Attendee Guide - FAQ
What is Gen Con?
Gen Con is a consumer and trade experience dedicated to gaming culture and community. Gen Con is the largest annual consumer fantasy, electronic, sci-fi, adventure, and hobby game convention in North America. Each year gaming enthusiasts converge to share their love for all things gaming, from tournaments to guest appearances, exhibit hall booths to electronic games, workshops, seminars, anime, art shows, auctions and countless other activities. Last year, more than 60,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors made Gen Con their gaming destination!
When is Gen Con?
Gen Con takes place annually in August. The next show will be August 17 - 20, 2017. Check out our Future Show Dates page for more!
Where is Gen Con held?
Gen Con has been held at the Indiana Convention Center since 2003. The address is 100 South Capitol Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana 46225. Gen Con also utilizes space in the surrounding hotels and Lucas Oil Stadium for events and additional programming.
How do I get into the show?
Anyone interested in attending our show will need to purchase a badge. A badge gives you access to the exhibit hall, art show, seminars and other free events happening in public areas. A badge will allow you to purchase event tickets to participate in specific events.
Where can I park and how much is it?
Check out the Visit Indy website for an in depth search of parking lot locations, rates and hours. You can visit the Indiana Convention Center or Indianapolis Downtown Inc. websites for parking and public transportation information.
Where can I eat in Indy?
There are a number of dining locations near the Convention Center. If you want to venture out, check out the Visit Indy or Indianapolis Downtown Inc. websites. A map of downtown restaurants can also be found on the Visit Indy website.
What type of aid do you offer to attendees with disabilities?
Gen Con has a Special Services kiosk onsite to service anyone who is disabled or requires special assistance. Attendees visiting this kiosk can purchase badges and event tickets there or have their Will Call packet(s) collected from Will Call and brought to them at this location.
When visiting the Special Services kiosk, you will be issued a wrist band to wear throughout the duration of the show. This will notify staff that you have a disability and qualify for special assistance such as expedited admission (bypassing lines) or reserved seating areas for specific events. Simply speak with anyone wearing a staff shirt to request assistance particular to your needs.
Where can I get access to a wheelchair or scooter for the convention?
Wheelchair loans are available in limited quantities through the Indiana Convention Center. Check out the Indiana Convention Center site or contact them directly at 317-262-3400 regarding wheelchair availability.
How can I get more information on demoing a game or exhibiting at Gen Con?
If you are interested in demoing a game or product or exhibiting, check out our "Exhibit" section of our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I exhibit my artwork at Gen Con?
There are several options offered should you wish to exhibit your artwork at Gen Con. You could either be an Exhibitor on the main Exhibit Hall floor or you can register for the Gen Con Art Show. Information about both programs can be found on our website under the “Exhibit” link. Art Show info and registration will be available in January/February. Should you have any additional questions about being an Exhibitor email email@example.com, or for the Art Show, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I exhibit my writing at Gen Con?
There are several options offered should you wish to exhibit your writing at Gen Con. You could either be an Exhibitor on the main Exhibit Hall floor or you can register for Authors’ Avenue. Information about both programs can be found on our website under the “Exhibit” link. Authors’ Avenue info and registration will be available in January/February.
How can I run a game or event at Gen Con ?
If you are interested in running a game or event, check out the EOs & GMs section below or see the "Host" section of our website. You can also email email@example.com if you have questions that aren't answered here, and be sure to review our Event Host Policy for full details on what you need to do for your events.
Where can I learn how to create and manage my Gen Con Account?
Please visit the Your Account section of our Attendee Guide.
Where can I learn about Gen Con Badges and how to purchase them?
Please visit the Badge section of this website. Additional information will become available in the coming weeks and months. Your first opportunity to buy badges for Gen Con 50 is January 29, 2017.
Event Registration (Tickets)
When can I purchase event tickets?
Event (Ticket) Registration opens at gencon.com on May 28, and tickets will be sold online from then until the end of the show using our online registration system. On-site Registration opens the Wednesday before Gen Con officially begins and lasts through the end of the show on Sunday, August 20.
Do I need to have a badge to purchase event tickets?
Yes, you need to have a badge to purchase any event tickets. You will not be able to purchase event tickets online or onsite at the show without a valid Gen Con badge. Check out Badge Registration above for details.
If I purchased a badge, why do I still need to purchase event tickets?
A badge is your "entrance" to the show. An event ticket confirms a spot to participate in a specific game or event that is scheduled during the show. Many events are also free, but your ticket guarantees your entry.
What are some of the events that occur at Gen Con?
Gen Con is the quintessential "battleground" for all types of gaming for all ages. Attendees come to participate in RPGs, TCGs, card games, board games, live-action role-playing games (LARPs), True Dungeon, miniatures, video games and other computer games. There are also plenty of hobby-related events to enjoy, such as: The Family Fun Pavilion, a Costume Contest, game auction, the largest sci-fi and fantasy art show in the country, over 300 exhibitor booths, Authors' Avenue, anime, SPA events, seminars, panels, and workshops, Training Grounds (an area dedicated for children), films, and more.
Does your show host any classic games such as scrabble, pinochle, bridge, etc.?
Gen Con does not typically host these types of games; however, we would love to incorporate them into the show. If you are interested in hosting one of these classic games or know of someone who is, please have them contact the Events team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do I get information on events that will be at the upcoming show?
Approximately one-to-two weeks before Event Registration begins, the first list of events will be posted and available for download. When the time comes, you will also be able to search and browse events in our online registration system. Just sign in to your account by clicking the "Sign In" link above and click on the link to search for what you would like to play in at Gen Con.
How many tickets can I buy for each event?
Most events have a limit of two (2) tickets per person, but some events have different limits. For example, True Dungeon allows you to buy all the tickets for one event so you and all your friends can play at the same time.
What is the difference between a "generic ticket" and a "specific event ticket"?
