PAX Unplugged is a few days away, and while many people have experience with these type of conventions I’ve seen a lot of people who are saying this will be there first time at a con. These types of “Here’s Some Tips for Con Goers” are all over the place, but here’s a refresher based on my personal experiences.
This includes a good pair of shoes. You’re going to be on your feet a lot throughout the convention. Whether it’s walking or waiting in line, you want to make sure your footwear is up to the task. It’s also a good idea to bring extra socks to change into if needed.
Being a tabletop convention you’ll also do your fair share of sitting while you’re playing the latest at greatest. A comfortable dress/skirt/pair of pants will go a long way to make your game time more enjoyable.
Seriously. You may not notice it, but you’re going to get seriously dehydrated. I’m not joking. Bring a water bottle and refill it frequently. You’ll thank yourself at the end of the day and all the extra trips to the bathroom will be worth it. You’ll literally save yourself a few headaches and keep you from getting totally exhausted. Try to stay away from sugary electrolyte drinks and stick with water.
This kind of goes along with the previous tip. Make sure you’re taking in enough calories and stay away from too much junk food. Keeping your body fueled up will make sure you keep your energy levels up, keep you in a better mood, and will reduce all sorts of con symptoms. I usually take a few protein bars or jerky to nibble on through the day. Skip the greasy foods at lunch and dinner and seriously make sure you get some kind of veggies in there.
This one is huge. I understand it’s a once-a-year convention and you’ll be all hopped up on excitement, good feels, good friends, and so many games that there’s no way you could possibly play them all, but you really need to make sure your body is well rested if you really want to ensure you make the most of your time at the show. You’ll be doing yourself, and others, a favor. Getting enough shut-eye will make sure your wits stay sharp, and your tongue doesn’t. There’s no reason to overexert yourself and make yourself, and those around you, miserable.
Yeah, yeah. We’ve all be told this one over and over, but it’s really important. Keep yourself clean. Use antiperspirant. Brush your teeth. Wear clean clothes. If you’re ignoring the previous tip and are pulling a marathon session, it may be a good idea to take some time to change your clothes and freshen up.
The number one thing you need to know about a convention is that they’re sensory overload. Go in expecting long lines, a crowded hall, a level of noise that may make your head buzz, and people who don’t give a crap about everyone else and push and shove their way through everything. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and try to keep your cool. PAX Unplugged has several ways to decompress and get away from all the commotion, include a few Safe Spaces. Take advantage of these if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.