1. Be Organised
Above anything else, ensuring that you are organized is the easiest way to get the most out of gaming events. If you were to attend a convention without any preparation at all, you’d likely spend all your time waiting in lines and being overwhelmed by the hundreds of things to do.
The most efficient way to do this is to take a look at the list of activities beforehand and plan what you’ll be doing each hour. Try to avoid moving between buildings too much, and make note of the things you want to prioritize, so you can make sure you get them done. It’s also important to put aside a bit of time to eat, drink, and chill, and wait in line; it’s impossible to be doing things 100% of the time.
Aside from this, one of the best things you can do to maximize time is to get there as early as you can manage. This earlier in the day it is, the fewer people will be around, and the shorter the lines will be. If possible, it’s great to pick up your badge the day before, as it’ll save you taking a decent chunk out of the first actual day of the event.
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2. Be Prepared
A lot of things can be overlooked when preparing for gaming events and other similar conventions, and some of these things can help save time and make the whole experience a lot smoother. In essence, if you’re new to gaming events, it’s best to prepare for them as though you’re going on a long hike.
First and foremost, it’s best to bring some food and a couple of water bottles along with you. This will eliminate time spent waiting in lines for food and will minimize the number of times you’ll have to fill up your water. Also, the food at conventions is often super expensive. Gaming conventions often get hot and last all day, so food and water are essential!
One other important thing is to wear comfortable footwear; it’s easy to underestimate how much time you’ll be spending on your feet at a gaming convention, and having painful feet ruin your fun would be a bummer. Similarly, if it’s going to be sunny, it might be wise to pack some sunscreen, as there will likely be a bit of waiting in line outside.
If you own a portable gaming device, bring it! It’s possible the best way to make waiting in line completely effortless. Also, it’s likely to spark up a great conversation with those around you.
3. Be Adventurous
One of the best things about gaming events is the sheer diversity of them. As well as every genre of game on every platform you can imagine, there are board games, social events, tournaments, and more. It would be silly to not take advantage of the opportunity to try something new.
As someone who’s almost definitely a gaming enthusiast, perhaps the best thing to adventure into is a game you wouldn’t usually give a second thought about. It’s easy to get sucked into all the big announcements and forget the smaller developers. At almost any game convention, there is a hoard of smaller indie developers trying to get people to see their games, so why not give them a chance? The waiting times will be shorter, so you’ll maximize your time trying new games, and you’ll be able to talk face to face with lots of them, meaning you’ll get a fascinating insight into game development.
As well as this, at most gaming events there will be gaming competitions or tournaments. Why not throw your hat into the ring? You’ll probably have a great time, and you might win something too.
4. Be Sociable
Getting some friends together to attend a gaming event is one of the funniest possible weekends for a group of gaming enthusiasts. There are few other places where you can be so immersed in the hobby and have such a great opportunity to broaden your interest.
If none of your friends share your excitement for video games, perhaps you could invite a friend who you might not expect to be into it. The worst that could happen is they say no, and there’s a decent chance for a great bonding experience, and to get them into an awesome hobby.
Another benefit of going to a gaming convention is that almost everyone there is massively into gaming, just like yourself. This means that it is a rare chance to make some new friends, or just generally interact with others who share your passion. So, while waiting in line, why not strike up a conversation with the person in front of you.
5. Be Hygienic
Given the current situation, perhaps the most important thing you can do when attending gaming events is to bring hand sanitizer. Loads of equipment are shared at these sorts of events, so the sooner everyone remembers to do this, the sooner gaming events like e3 and PAX will be scheduled. Even when there isn’t a global pandemic in progress, everyone will appreciate you a whole lot more if you keep the equipment clean.
With such huge crowds inside, gaming events almost always get hot, claustrophobic, and sweaty. So, practicing good hygiene, such as showering and using deodorant, is essential for making the experience more pleasant for everyone.
Finally, although it might seem obvious, bringing a few spare changes of clothes is vital when the event lasts more than a single day. Starting each day as fresh as possible is one of the best ways to ensure your enjoyment.