5 Days Until PAX: Swag

PAX East, 2010, was my first PAX, and it was quite the learning experience. Therefore, I thought that I would give people some quick ideas of what to expect and how to make the most of your PAX experience. All week, I’ll have brief articles on various things to know to improve a PAX experience.

Today: Swag

Some swag gotten by Alex and found on Flickr

Swag is all the free stuff you collect at PAX. Free stuff comes from a few difference places. It can given out at panels, grabbed off the exhibitor floor, or gotten after playing a game demo.

Swag includes posters, t-shirts, pens, stickers, free Xbox live codes, candies, hats, bags, and other assorted items.

The easiest swag to get is the stuff that can be taken from the exhibitor’s booths. You can roam about the expo floor and in some cases grab simple things right off the tables. If you see something you want a few off, make sure you note the location so that you can go back. At PAX East I got three Pokemon drawstring backpacks!

Next up is conditional swag. This means you have to do something to get it. Most of the time, this means waiting in line and playing a game demo. If you like the game, that is a pretty great combo. My husband has T-shirts from Left 4 Dead and Red Dead Redemption from game demos. Another condition is to pre-order the game. Typically, the reps have computers set up and you sign into Amazon to pre-order, then they give you swag. You don’t have to keep your pre-order unless they gave you money off on it, and sometimes you can even play around with the computer without actually ordering and still get the swag (tricksies hobbitses).

Finally, there’s panel swag. Some of the the more major panels run by large companies are likely to give out swag, and sometimes even smaller ones. However, there is often limited swag so you need to be in line early to get it. We got some serious blueberry muffin tops cereal and sweatbands from Joystiq. We were too far back for the chance at a DS game.

Also, if you plan to collect swag, be prepared to get it home! Posters do not travel easily, and extra luggage costs money nowadays. Either leave space in your suitcase or plan to ship (that’s what we’re doing!).

Excited about getting some swag? I am!

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