Looking at the events and how many are sold out I was wondering about any plans Gen Con may have of expanding the dates.
Personally Sunday has always been a little bit of a let-down since events end so early.
Gen Con starting on Wednesday or going until Monday would be awesome considering how popular it is becoming. Maybe have a Wednesday or Monday which doesn't have the vendor hall as prominently featured but has more gaming? Might make some more connected hotel dates available for those who can come earlier/later.
I noticed the events put out that fans are running on Wednesday are almost all gone so maybe the demand is there.
I want more gaming :D
This comes up every year.
The would add to the cost for renting the convention center another day or two. If the dealer room is to stay open, they have to pay their people as well. How many people can take more time off and pay for another night in the hotel?
As GenCon already has access to the ICC (or parts of it anyway) on Wednesday for things like will-call, trade day, etc. how much extra (if any) would it cost to open up some of the other spaces in there for events (or open gaming - hint! hint!) for Wednesday afternoon/evening?
You'd still need a badge for scheduled and-or paid events of course, thus people picking their badge and tix up at will-call wouldn't want to schedule anything before about 3 p.m. just in case something goes sideways with the line or system...no sense missing an event because you're stuck in line.
Obviously some of the spaces (auction room, VIG area, escape-room spaces, some LARP areas) couldn't be used as they are being set up for the main Con; but there's still the main ballroom and ante-room (Sagamore? Where they've had the Killer Breakfast in the past) on the main floor and some spaces upstairs that could be opened up with relatively little effort, even just as open-gaming areas.
Origins started doing this years ago. I think officially starting (some) things Wednesday afternoon would be a great idea!
It kind of unofficially does start early with KFG and other groups doing stuf
at Scottie's, the Ram, etc...on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I have noticed a lot of events for wednesday (granted they not be what you are interested in), a lot of seminars, some games, some LARP's, and I think even spouse activity's. Plus The Stink is always on Wednesday night.
Someone had a Ticket to Ride game set for that afternoon but I am trying to rest up and not get burnt out before sunday, well that and the tickets are gone already.
Provided you're not talking about having the dealer hall open for more days or longer hours, you might be on to something. The one thing that every single dealer/company I've ever spoken to about expanding hours is dead set against it. But there's no reason the Con can have people participating in non-dealer hall activities earlier in the week, I suppose.
Expanding into Wed is really necessary for the overall health of the convention. Most other conventions already use this model. A limited opening of the dealers hall Wed evening from 6-9pm would be ideal, as would having space for open gaming (e.g the game library). I know its possible to submit events for Wed, but travel timing/waiting in line/checking in is very unpredictable.
Every year thousands of people are in downtown Indy on Wed, and everyone is scambling to find room to game, when it should be done at the convention. Gen Con LLC has been majorly dropping the ball on this for years, and hasn't shown much interest in listening to feedback from attendees in the issue.
Bakermouse is right. There are already a number of activities on Wednesday. Trade Day goes all day, and then the Stink. There are games and LARPs all late afternoon/evening. You can easily start your gaming mid-afternoon. If you want to start earlier, the KFG events are good.
The reason has always been the convention hall expense(for instance, no air conditioning on wednesday, do you guys really want to game in that? I don't!!! It gets HOT in there!!!), but what about just scheduling stuff in the hotels?
That said, with kfg gaming, the stink(which even if it is sold out always has room once the real tickets walk in), plus other groups are holding stuff too.
The hotels charge money for their event space too.
I'm always kind of torn by the question of extending the con. On the one hand, the idea of more Gencon sounds great. On the other hand, by Sunday afternoon I'm exhausted, so making it a day longer might not be so great.
Expand into sunday before we start talking about Wednesday. Sunday is a let down because so many people wake up, check out, get in their cars and skip the events they registered for. On sunday there is no such thing as a sold out event, you can usually get in with generics, which is good, but there are events that don't happen for lack of attendance, which is bad. I've had years that I've been worn out on sunday, but I try to drag the convention out for a few more hours by staying until at least noon on sunday. Our group has started playing the stuff we purchased on sunday afternoon, as a way to keep going.
It's just sad when we've looked forward to gencon for so long, and it's still there, but, only as a shadow of the day before. Checking out of the hotel doesn't mean it's over. Sunday brunch doesn't mean it's over. We don't stop for hangovers. Was it over when the germans bombed pearl harbor? No! It's not over until we say it's over!
I think the above is on to something. People burn out. Sunday is mostly a ghost town for us (though we schedule some high demand things to make people show on Sunday to even our our player curve somewhat). Sooner you start the sooner people burnout. I think if you started Wednesday then Sunday would just become even more of a ghost town everywhere except the dealers hall.
Also Gen Con would have to change it's policy on charging for events on Wednesday (which I believe now you cannot do). I know BMG would open a bunch of D&D on Wednesday evening if we could charge as I have 60-70 DM's checked in by that point just looking for something to do/eat/or drink in some random order.
Part of this is perception. Right now, Gen Con attendees have the perception that the Con is four days. That has been ingrained into our heads. ("The Best Four Days in Gaming", etc.) So now it has become almost routine for people to think of this as a four day event. Could it be longer? Absolutely! But it would take time to change the 4-day only perception that we have already built up in our minds. If Gen Con were to change to 7 days (for example) it would have to start changing the perception FAR in advance. Vendors would adapt. Game hosts would adapt. There are plenty of non-gaming events that are longer than four days that seem to do fine so I am pretty sure that Gen Con would do fine if it were to extend beyond the four days. For an example, if Gen Con were to go from Thursday to Tuesday and I was an exhibitor, I would plan for two crews to man the booth. One would work setup through Saturday, the other would work Sunday through Tear down with perhaps a manager type working Setup through Sunday and one Saturday through Tear Down. Game hosts could choose to run games/events the same way. Perhaps round one Thurs - Sunday, and Round 2 Sat through Tuesday. Attendees could stay all six days or just attend four days in a row. Passes could be daily, four day, or six day.
I seriously doubt any fifth day would come with a dealer hall. At *best*, maybe one set of dealers for part of a longer Con, and another set for the rest. But small companies just can't afford to go longer. Many would ditch Sunday right now if they could (but it's contractual, you can't).
We do start the con on Wed. ;) Husband does Pathfinder all day, I do KFG events at Scotty's (signups will be on Warhorn). After checking into the hotel we do dinner at one of several restaurants with gaming activities. Saltire does a trivia contest at one (Colts Grille last year) & last year there were some game companies running demos there as well.
Just a few quick notes:
We already do support unofficial gaming on Wednesday by allowing some ticketed free events, mostly in the Crowne Plaza.
It would be somewhat difficult to actually use the ICC for events on Wednesday; there are plenty of people still setting up, and the convention center rental cost is different dependng on whether it is a set up, or event day.
I can't think off the top of my head of any other fan convention that has more than a 4 day Exhibit Hall. It may exist, but it's definitely the exception, and I would not expect Exhibitors to be in any way enthusiastic about a 5 day Exhibit Hall.
Definitely, I encourage people to consider running/participating in more events on Sunday; I think we can fit a lot more Gen Con in on that day. :)
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