PAX 2010: The Essentials
Posted on Tuesday, August 31 @ 16:12:55 Eastern by Blake_MorseDepending on the weather a jacket may be necessary. I go with my Ghostbusters windbreaker when appropriate; otherwise, I rock the standard black ninja suit hoodie. Jinx has a nice line of coats for the discerning fashion nerd if you want something a bit more high-end.
A stylish lanyard for your badge is a nice touch, too. I go with the Pac-Manyard I got at E3 2010, because nothing is more pimp than Pac-Man.
A camera: Why would you not a bring one of these? Sure, your iPhone can take okay pics, but wouldn't you rather have something decent? It just makes sense to have one on you at all times because otherwise you're bound to see something epic, try to explain how awesome it was to your friends, only to have them call you a liar and more than likely beat you up to cover up their jealousy.
Cash Money: Most places will take your plastic, but some won't and almost all of them don't haggle with credit cards. Pay in cash as much as you can and you can probably work your way into a better deal. Make sure you carry your cash somewhere safe, though. Not everyone is honest and folks do get their wallets taken either on the show floor or on the streets. There are many travel wallet options out there, but between you and me, this is the one thing I've never followed my own advice on. Mostly because I like to live dangerously to the max! I am so on the edge!
Bonus Round for Journalists (and future Journalists)
This for all of you who are going to be working or are just making sure you've got the most up-to-date coverage. The frantic pace of any event can be overwhelming even for the most experienced press man. Here's a list of a few things that will make things run smoother for you:
Smartphone: I don't care if it's an iWhateverthefuck or a new wave Droid; these things make your life a lot easier when you're out and about on your feet and need to make a quick post. Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and your website, all at the touch of your fingers. Be prepared to experience the worst lag in your life on your connection, though, as most Cons turn into dead zones quickly.
Hand-held voice recorder: I use a ZOOM H2 handy recorder, but there's a newer H4 I recommend as well. If you're a podcaster, these are a must-have, but they're also great for impromptu conversations and taking notes at Q&A's or panels. And you can track the progress of your Aaron Neville impression too.
Whiskey: This one should be the most obvious of all the accessories mentioned so far. Every great writer needs an equally great drinking problem. Duke has his homemade beer, Chris loves his vodka and Clamato, Nick has his Wild Turkey bourbon, and I love me a fine Irish whiskey or some jack and coke. Go to a liquor store near your hotel and grab a bottle for the trip. Hide it in a plastic flask if you have to.