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PaulFierce’s E3 2013 Style and Etiquette Guide

The Electronic Entertainment Expo takes place once a year, usually in Los Angeles. For the privileged, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. It is a chance to experience upcoming games and meet people in the industry. Sure, you can watch various live streams on the internet, but nothing beats being there in person. This is my 5th year attending E3. Over the years, I have acquired a great sense of awareness attending this expo. I actually met our fellow PS3BLOG staffers Tosh, Eddie, and Oly at the Sonic SEGA party 2 years ago.

I wanted to talk to you about Style and Etiquette at E3. So, you want to show your love for your console by wearing that PlayStation shirt, or maybe you want to wear that Assassin’s Creed Hoody? There is a time and place to do that, and trust me, you don’t want to be “that guy” at E3 getting all the weird looks because you’re under-dressed for the occasion.

What to wear in the exhibit hall

The exhibit hall is where all the publishers and companies highlight their games and hardware. Depending on how “exclusive” the company wants to showcase the game, most of the time there will be free to play stations and sometimes an enclosed theater or a gameplay area will be utilized. It’s always strange to see someone wearing a Gears of War shirt playing Uncharted 3 at the Sony booth and a God Of War shirt wearing guy playing Halo at the Microsoft booth. To combat that strangeness, wear something plain but stylish. Not too flashy or corny. You don’t have to worry about the “booth babes,” though. They are not OFFICIAL staff. Never wear cargo shorts and flip flops. I was at the upstairs booth of Sony, partaking in some free drinks and food when I see this heavy set journo kid wearing a Los Angeles Lakers shorts and a plain white T-shirt. He was apparently so overly excited playing PlayStation All-Stars that he was sweating out of his head and the sweat beads were just pouring down the back of his neck, making his hair all moist and effectively deterred any would-be challengers to join.

The staff are always dressed to impress. Work clothes, as some of you might call it. Your basic button down long sleeve and slacks for guys, and the women maybe wearing a cardigan or women’s blazer-style outfit. Another dead giveaway is that FBI-style earpiece that most of them wear. Sometimes the staff will be wearing similar style T-shirts to promote whatever game they are marketing. I wanted to bring that up because this is where you need to adjust your attitude when it comes to dealing with people at E3. Remember, this is a WORKDAY Expo for them. This is not a vacation, this is not relaxation period for them. They are there to work and you need to acknowledge that. Don’t approach the reception desk of each booth asking for Loot, instead, approach the workers. The workers can be spotted by their fake smile and bored look.

Don’t ever take pictures with the Nintendo booth girls. Would you take a picture with a car salesman? It looks downright creepy. Instead have a fun, engaging conversation with them by asking “are you having a good show?” that’s the best opener to use at E3 for anyone you meet. After talking to them, simply say “have a great show”. That opener not only epitaphs a great agenda, but it also says to the receiver that you’re an experienced convention goer.

Random dudes at E3. Passing grade A for style. F for backpacks.

I would suggest you wear a nice long sleeve button down shirt or anything with a collar. It shows that you thought about what to put on that day and also shows you mean business. Sure, you can roll up the sleeves but please don’t leave it un-tucked. If you have a EXHIBITS only badge, Do dress professional and none geeky. Dress like you’re going to church or a wedding. I’m not saying wear a suit and tie, however, dressing stylish at E3 will make you more presentable. Another minor thing I always notice are the expo issued Lanyards. Sure you love the WII U, but if you notice, every big company has their own lanyards they’re wearing.

You can get one yourself most of the time but in the meantime, Do replace your lanyard with a plain black or neutral color one. Wearing a neutral plain color lanyard emphasizes that your open to all of the games and that you’re open to everything E3 has to offer. I pack a plain black lanyard, and depending on my strategy, I switch it off to the corresponding booth I’m in, in order to improve my advantage. Have a fun engaging conversation with your neighbors while waiting in line. Don’t just sit there looking all anti social checking Facebook or catching Pokémon. You’re around your fellow gamers, and for once you can talk to them face to face instead of over the internet in Call of Duty chat. Sure you’ll encounter those socially awkward nerds in line, but try talking to them anyway.

Most of the time it all just comes down to common sense. I always wear a blazer to go over my shirt. It also serves double purpose to cover my “The Last of Us” shirt I am planning to wear one of days while I cruise on down the other booths besides Sony. Never carry a backpack; get a shoulder bag instead. Leave all that nonessential gear in the car. You don’t want to overstuff your pockets, either. Carry one of those swag bags if you want to loot booths. Make frequent trips to the car to drop off that loot. The less stuff you have, the less worry you have.

What to wear at the E3 parties

I see this all the time. Guys and Gals going straight to the parties right after the exhibit hall closes. Carrying with them a back pack or swag bag filled with whatever. DO NOT BRING THOSE TO THE PARTIES. It makes you look like a straight up tourist and you won’t be able to dance with legit hotties (if there’s even any) at the party. Say hi to everyone at the party. Anyone within 5 feet of you should be given a “what’s up” or hello. You’ll never know who you’ll meet and what kind of connection you will make. I have so many business cards from various industry heads last year, I had to organize them with a rubber band. Make every effort to go back to your hotel room and change to your evening attire. If you’re driving, bring extra clothing well pressed and ready. Drop off those backpacks and swag bags in your car or hotel and let the fun begin!

Please, for the love of all things holy, hide your badge when you’re not in the exhibit hall. Wearing your badge everywhere around town after the exhibit hall closes is a good way to misplace it. Tuck it inside your shirt or back pocket but whatever you do, unless its a requirement, do not wear your badge unless you have to.

Say 'Hello' to everyone within 5 feet from you!

E3 week can be very entertaining and beneficial for you if you know how to dress and talk. It is a simple as acknowledging the developers and staff. Get to know the developers and voice your opinion on the spot. Stop ranting online to your fellow gamers in the Call of Duty lobby. The more you know about the developers, the more you will appreciate them and what they do. People say E3 is about the games, but it goes deeper than that. Everyone has their own story and purpose. That purpose I will be exploring next week as I interview various people at E3.