A generic ticket can be used for any event that has space for more players, while a specific event ticket is for one, individual event. A generic ticket is like a token at an arcade - you can use it on any game you want, provided the game has space available, or the event organizer is able to accommodate you as an additional player. You will need to provide enough generics to cover the event ticket cost, so in some cases you will need more than one generic ticket to enter the event. A specific event ticket is like a movie ticket or plane ticket - it guarantees you a spot in the event.
One or more generic tickets may be used like cash to pay admission fees associated with a specific event; however, generic tickets do not guarantee admission or the ability to play a game if the event sells out. Only specific event tickets guarantee you a place in the particular game or event for which the ticket is issued.
For example, if you wish to participate in an event costing $4, you could pay for the event with two generic tickets (valued at $2 each); but if all of the specific event tickets are sold and all ticket holders show up, you may not be granted admission because the event is sold-out. For this reason, buying event tickets for specific named events is the only way to ensure a seat at the scheduled event.
Also, keep in mind that generic tickets can ONLY be refunded as system credit. Specific event tickets can be refunded back to the original form of payment up to 30 minutes before the event. See the Refund & Exchange Policies for more information.
I can't seem to purchase event tickets for my Friend accounts. Can you help?
To purchase event tickets for another attendee, that person must have a valid badge. First, make sure your friend has gone into their account and accepted the Friend Request that will finalize the link between your account and theirs. Next, check to see if they already have a badge in their account. If your Friend has not yet purchased a badge, you can purchase one for them or remind them that they must purchase a badge before you can buy them event tickets.
What if I need to cancel or exchange my event tickets before the show?
Please refer to Gen Con's Refund & Exchange Policies for additional information.
What are the on-site Event Registration hours?
Hours for on-site Event Registration and Customer Service will be updated in April/May 2017.
Event Organizers and GMs
Who can submit events to Gen Con?
Anyone can submit events at Gen Con. We want to have the widest range of events possible - but event space is going to be very limited this year. We may not be able to accept everything submitted - or at least not at the time you might want. Friday and Saturday event space will fill up very quickly, so make sure to submit your events early or be flexible enough to run them during "off-peak" times.
If you are interested, check out the "Host" menu above.
Is there a cost with running events?
Almost all events have a ticket fee that registered attendees pay to be part of it, but there is no fee for someone who wants to come and run a game.
How do I submit an event?
- Submitting events to Gen Con is a simple process:
- Sign into the registration system (using the "Log in" link) and click on the "Submit An Event" link in the left navigation pane.
- Fill out the form and submit it to us for review. If we have questions or problems with your event, we will reject it and send it back to you for correction, so make sure to check back regularly until your events are all accepted.
- You can always check on your events by going to your EO/GM Dashboard.
If you have any questions or special needs for your event, please email email@example.com and let us know. Also, remember that it is your responsibility to keep your event accurate and up to date - if you notice any errors or problems, please let us know right away.
How do I know if my event has been accepted, or if there is a problem with my submissions?
As long as the email address in your account in our registration system is correct (and your spam blocker doesn't filter out our emails) then you will receive an email notification when your events are approved or rejected.
If you want to double-check your events or are having trouble with your email, you can also always visit your EO/GM Dashboard to confirm the status of your events. If this link does not show up in the left navigation pane, you may be signed into the wrong account. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Where can I get more information on running a game or event?
Check out our Tips for new EOs and GMs for more information on running a game or hosting an event at Gen Con.
What do I do if I have any other questions about submitting events?
If you have any other questions or problems, just send us an email email@example.com or call 206-957-3976 x3811 and we'll be glad to help you out.
What do I do if I have any other Event Organizer and/or Game Master questions?
Are kids welcome at the show?
Yes! Gen Con is a family-friendly show and welcomes attendees of any age. Children eight-and-under are free when accompanied by an attending adult. Children over the age of eight are subject to the standard badge costs. In order to prevent issues with security, all children eight-and-under must be registered. You may obtain a Child Wristband through our registration system before the show or at the Customer Service or Badge Registration kiosks onsite during regular show hours. Wristbands will include the parent or guardian's phone number for security purposes.
I want to pre-register my child that is age eight or younger, what do I do?
Gencon.com has a new feature that will allow a parent or guardian with a valid Gen Con badge to register their child and obtain a Child Wristband. You will need to register your child either before the show or on-site at the Customer Service or Badge Registration kiosks in order to get a Child Wristband for security purposes. Obtaining a Child Wristband will allow you to purchase event tickets for them for KID events. If your child wishes to participate in a non-KID event that requires an event ticket, you will need to purchase a regular Gen Con Badge for them.
If I purchase a badge for a minor, may I accompany them for free?
No, we do not offer "visitor" badges. If you wish to gain entrance into the Convention Center beyond any common areas you will be required to show a badge. Go to the Registration page for more information.
Is there child care at Gen Con?
Gen Con does not provide child care services. For private child care, many attendees have used Sitters to the Rescue in the past and you can find information at www.sitterstotherescue.com. You can also check with your hotel as some offer child care services.
Do you have a toddler crawl space and/or a private breastfeeding area?
Yes, there is a dedicated area within the Gen Con Training Grounds. There are dedicated breastfeeding stations in the ladies bathroom located across from the security office in the Crossroads concourse of the convention center.
Do you have an area dedicated strictly to children or family activities?
Yes! The Family Fun Pavilion, located inside the Exhibit Hall, will be open during the entire show for families with children of all ages. In it you will find exhibits, demonstrations, activities and more. Also located in the Family Fun Pavilion will be the Gen Con Training Grounds, an interactive program dedicated to children ages 4-12, where they can play games, participate in art projects, etc. Please be aware that children in the Family Fun Pavilion MUST be accompanied by an adult.
What if my child is lost?
If your child is missing, please report to the Customer Service kiosk or any Gen Con staff member. If we find a missing child, the information in our Child Registration Logs will help us locate the parents or guardians. Please remember to register your child and pick up a wristband at one of the Registration or Customer Service kiosks when you arrive at the convention center!
