Step 3. You Realize Media Badges Are Useless
If you’ve made it this far, let me give you a golden nugget of advice: never book an appointment in the first half-hour of any expo day because you’ll never make it.
At E3, there are various badge levels. You have the Exhibits Only kids that we’ve frequently ragged on, which are qualified to be at E3, but are really just playing new games early. You have the Media badged people like us. Then you have the Exhibitor badges for people who run the booths and need to be in and out frequently at any time. So what’s the advantage of having a media badge? There is none. I mean, you have a different colored tab on the edge of your badge holder, but that’s it. Heck, the LACC staff doesn’t even bother checking your badge holder if you’re up in the “media exclusive” upstairs meeting rooms, which are only a destination if you booked an appointment in advance (read: media or big-time playa). Media badge holders still need to stay outside the halls before the show opens, where they’ll be let in very slowly, 25 at a time, onto the show floor and are given absolutely no priority at all when they have pressing business to attend to.
So how do big media outlets get in and out with ease? Why, you’ve already figured it out: they set up booths to create a loophole. If you’re Geoff Keighley, Jeff Gerstmann or Stephen Totilo, you just show off your Exhibitor badge for GameTrailers, Giant Bomb or Kotaku and you’re in and out like flint, ready to see the appointments that only you were invited to. In other words, a media badge only looks like you did your homework despite the fact that you worked your ass off every week to write gaming content.
Then your appointments evaporate…