Six tips on surviving games expo E3

E3 E may be one of the biggest events on the games industry calendar - but it’s also a test of attendees’ endurance

Gamers test new video games on display at the ‘2K Games’ area on the opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3 at the Convention Center in Los Angeles, California on June 16, 2015. Console kings Microsoft and Sony battled for players’ hearts with blockbuster games and the lure of virtual worlds as the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo began in Los Angeles. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Gamers test new video games on display at the ‘2K Games’ area on the opening day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3 at the Convention Center in Los Angeles, California on June 16, 2015. Console kings Microsoft and Sony battled for players’ hearts with blockbuster games and the lure of virtual worlds as the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo began in Los Angeles. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

 

E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo may be one of the biggest events on the games industry calendar, but it’s also a test of attendees’ endurance. Here’s a few tips for the uninitiated.

1: Wear comfortable shoes

The Los Angeles Convention Center is big; bigger than anything you’ve seen in Ireland, and at E3, it squashes a lot into its halls. There’s more than 500,000 square foot of exhibition space between the halls, so that’s a lot of ground to cover. Choose your footwear wisely, or pay the price later on in terms of blisters.

2: Be patient

Unless you are first across the threshold every morning, you can expect to have to queue for almost every game demo, unless you are lucky enough to get behind closed doors one on one time with some of your chosen titles. For the popular demos, queues can snake around the hall, so get to those ones as early as possible to minimise the hanging around.

3: Tolerate crowds

Last year, more than 52,000 people attended E3, the first time the show has breached the 50,000 mark since 2006. More than 300 exhibitors were there last year, and although there are some high profile no-shows - Activision isn’t taking its own booth this year but is teaming up with Sony to showcase its call of Duty title - you can expect to find a lot of exhibitors crammed into the halls.

4: Stock up on snacks

Eating at the convention centre is a time consuming and costly enterprise. Unless you want to subsist on a diet of over-priced pizza and other “grab and go” food, stock up on some snacks. It will also cut down on some of the queueing that you’ll be doing over the course of the exhibition.

5: Make the most of the apps

E3 has its own official app that includes maps of the halls and exhibitor lists. It’s free, so download it and avoid having to lug around the show guide.

6: Don’t knock the streams

Trying to get to all the press conferences can be time consuming and in previous years has been almost impossible due to clashing locations, but most of them, if not all, are streamed online too. Nintendo has been taking advantage of this one for a few years, ditching its press conference it used to hold at LA Live to do a Nintendo Direct broadcast event. Sometimes the dash across LA isn’t worth it.