What type of delivery options do you offer?
Gen Con offers two delivery options: USPS Priority Mail (Recommended) and On-Site Will Call. If you choose USPS Priority Mail, all items in your cart (including those purchased for friends) will be shipped to you, the purchaser. Items held at Will Call will be under the individual's name, no matter who purchased them.
USPS Priority Mail (Recommended) - Choosing USPS is the best way to receive your items before the convention. USPS packages are sent via Priority Mail with Tracking and Signature Confirmation included with every shipment! We will ship your package to the address listed in your Account Details at the time of fulfillment (within three (3) weeks after Pre-Registration closes in June).
Choosing USPS Priority Mail guarantees you a means of tracking your shipment, and if your package does not arrive before the convention, we will reprint your items at no cost to you.
Transit time for USPS Priority Mail shipping is 3-5 business days. Any returned packages will be available for pick up at the Will Call kiosk onsite.
100% Replacement Guarantee:
If your shipment is confirmed to be lost by the USPS we will replace your convention materials at no cost to you. (We cannot replace items that have been delivered)
Will Call - Will Call kiosks will be located onsite for you to pick up your materials.Please note that Will Call items are placed in separate packets for each recipient and can only be claimed by that recipient. Family Fun badges are placed in the purchaser's packet.
A valid government-issued photo ID is required in order to pick up your packet at Will Call. The only exception is for small children with no photo ID. A parent or guardian with a valid ID must accompany the child when picking up their Will Call packet. VIG Badges and VIG Companion Badges will be available for pick-up in the VIG Lounge. Please NOTE: Any badges or event tickets purchased after Pre-Registration has closed will be available for pick-up at Will Call.
When can I expect to receive my badge and event tickets?
Packets begin shipping out within three (3) weeks from the close of Pre-Registration. Once your item has shipped most will be delivered within 3-5 business days.
Any purchases made after Pre-Registration closes will be available for pick-up onsite at the Will Call kiosks beginning the Wednesday before the show.
What if I need to change my method of shipment?
Attendees may change their method of shipment at any time through their Gen Con account. However, all shipping changes must be made before the close of Pre-Registration. Simply log into your account, and from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner, choose “My Packets”. There you should see your default shipping method (which was chosen at the time of your first purchase for this year). Click the “Change” link in order to change your shipping method.
If you choose a less expensive method (i.e. downgrading from USPS Priority Mail to Will Call), the difference will be refunded to your system credit, which can be used to purchase a badge or event tickets. If you choose a more expensive method (i.e. upgrading from Will Call to USPS Priority Mail), the system will charge the last credit card used to make a purchase through your account.
Remember: All shipping and address changes must be completed before the close of Pre-Registration.
What if I need to update my shipping address?
You can change your shipping address by logging into your Gen Con account prior to the close of Pre-Registration. Log into your Gen Con account and choose “My Profile” from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner. Next to your address, click "Change" and update your information as needed. Be sure to click "Update" to save your changes. All shipping address changes must be made before the close of pre-registration on July 2.
What if I never received my badge and event tickets in the mail?
If you haven't received your badge by the show date, please go to the Customer Service kiosk onsite. Your package may have been returned and placed in Will Call. If your packet is not at Will Call, you will be subject to our Lost Badge & Event Ticket Policy.
If you chose to have your items shipped via USPS Priority Mail, we will reprint your badge and event tickets, as long as the USPS site lists your package as "lost" or not yet delivered.
How can I ship my Exhibit Hall purchases home?
Some of the local hotels have shipping services. Please contact these hotels to see what services might be available. The Westin Indianapolis has a FedEx business center on their first floor.
Gen Con 50 Hotel Registration (Housing)
What is the official Gen Con housing block?
The Gen Con housing block is a collection of specially-discounted hotel rooms reserved for booking by Gen Con attendees. The block contains a broad selection of room types (usually defined by number and types of beds) across participating hotels, including more than 20 downtown and 30 suburban hotel properties. The room block is centrally managed by Q-rooms, Gen Con’s official housing provider. All Gen Con attendees become eligible to book rooms within the block upon purchasing a convention badge and obtaining the unique housing link assigned to their account. The housing link leads users to the online hotel reservations booking portal, which they may use 24/7 starting when housing opens. Attendees purchasing multiple badges are assigned multiple housing links at the ratio of 1 link per 2 badges purchased.
Although the Gen Con housing block consists of thousands of discounted hotel rooms across more than 50 Indianapolis hotel properties, not all hotels and room types available within the greater metropolitan area are offered through Gen Con’s official housing block. Only rooms made available through the Gen Con housing block are subject to the discounted convention rate and convention policies. If you book a non-block room through an online travel agency, hotel reservations website, or other third-party your reservation is subject to the rates and terms offered by the third-party agency. Gen Con’s housing provider Q-rooms cannot modify or assist you with such bookings: They can only assist individuals to book or modify reservations made within the official housing block.
What is Passkey/Lanyon?
Lanyon Passkey is the name of central reservations management system that’s used to process hotel room reservations within the official Gen Con housing block. The online booking portal where you make room reservations is powered by the Lanyon Passkey platform as are all the network servers and related infrastructure upon which the software runs. It’s an industrial-grade, third-party platform owned by Lanyon and licensed to major hotel franchises, CVBs, and event organizers world-wide. Lanyon Passkey has been used to process Gen Con housing reservations since the convention moved to Indianapolis in 2002, although the software’s functionality and end-user interface have been updated over time. Any reference to “Lanyon” and/or “Passkey” within the following FAQ is intended to be synonymous with “reservations system software” and “booking portal” and is used for brevity. Gen Con’s official housing provider Q-rooms uses Lanyon Passkey under license from the developer. Neither Gen Con nor Q-rooms have direct control over Lanyon Passkey software functionality, its underlying network infrastructure, and system operations. When changes are made to the system software and/or network, they tend to be implemented system-wide and impact all licensee events universally.
