Plan Your Schedule
You will NOT be able to do and see everything. The sooner you come to terms with that the better your experience will be. Instead focus on seeing the things that are most important to you.
- Go through the schedule and pick out the panels and tournaments you want to see. Do that before you leave for PAX.
- Use the PAX app’s scheduling tool. You’ll better see overlaps and free time.
- Give yourself time to get from one event to another.
- Have a Plan B for the more popular events.
- Don’t try for panels which are back-to-back, even if in the same room (rooms are cleared after most events).
- Line up 30 minutes in advance on average, 60-90 minutes for the more popular events.
- Viewing a gaming tournament can be hit or miss. Some are big events, others are two guys in front of a small TV screen.
- Give yourself a few hours to wonder through both the Expo Hall and the Tabletop area.
If you’re picking up your badge (must have selected Will Call when purchased) you can do that at 8:00 AM. If you’re in town early you can also swing by Thursday afternoon.
If you’re registered for BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) you can arrive and setup early in the PC Room.
Friday Morning Queue
The convention center doors will open up around 8:00 AM but PAX doesn’t start until 10:00 AM, so you’ll queue if you get there early (as you should). Ask the Enforcers about the lines your first morning if you need clarification. You’ll have four main options.
If you wish to see either the keynote or the Penny Arcade Q&A immediately after it you’ll need to line up early as space in the room is limited.
Being very early will allow you to get in ONE very popular game demo without a lot of lost time. By the time you’re done, though, everyone else will be in there with you.
Panels & Tournaments
For morning panels you can line up ahead of time, but shouldn’t need to rush to the convention center like the keynote and Expo Hall crowd. If you want to play in a tournament then best to sign up first thing in the morning. Check the PAX App or ask an Enforcer about sign up locations (usually where the tournament is being held).
PAX Merch Booth
The PAX Merch Booth is a big time suck Friday and Saturday, and starts to run out of inventory by Saturday afternoon. Lining up early will reduce how much of your PAX time it takes up. Earlier is better, it is not a fast moving line once the store opens and you can still be in line well after the rest of PAX opens.
Lanyards & Swag Bags
You’ll be able to pick up free lanyards at PAX. They will be available every day and there’s plenty to go around. See Badges for more details.
Swag bags will be giving out after the morning queues, usually around 11:00 AM. They’ll stop handing out swag bags around 6:00 PM. Again, there’s no shortage and no need to rush. They will be available every day.