PAX EAST 2015: A Survival Guide to Facing the Three Days of PAX East

It's rough out there, but we have your back.

Jonathan Leackby Jonathan Leack

It’s almost March, and that means PAX East is ready to get started. If you’re going to the event, you’re probably wondering what to expect. Well, you could say we’re acquainted with PAX East, so we’re going to help prepare you the best way we know how: with a survival guide.

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 Mark Your Calendar

PAX East 2015 is formatted very similarly to previous years. It’s a three day event spanning the weekend. So, you could get away with just taking Friday off from school or work and be back in-time for Monday. Though, you might not want to do that given how exhausting navigating the convention center can be.

The show hours are as follows:

  • Friday (March 6th): 10:00AM – 6:00PM
  • Saturday (March 7th): 10:00AM – 6:00PM
  • Sunday (March 8th): 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Although the expo hall closes at 6:00PM each day, there will be several facilities left open outside of the hall. For example, you can check out a variety of panels in the many theaters that line the hall, some of which start as late as 10:30PM. There are also game kiosks outside that you can visit, as well as your fair share of hot parties if you’re into that sort of thing.

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 Welcome to the Convention

PAX East is held in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The main hall where all the magic will happen is essentially one massive room.

PAXEastMap

Click for Full Sized Map

As with other conventions, a large portion of the floor is taken up by smaller companies, many of whom you probably won’t want to check out. Do yourself a favor and print out the map above so you know where to go.

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 The Best Events

While playing unreleased games is the main highlight for many who attend PAX East, its panels are what make it stand out from conventions like E3. There are dozens of them, ranging from talks with big figures in the industry, to demonstrations of games that you may be looking forward to.

We’ve put together a guide to what we believe to be the must-see panels of the show, which you can read here. Alternatively, you can visit the main site for the full unedited schedule.

numbers_set_07Dress Comfortably

We can’t emphasize this enough. Gaming conventions are too crowded to provide seating for much more than the game stations that you’ll be waiting in line for. Consequently, you’re going to be walking… a lot.

The key here is to not only dress adequately for the weather, but wear shoes that you know won’t give you a hard time. A couple years back I bought a new pair of shoes for E3 without breaking them in, and they ended up digging in my heel. Suffice to say I won’t ever do that again. Learn from my mistake and bring a trusty pair of shoes. Investing in fitted insoles might not be a bad idea, either.

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It’s Going to be Cold Out There

BostonWeather

As seen in the forecast above, it’s going to be a bit chilly in Boston on the weekend of the event. Thankfully, precipitation only seems to be a low possibility on Sunday.

PAX has posted a news item about the weather stating that they will not be able to let anyone into the convention center until 8:00AM. So, if you’re coming earlier than that be sure to bring several layers of clothing to keep you warm.

Other than that, you can expect it to be warm inside the convention center, so make sure you have a solution for storing your outerwear.

<< 5 More Survival Tips for PAX East 2015 >>