How to prepare for a convention

If you plan on attending or covering a convention this article will help you prepare. 

This weekend NERD TREK hits PAX Prime full force- conducting interviews, checking out all the great games, and chatting it up with industry experts.

We’ve been gearing up for PAX for awhile now.  Stocking up on supplies, making lists and checking them twice.  Basically making sure we’re prepared for anything yet carrying light loads of equipment.  I realized that writing an article about the behind the scenes would be beneficial to many of you.  Even if you’re not a media mogul or Jedi jounalist, surely you could benefit by looking over how NERD TREK prepares to cover a media event of this magnitude.

First off, we’re taking four of our best journalists to cover the event.  Why that many?  Well, first off someone might get sick and would not be able to attend.  If we had only 2 journalists scheduled for this event that could be a BIG problem.  Also, by attending the event with four people we can split up to cover multiple events at once.  At any given time there are 5 separate main events going on in different parts of the convention, booths packed with companies begging to be interviewed, and a stream of like-minded people pouring in the doors from all directions.  By splitting up we are able to cover more of the convention and relay that information to you- our fans.

Second I put together a battle plan and conducted a meeting with my staff to make sure we were all on the same page.  In addition to talking about our game plan we also checked off a list of essentials that convention veteran John Spartan from kindly recommended.

Here’s the battle plan I handed out at our meeting, in it’s entirety:


PAX 2011


Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
-Henry Ford


  1. Comfortable Shoes
  2. Bottled Water
  3. Gum & Deodorant
  4. Cameras (Video & Still)
  5. Audio Device
  6. Small Notepads & Pens
  7. Master Schedule
  9. NERD TREK business cards
  10. Satchel or side pack for easy access to equipment
  11. *Bring your laptop at leave at ******’s house while at PAX*




*PAX AFTER HOURS AT ******’S HOUSE:  Every day after PAX we will convene at *******’s house for a late night session of soda, snacks, and writing.  We’ll want to write and post any breaking news stories on NERD TREK ASAP!  If you have notes written down on other topics that are meant for future stories you may retype your notes and save those for the days/weeks after PAX is over.

“Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean.”
– Ryunosuke Satoro


After the meeting convened we went through all of our equipment and pooled our resources.  Digital cameras, video, audio, and any other tech gadgets- what do we have?  What do we need?  What can we share?  Let’s lighten our loads so we’re not lugging around a bunch of redundant equipment.

Then I shared my login information for all social media networks with my NERD TREK journalists.  That way any one of us can log into the interwebs and post status updates as the day goes on.  If you want to follow us check out these links:

I also shared the PAX Prime Media FAQ including where to pick up media badges on Google Docs.  I also included a sharing of our battle plan, our list of gear, and detailed information regarding PAX on Google Docs.  That way all staff can access this information from any location before or during the event from their mobile.

I also printed paper packets for each of our NERD TREK journalists and included the FAQ, official PAX Prime event schedule, and schedule of NERD TREK interviews including who is conducting each.

I believe that we are ready for anything, but of course one must be prepared for anything- and anything could happen!  The key is to roll with the punches and retain the ability to stay cool and have fun no matter what happens.  There could be interviews that we are not able to get to on time due to crowds or an unexpected change in schedule due to something out of PAX’s control.  These things happen and we’ll deal with them as they come.

The best part of all of this is that we have the opportunity to attend PAX as media personnel and share the experience with you- our readers.  I hope you keep tabs on our movements on Facebook and Twitter this weekend!  We’ll be updating often and from 4 mobiles!  🙂  SKYRIM!!!

Check in throughout the weekend (8/26/2011 – 8/28/2011) to get NERD TREK – PAX Prime updates!  Unless you’re already there in which case, we’ll see you at PAX Prime 2011!  (Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter- perhaps we’ll have time to meet for an interview on the main floor!)


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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games /, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.