When does Gen Con Housing open for reservations?
Gen Con housing opens on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at noon (Eastern). To make reserving housing more convenient for attendees, Gen Con has implemented a new Housing Portal process in 2017. At midnight (Eastern) between Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11, Gen Con will randomize all customers that have purchased attendee-type badges. Attendee-type badges include 4-Day, all single day, Trade Day, and Press.
Gen Con then will assign all eligible customers an access time, based on their randomized queue order, for the opening of Housing Registration starting at noon (Eastern) on
February 12. Each eligible customer will receive a corresponding automated email with their specific access time on Saturday morning, February 11. This system will provide attendees with at least 24 hours of advanced notice for their unique access time. Attendees should not be discouraged by a later starting time than in prior years, as the process will be intentionally paced differently in 2017.
After randomization of all attendee-type badges, a countdown timer for your unique access time will appear on your “My Housing” page on gencon.com. Attendees again should note that with this new process, access to the Housing Portal will be spread out over a longer span of time during the opening of Housing Registration than in past years. For instance, downtown housing still should be available after 2 pm (Eastern).
Important note: all customers that purchase an attendee-type badge after Housing Portal access times have been assigned will be placed at the end of the Housing Registration queue.
How much do the hotels cost?
Gen Con offers discounted group rates at many of Indianapolis’ finest downtown and suburban hotels. Prices vary widely according to hotel location, type, and guest amenities provided. The list of participating hotels and starting room rates is available on the Hotel Information page. The online booking portal also displays the rates for available room types throughout the selection and booking process.
How do I qualify for a hotel room for Gen Con?
To qualify for discounted rooms within the Gen Con housing block you must register for the convention by creating an account at www.gencon.com and buying a badge. Once you’ve purchased a badge, the registration system will issue you a link to the online reservations portal to book a room.
How do I book a hotel room for Gen Con?
Once you purchase one or more badges for yourself and your family or friends, your Gen Con account will be assigned one or more unique housing links leading to the official hotel block booking portal. The number of links provided is based upon the number and type(s) of badges purchased (i.e. Attendee badge, any number of days; Exhibitor badge, Trade Day badge, VIG badge, etc.). Each link is valid for booking a single room reservation within the Gen Con housing block (except for VIG attendees who book during the early registration period — such individuals are able to book reservations for one or two rooms). The number of guests who can share your room depends on the room type you select. You can provide the names of guests sharing your room during the booking process or you can add them later by modifying your reservation.
Your housing links will be located on the “My Housing” page within your Gen Con account. When you complete a booking, your housing link will change from “Make Reservation” to “View Reservation”, enabling you to view, modify or cancel your reservation any time 24/7 until Gen Con housing closes on July 31, 2017.
Your housing links are unique to your account. When you follow a link to the housing portal the system will recognize you and grant immediate access to the system without you needing to enter any sort of validation code. The system will also prepopulate your first and last name (but not any other contact or billing information) on the first page of the checkout process to save you a little time entering data. You will still need to enter names and other contact details for any guests sharing your room, but you can add guests and/or change reservation details later if you expedite the initial booking.
If I can’t find my housing links or figure out how to use them, can I call in to make a reservation instead?
On opening day, February, 12, 2017, new reservations must be made online through the automated Housing portal. Call Center assistance will only be available for individuals needing a disability/ADA-compliant room and for individuals needing assistance modifying reservations booked online. When calling for help with an existing reservation, please be prepared to present your reservation acknowledgment number to your Call Center agent. Your acknowledgment number is displayed by the booking system when you complete your online reservation and it’s also included on the acknowledgment email sent from the system to the email address you entered during the booking process. If you cannot locate the acknowledgment email, you can view your reservation by using the “View Reservation” link located on your My Housing page within your Gen Con account.
Why do I need a housing link?
Your housing links are unique to your Gen Con user account and badge purchases. Each link verifies your eligibility to book a room within the Gen Con housing block by way of automated system verifications. This is a security and authorization feature that was implemented to ensure that only eligible badge holders can book rooms inside the block, and to enforce maximum room limits and minimum night stay durations based on individual factors, such as badge quantities and types purchased.
I’ve tried to book a room but I get a pop up message about “night minimum stay required”. Why, and what does it mean?
Night Minimum Stay restrictions are in effect for all downtown hotels participating in the Gen Con housing block. All reservations made in downtown properties must consist of three or more consecutive nights inclusive of Saturday night, August 19, 2017. The pop up message alerts you that the date range for your selected hotel and room type doesn’t meet the minimum stay restrictions. In order to book the desired room, you need to adjust your arrival and/or departure dates in the upper right hand corner of the screen and conduct another search by pressing the “Find” button located within the date fields.
Can I book a reservation meeting the night minimum stay requirement and shorten the dates later?
No. Night minimum stay requirements will be in place for all downtown hotels throughout out the booking cycle. You will not be able to shorten a reservation to bypass the minimum stay duration without cancelling your entire reservation. If you need to stay fewer than 3 nights or if you need to check out before Sunday August 20, please consider booking a room at a suburban property instead.
I’ve tried to find specific rooms at my preferred hotel, and the hotel and/or room type isn’t showing up in the online reservations system. Why is that?
The default search option will display only hotels and room types available for your dates. If the hotel you wish to book is not displayed as a result of your search, that particular hotel is not part of the Gen Con block. The same applies to room types. If the desired room type (e.g. a particular suite type, concierge-level room, etc.) is not listed, then that room type was not available within the discounted Gen Con room block. When participating hotels and room inventory sells out, the system still displays them but the dates will be color-coded white (or light gray) to denote they’re unavailable. In many cases unavailable rooms will be further marked with a red exclamation point indicating they’re currently unavailable, but able to be included in your reservation as a pending wait list request.
