A special report by Mike Popovic, Be Dope editor.
Come to PC Expo! Certainly not the "Greatest Show on Earth" - but perhaps the flashiest. Here, you will see bands, magicians, putting greens, raffles, basketball games, virtual reality, sportscars, huge tv screens, exotic booth babes and more. All exist for one reason - to lure you into their exhibition space, brainwash you with their demo/sales pitch, and swipe your card. With all the subtly of a carnival barker, company reps will implore you to "Step right up and try your luck".
Below are some tips gathered from years of personal experience. Heed them well or suffer the consequences. Follow the links to the right for other information about what to do in New York City itself if you are coming to PC Expo (June 16 - 18) from out of town, and want to find out a bit more about "the city that never sleeps (and rarely bathes)."
- The Be Booth (Booth #1640, Level 3):
Here is a rough diagram of the Be Booth (subject to variations):
The main BeOS demos are shown on large-screen monitors. These demos are a general introduction to the BeOS, last about twenty minutes and run every half-hour. If you've never seen the BeOS before, start here.
The demo stations are for one-on-one demonstrations. Most will be run by third-parties showing off their software. This is your chance to meet folks from BeatWare, Gobe, Adamation, röDesign, Mediapede and possible other surprise guests.
Naturally, previously unannounced/unseen products will be demoed there at the show, in the Be booth.
There is a Be Info Station for general questions, and plenty of Be employees will be roaming the booth.
And, of course, the booth will be teeming with other cool, forward-thinking people like yourself who are already part of the Be community.
If you're coming to PC Expo just to hang out at the Be Booth, I'm sure they won't care how (or if) you are dressed. However, if you want more attention from other companies, wear a suit. Or at least a jacket and tie. Shine your shoes. Comb your hair. Remove visable piercings. End of story.
- Obtain a Map:
If you don't receive a map of PC Expo with exhibit locations by mail, you can find one in the PC Expo Magazines available all over the place, especially near the entrances. Find companies of interest and plan your strategy. Aimlessly criss-crossing three floors of exhibits wears you out and wastes your time.
- What to Bring:
- Money. Lots of it. NYC is expensive, and a convention in NYC is doubly so. Cabs are expensive. Parking is very expensive. You have to tip everyone in your hotel. Expect to pay $10 for a lame sandwhich and a soda, if you eat in the convention center. Some fast food places and delis are a short walk away. Hide your money well. Wallets in side pockets, purses wrapped tightly around your arms. Keep a $20 in your shoe for emergencies.
- Business Cards. Lots of them. Even if you don't have a business. People take you more seriously when you can exchange business cards.
- Your Resume. Lots of copies. Even if you are not actively looking for a job, you might run into a company and find yourself thinking "hey, it would be cool to work for them".
- A Small Notebook. Although most booth people will simply regurgitate what can be found in the hand-outs available, they will be more attentive if you appear to be taking notes.
- What Not To Bring:
If you have a "favorite pen" bring it, but you will have no trouble finding a pen once inside. Don't bring a bag to carry stuff in, there will be plenty of those provided as well. The same goes for big ugly buttons, shoe polishers, tshirts, baseball caps, pencils, stuffed animals, slinkies, hand-squeezer thingies, mousepads and other assorted trinkets. That's why they provide so many bags for carrying stuff. The best carriers are cardboard boxes with a slot to slide things in - at the end of the convention you just address them and ship them back home via the Post Office/FedEx/UPS.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes:
The Jacob J. Javits Convention Center is a big place.
- Make Appointments:
If you have particular companies you want to meet with and talk to in-depth, call them now and set up an appointment in advance. Even reserving ten minutes is amazingly helpful. Be sure to mention if you want to talk to someone with a technical background, marketing background, etc.
- Never Be Afraid To Ask:
If you want a free copy of software someone is showing, try something like "I run a large usergroup of [insert whatever is appropriate for the type of software] and i know many would be interested in seeing a demo of this. Could I somehow get a copy?" The worst they will say is no. Often, you'll get a demo copy or the actual software (the same rule applies for getting tshirts, hats, etc.).
- The Press Room:
If you can bluff/sneak your way into the press room, you'll find food, beverages, fax machines, phones, and computers with Internet connections.
- Booth Babes:
Many of the people enticing you to a booth, handing out raffle tickets invitations to parties and swiping your card are actually actors and actresses hired to work PC Expo. I am not making this up. Make sure you are not talking to a "hired gun" when trying to get information (unless the information you are seeking is the booth babe's phone number).
WFUV Concert Calendar
Calendar for New Music
Find Me A Restaurant
Michele's Dining, Drinking, and Carousing
Other Tourist Stuff:
Empire State Building
Statue of Liberty
How Do I Get There?
New York City Guide
Map of Manhattan
Under New York City