Turned Away at PAX 2010 in Seattle

Today I showed up at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle expecting to purchase a one day ticket to see the PAX 2010 geekfest but was greeted with monster banners prominently and even proudly proclaiming that the event was SOLD OUT.

Over a month ago, I tried to purchase a one day Friday ticket online but they were sold out. I was led to believe that tickets would be available at the gates. How wrong I was.

Silly me. If only I had read the news bulletin issued by the Penny Arcade people issued a few days ago I would have not wasted my valuable time showing up. BigDownload.com reports on this news:

Last month, all the three day tickets for PAX Prime 2010 sold out. Now the official Penny Arcade Expo web site has posted word that all of the one day tickets for the Seattle game event next weekend are gone as well. So if you think you can just show up at the door of the Washington State Trade and Convention Center hoping to buy event a one day ticket, you can pretty much stay home.

Needless to say I’m quite disappointed. I was really looking forward to trying out GuildWars2 for myself and even speaking with some of the ArenaNet devs. I had a camera with me and fully intended on publishing an extensive article on my findings.

So to get to the bottom of this fiasco, I telephoned one of the officials who works at the Washington State Convention Center and they explained that the criteria for being sold out is based on establishing a safe occupancy number. So at some point the event sold out using this formula.

Another of my concerns is that after the 1 day Friday mailed out badges were considered sold out, it was very unclear as to how a person could purchase a non-mailed out pass. Check out the official PAX website for yourself — there information is scant and not very well explained.

To the PAX organizers I say this: you knew full well that attendance would be higher this year and you could have extended the duration of the event by 1, 2 or even 3 days — even a week probably would have been appropriate but you did not. Why didn’t you, given the overwhelming demand?

Bottom line: to avoid disappointing people make the bloody event longer!

Sure, I could have paid more for PAX badges as they were being sold outside by scalpers but I wasn’t sure if the badges were legitimate and I didn’t want to break the law. Besides, by then I was livid. I really feel sorry for anyone that showed up and spend a lot of money traveling there expecting to buy a one day pass to see PAX 2010.

Luckily, I live north of Seattle so I didn’t incur any costs but I did set aside one day of my life where I could have been doing other things to attend. I guess I should look at the bright side; at least I won’t have to worry about throwing out all of the useless swag in a week. ๐Ÿ™‚


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