My preferred hotel is available on one of the nights I requested but the remaining nights are not available. Why can’t I book the night that is available?
Night Minimum Stay restrictions are in effect for all downtown hotels participating in the Gen Con housing block. All reservations must consist of three or more consecutive nights inclusive of Saturday night, August 19, 2017. A reservation consisting of only one or two consecutive, available nights doesn’t meet the 3 night minimum stay restriction. In order to book a room in a downtown hotel, the available inventory selected needs to meet the night minimum stay requirements, inclusive of Saturday night. Additional wait list nights can be selected to potentially extend your reservation beyond the Night Minimum Stay, but wait list nights cannot fulfill the basic requirement.
I entered my dates and my preferred hotel is available to book. However, one of the night has a red exclamation point on it. Why?
Some rooms may be sold out for particular nights within the date range you selected; however if rooms are available on the nights necessary to meet the Night Minimum Stay requirement the system will present the sold-out nights on either end of your date range as being eligible for wait list. Those nights are denoted with a red exclamation point. If you wish to continue and book the room with one or more wait list nights, complete the reservation request with the wait list nights included. If you do not wish to include wait list nights, you must change your reservation dates to match the nights available. When a reservation includes one or more wait list nights, the system will automatically add the desired room nights as they become available through cancellations or modifications of other reservations. Upon adding wait list nights to your reservation the system will automatically send you an updated acknowledgment indicating which nights have been added to your booking.
PLEASE NOTE: Automated wait list will NOT be available on housing opening day, February 12, 2017. The wait list feature will be activated within one week of housing opening.
My reservation includes a wait list night; does that guarantee I will be able to obtain that night?
No. Wait list nights included in reservations ARE NOT GUARANTEED. Wait list requests are automatically processed by the housing reservations system as inventory becomes available due to changes and/or cancellations in other reservations. We are unable to predict whether inventory will become available before the housing closing date on July 31, 2017. If a particular night is essential for your travel plans, we recommend choosing an alternate hotel or room type available over your required dates at the time of booking. Relying on the automated wait list feature to procure essential room nights is not recommended.
My room reservation includes one or more wait list nights. How do I know if/when those nights become confirmed?
If your wait list night(s) becomes available, the system will automatically add them to your reservation and send you an updated acknowledgement indicating which of your wait list nights have been added. You can also view your reservation any time by using the “View Reservation” link provided in the My Housing page in your Gen Con account.
My original room reservation includes one or more wait list nights and I haven’t received any updated acknowledgments. Can I contact the Call Center to ask about the status of my reservation?
You are welcome to contact the Call Center for support with any existing reservation. However, wait list requests are automatically processed by the housing software, and Call Center agents can only report on the current status of your reservation and wait list request. If you have not received an updated acknowledgement confirming all of the wait list nights originally booked, it means that one or more of the requested wait list night(s) has not yet become available. Call Center agents can review the status of your reservation with you, but they cannot override the system’s allocation process for fulfilling wait list nights as they become available. In addition to contacting the Call Center, you can also view your reservation any time by using the “View Reservation” link provided in the My Housing page in your Gen Con account.
What happens if my wait list night(s) does not become available?
Reservations consisting of one or more unfulfilled wait list nights as of 11:59 PM EST July 31, 2017 will be automatically modified to include only confirmed nights before the reservation information is transferred to the hotels for processing. If your intended arrival date is wait listed, your confirmed arrival date will be changed to the first available night of your booking. For example, if you booked a reservation for Tuesday check-in (with Tuesday being a wait list night) and departing Monday (with Sunday night also being a wait list night) and neither wait list night is fulfilled by the July 31 closing date, then your reservation will be automatically modified for a Wednesday check-in and Sunday check-out. You can elect to cancel the entire reservation after the July 31 closing date, but cancellation penalties will still apply. There is no fee for modifying reservation dates or other reservation details, but all reservations cancelled in entirety incur the stated penalty fees regardless of reason. Please consider whether available dates meet your travel requirements prior to booking. Wait list nights are not guaranteed and cancellation fees will not be waived or refunded.
Can I make changes or cancel my reservation if it includes wait list night(s)?
Yes, you can modify or cancel your reservation normally, regardless of whether it includes wait list nights. IMPORTANT: cancellation fees will apply to all reservations cancelled in their entirety, regardless of reason. There is no fee for modifying reservations, provided the modification does not result in a cancellation.
Can I request to be wait listed for a hotel or room type that’s different than the one I booked online?
No. Lanyon Passkey’s automatic wait list feature can only be used to request additional nights to extend a valid reservation meeting the Night Minimum Stay requirements. There is no option for requesting to be wait listed for hotels and room types that don’t have the minimum number of nights available to satisfy the Night Minimum Stay restriction at the time of booking. Instead, you can check back periodically and modify an existing reservation to change the hotel and/or room type later if the desired inventory has become available since the time of your original booking. Modifying a reservation carries no fee, and you can modify reservations online 24/7 until housing closes at 11:59 PM July 31, 2017. Call Center agents can help you modify a reservation during business hours; but please do not contact the Call Center until you’ve identified that a preferred room has become available online. Call Center agents have access the same inventory that’s available online, and that inventory is subject to change moment by moment.
I understand I need to check back periodically if I want to change my hotel or room type. What’s the best way to do that?
Given the speed at which rooms can be booked (and sell out) online, we recommend searching for new inventory by means of beginning a modification operation for your existing reservation and using the hotel selection function to search hotels and room types over your pre-existing reservation dates. That way, if you find a more desirable room you can secure it immediately. Now, select the new room that you want to replace your existing room with, select the “Next” button on screen, and follow the system prompts until you reach the modification confirmation screen. No change will be made to your original reservation until you click the Save & Confirm button. The housing system will email a new reservation acknowledgment confirming your modified reservation shortly upon completion.
