Make sure to re-up.
Dinnertime: You might want to organize something with friends quite a bit before trying to get food somewhere, otherwise this can be a huge hassle. Keep in mind tons of other people are going to be trying to eat out as well.
Parties: If you end up going out partying after PAX (like you may have the night before) make sure to take ibuprofen, drink lots of water and try not to stay out too late… you have to get up early to kick PAX’ ass properly on Saturday!
Midnight snack: Munch on some snacks before sleep to give you some ready-to-burn energy in the morning.
Rinse and repeat the above.
Packing: Go through your checklist and make sure all your travel bags are in order.
Get ready to fly: Make certain items used for flying easily accessible.
Store your stuff: Your hotel may allow you to leave your baggage with them even if you aren’t staying another night; this allows you to go to the con with minimal discomfort, then when it’s time to fly, just scoot back to the hotel and grab your stuff.
Say goodbye: Bid farewell to the most nerd-friendly con in the world. Meet up with your friends for the last time – you won’t see many of them again for a whole year.
Get ready to relax: Hopefully you asked off from work the following Monday post-PAX because trust me you’re going to need it to recuperate. It shouldn’t be so difficult if you followed my tips, but you’ll need to chill and get a lot of sleep to wind down from the event.