It seems like everybody in the Good, Bad, and Ugly thread is commenting about huge backpacks, wagons, strollers, etc. clogging up the dealer hall. I saw it too.
The problem seems to get worse every year. The giant backpacks become more numerous, and the wagons and giant luggage become more common. It's way past time to do something about it.
Here's my proposal:
Rule 1. All backpacks and rolling cargo carriers (including, but not limited to luggage, rolling crates, wheelbarrows, pallet jacks, hand trucks, wagons, and strollers not currently occupied by their full allotment of children) must comply with TSA luggage carry-on requirements. So backpacks and rolling luggage, etc. are limited to 22"x14"x9" in size. No exceptions.
Rule 2. Any stroller in the dealer hall must be filled to capacity with children. So if you have a stroller for two children, there has to be two children in it. Otherwise it must comply with rule 1.
Rule 3. If you're found in violation of the above, you will be asked to immediately remove the offending item from the dealer hall. Failure to do so will be a violation of the terms of service of your badge.
I'm the middle cog in a company where we're rewriting policies. All good policies begin with an imperfect first post like yours and gets worked over by engineers/managers/others. As others read this they should realize that such a policy needs massaging. That being said:
Rule 1: Obviously not during set-up and tear down times. But how to enforce the policy?
Rule 2: I saw people carrying their kids because they fussed too much in the stroller. Why people bring infants to GenCon is beyond me but I know how much babysitting can cost.
Rule 3: Draconian but can be adjusted.
I'm sticking with my thought of a "back pack check-in room". I had to haul a bag all of Saturday for a night event and I would have paid a few bucks to have it checked somewhere in the convention center. I'd like to know how much it would cost to acquire a room for the Gen Con weekend; it might be profitable for the right group.
I agree with the above sentiment... however, the root cause is not being addressed. The root cause is that the vender hall is too small for the number of attendees. The vender hall needs to expand into the next room, which spread the people out over more square footage. That might allow a widening of the walkways (and possibly adding a few more venders) which will go a long way towards solving the problem.
Which 'next room' are you seeing on the map? It looks like all of the space in the ICC is being utilized now.
The exhibit hall would definitely cut into the wargaming hall if it were expanded any more.
I am in full agreement on needing some type of bag/cart policy; obviously without one the issue continues to get worse as people push what is acceptable (and will continue). I am sure everyone's opinions will be different and given the nature of GenCon I do not think we need the draconian concert/sports level policy.
Expanding the dealer hall doesn't solve the issue just hides it better, if we really want to dig down backpacks are not even the issue, it is people that just don't care about those around them. You cannot force people to look beyond themselves so unfortunately need to create rules that do so.
I imagine there is a 0% chance of literally any rule being implemented, since unless you mandate everyone with a backpack go in one entrance and everyone without go in another, you are going to have an immediate traffic jam as the first person with a debatably-too-large bag tries to walk in. Yes it would mostly be an issue at 10 every day, granted, but I am sure Gen-Con would rather deal with complaints about it than the logistics of implementing a rule to deal with it
It's one thing to carry your child for a bit. It's quite another thing to start putting your purchases in the the stroller while the kid walks alongside.
I think it is important to separate that bag/wagon restriction is for the dealer hall not the convention at large.Expanding the dealer hall doesn't solve the issue just hides it better, if we really want to dig down backpacks are not even the issue, it is people that just don't care about those around them. You cannot force people to look beyond themselves so unfortunately need to create rules that do so.
I didn't notice hand-held bags being a huge problem the way backpacks can be. It may be because it's just about impossible to be oblivious to something you're holding in your hand, but easy to forget something hanging on your back.
I think we're on the same page about strollers - they have to hold kids, not purchases, and a 3-child stroller for one or two children is inappropriate. I didn't observe anyone using a stroller as a battering ram this year, but I have seen it in the past. To be blunt, hitting someone deliberately with a stroller is, legally, assault and battery. That should result in immediate ejection. If you see someone doing that, video them, and then show the video to security.
As much as I would like to request an outright ban on rolling carriers of all sorts, we do need to be mindful that there are attendees who cannot carry a backpack due to medical issues. But they still need to carry water, snacks, an umbrella, dice, etc.