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 2 - 5, 2018. 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 2018 is January 14, 2018.
Event Registration (Tickets)
When can I purchase event tickets?
Event (Ticket) Registration opens at gencon.com on May 6, 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 5.
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 2018.
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 ten-and-under are free when accompanied by an attending adult. Children over the age of ten are subject to the standard badge costs. In order to prevent issues with security, all should 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 ten or younger, what do I do?
Gencon.com has a 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. Children 11 and older need a badge to attend the convention.
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 and demonstrations. The Gen Con Training Grounds will be in Lucas Oil Stadium this year. It is 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 (on your "My Packets" page) 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 the Ship To Me deadline on June 17).
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.
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 the Ship To Me deadline 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 the Ship To Me deadline. Most items will be delivered within 3-5 business days after being shipped.
Any purchases made after the Ship To Me deadline 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 Ship To Me deadline (June 17). 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 Ship To Me deadline.
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 Ship To Me deadline. 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 Ship To Me deadline on June 17.
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.
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 join the Event Team at Gen Con?
Yes! Gen Con is always in need to people to assist with running the show onsite. There are different levels of participation depending on the level of time you want to commit.
What do I receive as a member of the Event Team?
All Event Team members are paid positions. Benefits differ depending on your level in the program. An explanation of these benefits can be seen under "Join".
How old do I have to be to join the Event Team?
The minimum age to join the Event Team is 18.
Can I choose between part-time and full-time?
Of course! There are several levels in the Event Team Program, ranging from 16 hours to 40 hours of commitment. If you want to try it out and devote only a small amount of time, consider applying as 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 do I sign up?
Take a look at the Event Team program and choose the level that best fits your interests. Please review our Event Team 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 “Join” header, and click “Event Team Application”. Complete the application, update your contact information (which will also update your Profile page), and review the policies, NDA, and medical waiver, prior to the pre-registration deadline. Please be sure to complete all the application pages or your application will not be received. Once your application is approved, you will be contacted via email to complete the employment process. After that process is completed we will contact you via email or phone before the show with more information and to coordinate your onsite 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 and paperwork turned in as early as possible to be considered for this increasingly popular Program.
Do I have to buy a badge?
Page and Apprentice roles are for people who are attending the show and want to work some hours on the Event Team are therefore required to purchase a 4-Day badge. Because of the level of commitment Apprentices are eligible for reimbursement of their 4-day badge after the show. 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 work?
You are welcome to recommend or suggest an area in which you would like to work. Gen Con will do its best to place you in that area, but cannot guarantee that is where you will be.
Will Gen Con pay for my food, parking, hotel and transportation?
Yes and No. Pages and Apprentices do not receive these types of benefits. Transportation, parking, and housing assignments are some of the benefits Deputies and Captains receive.
How do I receive my badge reimbursement as an Apprentice?
Reimbursements will be issued within six (6) weeks after your completed timecard is received and if you worked all of your scheduled shifts. If you paid with a credit card, the original credit card will be issued a refund through the registration system (refunds cannot be issued 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, Gen Con can only reimburse your badge if a completed timecard was received at the end of 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 Event Team Policies.
Where can I get more information?
If you have questions regarding the Event Team Program, check out our Event Team Policies or contact the Customer Service & Team 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.