Another quarter has passed, once again bringing with it one of the biggest quarterly tech fairs of the year, Sitex. Brace yourself for the insanely huge crowd, where you’ll be jostling for parking space, sussing the best deals, and trying to figure out just how you're going to lug that 55in full HD TV home.
Wish you had some tips from professional gadget shoppers to ease the pain? Stuff is here to share a few pieces of well-meaning advice. By the way, you’re more than welcome to rest your weary body at our cozy corner, where you won't just ve able to tinker with the latest Android tablets, but relax with a bout or two of Fifa 14 as well.
1. Choose your mode of transport wisely
Getting to the Singapore Expo is a chore on its own. Located at the eastern part of Singapore, taking the MRT is your safest bet. Just remember to switch trains at Tanah Merah.
Travelling via bus will take a while more, but a preferred option as it is less crowded than the trains. The venue is serviced by bus numbers 12, 20, 24, 35 and 38, all of which stop within walking distance to the exhibition floors.
2. Pro-tips for drivers
Window shoppers should refrain from driving. The time and sheer pain from waiting for a vacant parking lot is better spent within the Expo halls. But if you intend to purchase a freakishly huge TV that’s nigh impossible to fit through the MRT gantry, you’ll need a car.
Pro-tip: leave your car at the lots located further down from SITEX, accessible via Somapah Road and just a few halls away. A five-minute walk works better than spending 15 minutes or more hunting for a vacant lot just to be a little bit nearer.
Alternatively, more lots are available at nearby shopping mall Changi City Point, which is also a five-minute walk to Sitex.
Final note: parking charges start from S$3.20 for the first two hours, so plan your time wisely, and get out before the next S$1.50 per half hour block kicks in.
3. Comfort > looks
Remember, you’re not there to look good for other shoppers. Well, unless you’re a sales promoter or booth girl. Fact: wearing a comfortable pair of sneakers is essential if you want to survive the trek across the halls. Sandals and slippers are a big no-no, you wouldn’t want to have your toes trampled on.
Put on some clothes with sizeable pockets - any thumb drives, microSD cards or even battery packs can be chucked in, leaving your hands free to fiddle with a few more gadgets. A sling bag is also great, in case you can’t resist the urge to plonk your year-end bonus on a laptop.
Leave the strollers and kids at home
We love kids. Really. But we can never understand why parents would subject their children to the massive crowds and noise at one of these things. It's an IT fair, not a funfair. Tending to your kid while you’re shopping is an impossible challenge. It's even more unbelievable when they try to squeeze their oversized strollers through the halls, threatening to trundle over your feet as you move through the crowd. Also, if your kid looks too big to be in a stroller/pram, they probably are. So please, find a babysitter, and spare us all the agony.
5. Fuel up before you start
Hunger always leads to grouchiness, and that negative vibe will be amplified once you see the snaking queue at food outlets. Yes, everybody is dying to grab a bite before they charge in, full steam ahead. So here’s our advice: have a heavy lunch, head on down in the afternoon over the weekend, shop all you want till you’re hungry, then get out.