Another PAX is in the books. This time, being PAX East in Boston. I have a soft spot for East, since it was my PAX back in 2011, and really was my introduction to conventions in general.
The show has definitely changed in the 6 years I have gone. The first couple shows that I went to you could actually walk up to the center and buy badges directly from the show organizers as the show was going on. Now it sells out online in like 24 hours, and if you want to go you have to watch twitter like a hawk to jump in queue or be willing to pay for re-sold badges from the community or scalpers.
Despite that, I still feel like there are times where you have “small world” moments. For example, having been to so many shows now I have started to make “PAX friends”, specifically people that I only see at shows, but stay in touch with online throughout the year. At this show I managed to run in to one of them by chance throughout the show 3 times, including as I was going to queue for the make a strip panel. I got to play tabletop games with someone I met randomly playing games with back in 2013, and even caught up with a couple that I had waited with in the line for merch last year.
The fact that I always do BYOC at PAX also helps with seeing familiar faces from one show to the next. First, there is a group of enforcers who always tend to work in BYOC, so at this point I know quite a few of them pretty well. Plus, there are also other attendees who bring a computer to the LAN every show, which leads to other moments of “hey I know you”
I really enjoy the fact that at such a huge show you still have a feeling of going home. I genuinely hope that as the show continues to grow that feeling doesn’t go away. I also hope that the enforcer who brings mascot for her satellite theatre keeps it up. At south it was Armadillo, and at East it was bobcat :p