This is early, I know, but I am hoping for some merchandise that celebrates the 20 years since Gen Con moved to Indy in 2003. I think it's been a great relationship between the city and the convention. Indy has been more welcoming to us attendees than Milwaukee (although I have fond memories of Milwaukee).
Slightly unrelated but I'm always really impressed with how well Indy rolls out the welcome wagon for Gen Con attendees.
For sure. Toronto ComiCon and Fan Expo bring in tens of thousands of people to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (maybe not the same numbers as Gencon, but it's nothing to sneeze at either) and the immediate area doesn't get nearly as into it.
The decor and menu updates are great, but even just things like walking into a bar or restaurant and everyone is wearing a super hero shirt or whatever, really adds to the atmosphere.
Definitely. Origins has a little bit of that vibe, but just minimally enough that it is disappointing instead of exciting, haha. Like you go across the street and get a cool etched Origins glass from the bar and the bartender is excited you are there, but then you go to North Market and realize once you get about 200 feet from the convention center nobody knows what Origins is. Very different from Gen-Con obviously.
Even things like the banners on the motorway and gaming tables at the airport make it feel like the city really embraces the convention and it's attendees (and their money of course :P)