Please note: If you have a reservation booked and wish to change the hotel to one that becomes available later on, do not book a new reservation through an unused housing link in your account unless you plan to keep both reservations. If you need only one room, modify your existing reservation to change the hotel and/or room type selection instead of booking a new reservation. If you cancel a reservation you will be charged the standard cancellation fee for each reservation you cancel, regardless of whether you have other active reservations in the system. If you decide to close a booking or modification session without making any changes, your original reservation will remain in place. You will not lose your original reservation if you close the session without clicking the Save and Confirm button.
If you have additional, unused housing links available in your Gen Con account and desire to search periodically before booking a new reservation, use the housing link to check inventory availability over your desired dates, but don’t book a room unless you’d be satisfied with it as a contingency. Instead, exit your booking session without booking any room, and use the housing link to check inventory again at some future date. Housing links don’t expire upon visiting the housing portal; they expire and convert to View Reservation links only upon completing a reservation.
Why do downtown rooms sell out so early, and is there anything that can be done about it?
Historically, demand for downtown housing exceeds Gen Con’s room inventory supply. Gen Con strives to increase downtown room inventory every year but we strongly recommend booking as early as possible on opening day for optimal selection. If you don’t find the room you want, you can exit your booking session and try again later or you can book a contingency room with the hope of changing hotels or room types later. Please remember, all reservations cancelled in entirety carry a cancellation fee, regardless of the reason you decide to cancel it. No exceptions or refunds will be granted. The fee is intended to dissuade individuals from booking rooms they don’t seriously intend to occupy in order to make the rooms available to attendees who truly want them. If you book a room as a contingency, you must accept that there’s a cost associated with your decision should you ultimately choose to cancel the room.
I was unable to book a room at my preferred hotel through the housing portal. Can I get on a wait list?
Lanyon Passkey automatic wait list feature only handles requests to extend a valid reservation meeting the Night Minimum Stay requirements for additional nights that are unavailable at the time of booking. It does not enable users to request alternate hotels or room types.
Inventory that becomes available due to changes and/or cancellations of other reservations will be released online in real time. If your preferred hotel becomes available online at any time after housing opens, you will be able to book it on a first come, first served basis. If you have an existing reservation at a different hotel, you are able to change the hotel on your existing reservation online or by calling the Call Center. There is no fee for modifying a reservation, provided you don’t cancel it in its entirety.
If you don’t find the room type you desire at your preferred hotel, use your housing link to check back on a regular basis throughout the housing cycle. No one can anticipate when an existing reservation may be cancelled. Checking late at night or early in the morning may yield better results since most cancellations are likely to occur during Call Center business hours.
I visited the online booking portal but all hotels are sold out. How can I get a room at the discounted convention rate?
The Gen Con housing block sells out very quickly: however changes and/or cancellations occur throughout the housing cycle, especially during Call Center business hours closer to the event dates. Inventory that becomes available due to changes and/or cancellations of other reservations will be released online in real time. If your preferred hotel becomes available online at any time after housing opens, you will be able to book it on a first come, first served basis. If you have an existing reservation at a different hotel, you are able to change the hotel on your existing reservation online or by calling the Call Center. There is no fee for modifying a reservation, provided you don’t cancel it in its entirety.
I’ve heard rooms can sell out in the time it takes to complete a reservation. Will my selected room be held while I fill out my billing information?
Yes! Real-time reservations processing will hold a selected room while the guest and billing information is being completed. The default time-out is set for 10 minutes from the moment you arrive to the Personal Information screen after having selected your room, so be sure to have your credit card ready so you can complete your transaction in the time allowed. If you don’t complete your reservation within 10 minutes, the room you selected will return to inventory and become available to other attendees using the system.
Why can’t I book a room by phone on housing opening day?
The online booking system can process hundreds of reservations in the time it takes to book a single reservation by phone. Due to the overwhelming volume of online users during the first few hours on opening day, most inbound phone traffic serviced consists of requests for rooms that have already sold out online, leaving customers frustrated and Call Center agents unable to provide useful support. Meanwhile, individuals with disabilities needing phone support and customers needing help to cancel or modify their online reservations are caught waiting in the same phone queues as those seeking new reservations after inventory has sold out. Although no customer is valued more highly than another, it’s wasteful to divert human resources to problems that cannot be solved on opening day when the resources can be better directed to address resolvable issues.
The Call Center will be operating from 12 noon to 6 pm ET on opening day only to assist callers needing to book disability-compliant ADA rooms and to help callers needing support modifying or cancelling existing reservations booked online.
Where can I find the Call Center phone number?
The Call Center phone number will be displayed on your Gen Con account page after you have purchased your badge.
I called the hotels directly to get a room and they are all sold out. How do I get a room in the Gen Con housing block?
Even if a hotel says they are sold out, it doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any rooms left in the Gen Con housing block. The converse situation is also true…when the Gen Con housing block sells out rooms may still be available to attendees through other travel outlets. We negotiate blocks of rooms with numerous hotels, which may be accessed by booking rooms through the Housing reservations portal. As Gen Con block rooms sell out, the online hotel reservation system will reflect what rooms remain available. You will need your housing web link to check room availability in the block.
I’m a member of a hotel preferred member rewards program. Can I obtain rewards points when I book a room inside the Gen Con housing block, and/or can I apply existing rewards points toward my room charges?
Each hotel manages their own policies regarding member rewards. In most instances, Gen Con’s group discount supersedes hotel rewards program benefits, meaning you won’t earn points for your stay and may not be able to apply existing points toward your room bill. If you want to know how a particular hotel handles rewards points in association with their Gen Con group rooms, please contact the hotel directly before booking through the Housing portal.
I’m a member of a special group that often receives group discounts for members (e.g. military, government, corporate). Can I obtain this discount when booking rooms inside the Gen Con housing block?
