As some of you may know, I\’ve been trying to go to PAX East for the past five years now and it finally looks like I\’ll be going this year. A friend of the site, Janelle, is no stranger to conventions and wanted to share some tips and tricks she\’s learned over the years.

Hey, Janelle here. I\’ve gone to PAX East for the last three years straight and, as you can imagine, I have learned some things about attending such conventions . Here are my top tips for getting the most out of the con:

  1. Pack an empty bag. If you are traveling to Boston you will appreciate having the extra space for swag and goodies you\’ve purchased. Especially if you picked up a board game. Tote bags and the like are handed out by booths sometimes, so go early in the day to see if you can get one.

  2. Download the Guidebook App and plan out your panels. Once you have downloaded the guidebook app use the search function to download the guide for PAX East 2016. It will have the map of the con floor and most importantly the schedule for panels. I use it to plan out as many panels as I can including line times. Generally speaking, I budget to get in line for panels about an hour ahead of time but more if the panel will be more popular like the Saturday night Giant Bomb panel or Riot\’s panel.

  3. Check out the Indie Megabooth website and discover interesting games. I personally spend a lot of time in the Indie Megabooth and I use the Megabooth site to start to plan out what I might want to play. I\’m going to guess that any VR games are going to have a lengthy wait time. This year I think I\’m going to check out Below, Battle Chef Brigade, and Deliver Us the Moon.

  4. Public transportation is the best way to the convention center. It is a short walk from the T stop on the silver line and unless you are staying far from public transportation not having to deal with parking a car near the convention center is ideal. You have to pay to park near the convention center. If you are trying to avoid paying there is no street parking and it\’s near downtown Boston which isn\’t great to find parking nearby either.

  5. Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking and standing a lot. If your cosplay involves uncomfortable footwear bring a set shoes that you know are comfortable to walk in.

  6. Get there early and hit what you think will have the longest lines first. This is the time of day when the lines will be the shortest because they haven\’t had time to build up yet. I\’m going to guess that anything VR this year will probably be at the top of the list for long lines.

  7. Pack lunch, snacks, and bring a water bottle. Convention food is expensive, mediocre, and the lines can be time consuming. Last year I took some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and was able to eat while in line for panels so food took no time out of my day. Drinks are also expensive but water fountains are abundant so by bringing a water bottle I could refill up throughout the day. Side note: while food is expensive beer prices are not bad.

  8. Bring your 3DS. A lot of people will be carryig theirs around and street pass basically blows up. It\’s also a great time killer while waiting in line to pay a game.

  9. Wear a stupid hat. Hear me out on this one. Imagine you\’re on the con floor and looking for your friend. If they\’re wearing a hat shaped like a Squirtle, your friend will be much easier to find in a sea of people. I personally will be sporting a Pikachu hat and my boyfriend will be wearing Ramus.

See you at Pax East!

Some great tips! I\’m happy to hear about the low cost of beer, although, I\’d probably drink sparingly because of having to use the restroom. A tip I thought of is to buy an external battery pack and 3DS to USB cable for the trip. Both of which you can find on Amazon like I did. Hope to see you all there!

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