Thursday, May 11, 2006
I attended The Electronic Entertainment Expo last year. It's basically a video game convention. I was not an attendee or an exhibitor, but hired security! I got a call from a friend who runs a west coast talent agency. She needed someone to work the door at Sony booth at E3 and I was the only black guy she knew(or something like that). I had never done anything like that before! I'm tall and I can be menacing if I need to be, but I'm a lover not a fighter. The pay was alright and it was something different, so I said Yes!
Jump ahead one year and I get a call from my friends talent agency. E3 is coming up again and the Sony people want me to reprise my 2005 performance. How nice! The biggest change between then and now is this Blog and a digital camera, so I will tell you of my three days and of standing for 9 straight hours.
So I get there early but the person with my badge gets there late. I wait for about an hour and enjoy the point of entry promotions. Stuff like an artist drawing a 10x10 pastel illustration on the floor or some live cable broadcast shot in the lobby. Lots of people waiting to enter and I'm starting to remember the worst thing about this job. Standing around and my aching back. More on that later.
I get inside and WOW! The booths are so extravagant and you can see that video games make a lot of money. The Sony booth was larger with a better location. Most of the people were the same and my duties were unchanged as well. Make sure that the geeks and clowns did not enter the VIP booth. The booth was meant for meetings and smoozing, and you can get a beer or a vodka shot if you get in. E3 is an industry only con, so only adults are permitted inside the hall. Most of the companies there have some kind of comfort station for their clients.
My job consists of standing in one place for hours at a time. This was a problem last year. On the third day, my back felt like somebody had been kicking me with steel toed boots on. Horrible pain. I'm not as young as I used to be! By the time my lunch break came around, I had to walk to get the blood moving in my feet. I thought about eating lunch. The booth has some sandwiches sent in, but it's all picked over by the time I get to it. The Convention Center food service is a ripoff so I decide to take a look around instead of eat.
Every booth looks like a million bucks. They want you to notice, so the booths are like small fantasies that engage you. One place was dressed up like a battlefield and another had a skateboard half pipe built for skaters to perform on. My favorite was the PSP booth with a partial subway train built with mobile games installed in the seats! Take a look at the photos.
I did not have time to see what I wanted to. By back was aching and I had another 5 hours to go. I also had a birthday dinner to attend later that night, so I was wilting. This was just the first day and I was thinking about calling in sick.
Next Time: Booth Babes, the stuff they don't want you to know!