Each hotel manages their own policies regarding member rewards. In most instances, Gen Con’s group discount supersedes hotel rewards program benefits, meaning you won’t earn points for your stay and may not be able to apply existing points toward your room bill. If you want to know how a particular hotel handles rewards points in association with their Gen Con group rooms, please contact the hotel directly before booking through the Housing portal.
I have booked my room outside of the Gen Con block at a higher price. Can I get the Gen Con rate?
No, we cannot assist with individual reservations booked outside of the Gen Con housing block. If you choose to book outside of the block, you will have to honor whatever rates and terms were offered by the booking agency with whom you made the reservation. If you contact the Call Center for booking support, an agent will ask you for your reservation acknowledgement number to confirm the booking was made within the official housing block.
What if I need to cancel my hotel reservation?
You can cancel your reservation online through the Housing portal or by contacting the Call Center. PLEASE NOTE: Reservations cancelled any time after booking will be charged a $50 USD cancellation fee per room until 11:59 PM ET, June 26, 2017. After June 26, 2017, all reservations will be charged a cancellation fee equal to first night room charge ($USD). NO EXCEPTIONS or refund will be granted. The credit card information on file at the time the reservation is cancelled will be billed the applicable cancellation fees.
Is my room reservation automatically cancelled if I cancel my badge?
No, you need to cancel your room reservation online or by calling the housing Call Center to cancel your room reservation even if you have cancelled your badge registration.
I hear about housing cut-off and shut-off: what are they and what is the difference?
There is no longer any difference between housing closing, cut-off, or shut-off. Effective 2017, all such references are synonymous. In previous years Gen Con Housing could accept new bookings only until the cut-off date, but changes to existing bookings could be accepted until the later shut-off date, after which changes were handled by the hotels. Effective 2017, cut-off and shut-off dates are being consolidated to eliminate confusion and standardize hotel handling of reservations after Gen Con housing closes.
When does the hotel receive my reservation information?
Reservations made in the Gen Con block will be transferred to the hotels starting on August 1, 2017. The rooming list transfers may take a few days but individuals may begin contacting the hotels to cancel or modify reservations and make special requests starting August 1.
Will the hotel charge a deposit in advance of my arrival?
Yes, your assigned hotel will charge a non-refundable deposit equal to one night room charge + tax starting as early as 12:01 AM ET August 1, 2017. If the credit card on file for your reservation does not have sufficient funds to cover the deposit amount, your reservation will be cancelled by the hotel. If you wish to have your deposit charged to a different credit card, please call the Call Center or update your reservation online before August 1, 2017.
What if I do not check in on my scheduled day of arrival?
If you don’t check in on your confirmed day of arrival, the hotel will cancel your entire reservation and keep the nonrefundable room deposit to cover their “no show” cancellation fee equal to first night plus tax. If the hotel has rooms available when you arrive, it may reinstate your reservation at the Gen Con group rate but you will sacrifice the deposit paid toward the no show penalty fee and incur room charges normally going forward.
What if I decide to check out before my scheduled day of departure?
Most hotels’ policies include an Early Departure fee. Usually you will not incur the early departure fee if you change your departure date during check in or more than 72 hours in advance of departure. Please contact your assigned hotel directly to inquire about early departure policies.
Can I change my credit card when I check in?
Yes, you can pay the balance of your hotel bill with a different credit card than the one used to secure your reservation. The credit card on file with your reservation will be charged the housing cancellation fee if your reservation is cancelled in its entirety. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT A NON-REFUNDABLE ONE NIGHT ROOM CHARGE+ TAX DEPOSIT WILL BE CHARGED BY YOUR ASSIGNED HOTEL AS EARLY AS AUGUST 1,2017. If you wish to have your deposit charged to a different credit card, please call the Call Center before August 1, 2017 to change it. You can also modify your credit card number online.
Somebody else is paying for my room. Does the card holder need to be present at check in?
Yes, the credit card holder must be present at check with you. You can also contact your assigned hotel as early as August 1 to request a credit card authorization form, complete it and send it back to the hotel prior to your arrival. You need to contact the hotel directly to set up this payment option.
Can I make a reservation without a credit card?
No. All reservations must be guaranteed by a valid credit card number.
My card expires before my check out date can I still make a reservation?
You must secure your hotel reservation with a credit card that has an expiration date after the convention. Credit cards that expire before the convention will be rejected by the system.
When will my credit card be charged and for how much?
A non-refundable deposit of one night room charge plus tax will be charged by your assigned hotel as early as August 1, 2017. If the credit card does not have sufficient funds to cover the deposit amount, your reservation will be cancelled by the hotel. If you cancel your reservation in its entirety, the credit card on file will be charged the reservation cancellation fee.
I called the hotel and they did not have my reservation. Why?
Reservations made in the Gen Con block will be transferred to the hotels starting August 1, 2017. PLEASE NOTE: All changes and cancellations must be made online or by contacting the Call Center before 11:59 PM ET, July 31, 2017. After July 31, all changes and cancellations MUST be made directly with your assigned hotel.
I did not receive the hotel confirmation number. Do I have a reservation?
Most hotels do not send out their own confirmation numbers to attendees booked in the Gen Con block. If you wish to obtain your hotel confirmation number, please call your hotel directly AFTER July 31, 2017.
Can I call the hotel directly to make changes or cancel a reservation?
All changes and cancellations MUST be made through the Housing portal or Call Center until 11:59 PM ET July 31, 2017. Starting August 1, 2017 you must contact the hotel directly to make changes or cancel reservations.
Where can I learn more about the Gen Con Travel Support Site?
Please visit the Your Housing & Travel section of our Attendee Guide.
Is it possible to volunteer for Gen Con?
Yes! We encourage people to volunteer and have put together wonderful benefits for anyone interested in helping to make Gen Con run smoothly.
What are the benefits of volunteering?
One of the greatest benefits of volunteering is being an integral part of the show and knowing your hard work is helping one of the largest gaming conventions in the U.S. to succeed. Other benefits may include a free t-shirt, badge reimbursement, partial hotel reimbursement and generic event tickets, depending upon which volunteer level you choose. Check out our Volunteer Program and see which level is right for you!
