E3 2017 is upon us. June 12-14, 2017, people will be gathered at the LA Convention Center to see all of the newest games. It is a big deal. Especially since, for the first time, the event is open to the public. At the same time, this probably isn’t like any other convention you’ve been to. E3 is primarily a trade show for companies to show off their upcoming work and do business, as well as an opportunity for reporters to do research and offer information on upcoming works.
As someone who has been attending E3 since 2010, I have some tips for you. If you want to survive and have as pleasant an experience as possible, keep these things in mind.
Dress for the Occasion
I know E3 is open to the public this year. However, this isn’t your ordinary convention. This is no Comic-Con. It is a professional event and trade show. Look your best. Don’t come in here with ratty clothes. Wear something nice. If you are a journalist or professional, go business casual. Look good for your meetings. If you are a member of the general public, put on a new shirt and maybe consider wearing one of your newer pair of jeans or shorts.
Also, wear sneakers. You will do so much walking at E3. So much.
Have a Plan
The LA Convention Center is huge. It is so big, both the South and West Halls are packed with companies. So, make a plan before you head into E3 2017. The big three are always in the West Hall. Devote one day to lurking around there, trying all the first party games. the South Hall is the bigger of the two, so maybe go there the other two days? Think smart; don’t waste time running between halls.
Also, even though Nintendo is exciting, don’t waste a whole day waiting in line to play a game when you could play as many as ten or maybe even twenty others!
E3 is an event with thousands of people attending and crammed into a small space. Everyone wants to play major games. There is often pushing and shoving as people dash from place to place. That doesn’t give you an excuse to be rude or selfish. The booth attendants organizing lines and telling you where and when you can play are just doing their jobs. (If they happen to be scantily clad women, try not to leer at them.) Likewise, you may meet company representatives or journalists who are busy trying to get from point A to point B for work. Understand that these people do not have the same freedom you do and try not to get too frustrated if they need to temporarily clear an area to take pictures for PR purposes or articles.
Also, be kind to and patient with the people around you. You all love games and will all hopefully have time to try as many as possible. Don't fight over any promotional items, like shirts, bags, or keychains. The companies have enough to go around.
While there have always been stories of companies wining and dining people, that is not something that you should expect or will see at E3 2017. The days of companies providing free food and drinks are a distant memory. This is a crowded event in a large space with tons of people, which means you will get very warm and possibly dehydrated if you wander around from 10am until 6pm. Have a water bottle. Do not bring soda, have water. Stop by the water fountains at least twice a day to refill it. The convention center’s cafes are overpriced, so make sure you bring something with you.
Know Where the Restrooms Are
Now, when I say to know where the restrooms are, I don’t mean to know where they all are. I am referring to the ones that are less obvious and, as such, less busy. Everyone knows there are bathrooms outside the entrances to the West and South Halls of the LA Convention Center, as well as ones immediately after you get inside. What most people don’t realize is that there are bathrooms at the back of each hall, as well as ones in the hallway between the two halls. Since the low-flow toilets and massive amounts of people can lead to lines and messes, it is wise to frequent one of the less obvious bathrooms when you are there.