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
The minimum age to volunteer is 14. If you are a Minor between the ages of 14 and 17, you will need to have your parent or legal guardian sign the Parental Consent, Medical Waiver and Indemnity Agreement (page two of the Volunteer Application). Minors will only be allowed to work six (6) hours a day, or no more than 20 hours a week, thus making them eligible to be a 16-Hour Page only.
Can I choose between part-time and full-time volunteering?
Of course! There are several levels in the Volunteer Program, ranging from 16 hours of involvement for a single show to 40+ hours of commitment for multiple shows. If you want to try it out and devote only a small amount of time volunteering, consider becoming a 16-Hour Page. If you are willing to devote a little more time to one show but don't want to commit to multiple years, check out the 32-Hour Page option. If you're interested in becoming a part of the Gen Con Family and willing to work 40+ hours during the show and commit to multiple years, check out our Mentorship Program.
How can I sign up to volunteer?
Take a look at our Volunteer Program and choose the level that best fits your interests. Please review our Volunteer Policies and then submit your application by logging into your Gen Con account at www.gencon.com (click “Log In” in the upper right of the page), hover your mouse over the “Volunteer” header, and click “Volunteer Application”. Complete the application, update your contact information (which will also update your Profile page), and review the volunteer policies and medical waiver, prior to the June deadline. Please be sure to complete all the application pages or your application will not be received. If we receive your application before the deadline listed, we will contact you via email or phone before the show with more information and your onsite volunteer schedule. This will make it easier for you to schedule events around the times you know you will be working.
Please keep in mind there are a limited number of positions available in the Mentorship Program, so not all Apprentice applicants will be accepted. It is best to get your application turned in as early as possible to be considered for this increasingly popular Program.
Do I have to buy a badge to volunteer?
16-Hour and 32-Hour Pages and Apprentices are required to purchase a 4-Day badge. Once the hours have been met for your level and a completed timecard turned in, you will be reimbursed for your 4-Day badge purchase. If you are scheduled to be a Deputy or Captain for the current show, you will not need to purchase a badge. One will be provided for you upon arriving at the convention center.
Can I choose where I'd like to volunteer?
You are welcome to recommend or suggest an area in which you would like to work. We will do our best to place you in the area you wish to volunteer, but we cannot guarantee that is where you will be.
If I volunteer, will Gen Con pay for my food, parking, hotel and transportation?
Yes and No. 16-Hour Pages do not receive these types of benefits. 32-Hour Pages and Apprentices can receive a partial hotel reimbursement by turning in their signed timecard and hotel bill at the end of the show. Transportation, parking, meals and housing assignments are some of the benefits Deputies and Captains receive.
How do I receive my badge reimbursement?
Reimbursements will be issued within six (6) weeks after we receive your completed timecard. If you paid with a credit card, the original credit card will be issued a refund through our registration system (we cannot issue a refund to a different credit card). If the payment was made with cash, a check will be issued for your reimbursement and mailed to the address listed on your timecard.
Remember, we can only reimburse your badge if we receive a completed timecard no later than four (4) weeks after the show, listing the appropriate hours worked and signed by the supervising Captain, Deputy or Gen Con Staff member from each area worked. Any requests received after that time will not be honored. More information can be found in our Volunteer Policies.
If I'm a 32-Hour Page or Apprentice, how much of my hotel room fees will be reimbursed by Gen Con?
Gen Con LLC will reimburse for 1/4 cost of room plus tax, for the core show days only (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday), unless otherwise specified. Incidentals, including parking, phone calls, room service, etc., will be the responsibility of the Volunteer. Reimbursements are based on four-person occupancy up to $55 per night, no matter the cost of the hotel. For example, if you have three people in a $180 per night room, Gen Con would reimburse $45 per night. If you have four people in a $235 per night room, Gen Con would reimburse only $55 per night.
How do I receive my hotel reimbursement?
All 32-Hour Pages and Apprentices must turn in a completed timecard and an original final bill from the block hotel (listing the Volunteer's name as one of the occupants) to Volunteer HQ or mail it to Gen Con LLC, Attn: Customer Service & Volunteer Manager, 120 Lakeside Ave, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98122, within four (4) weeks after the show in order to receive your hotel reimbursement. Hand-written notes or cash register receipt tapes will not suffice, and timecards must be signed by your supervising Captain, Deputy or a Gen Con Staff member.
Reimbursements for hotel rooms will be made by check and mailed within six (6) weeks after we receive your hotel bill. Remember, timecards and hotel bills must be received in our Seattle office no later than four (4) weeks after the show in order to receive reimbursement. Any requests received after that time will not be honored. More information can be found in our Volunteer Policies.
Where can I get more information?
If you have questions regarding our Volunteer Program, check out our Volunteer Policies or contact the Customer Service & Volunteer Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-529-3976, x3806.
Where can I find more information online?
More Gen Con information can be found on our Registration page, Policies & Show Info and Refund Policy pages. Or check out the menu items at the top of the page if you're interested in Hosting a game, Exhibiting, Volunteering, etc. There's information for everyone!
Where are the Gen Con offices located?
The Gen Con LLC corporate offices are located at:
120 Lakeside Ave, Suite 100
Seattle, Washington 98122
What is the best way to contact Gen Con?
You may call us at our Seattle offices at 206-957-3976 or toll-free at 800-529-3976, and dial x3806 for Customer Service. Or you may email us at email@example.com. Customer Service hours are Monday-Friday, 9:30 am-5:00 pm (Pacific).
How can I contact Gen Con Staff during the convention?
The Customer Service Event Staff onsite will be happy to answer any questions you may have or contact a Gen Con Staff member if needed. Onsite Customer Service hours and locations can be found on the Onsite Show Information section of the Policies & Show Information page.