Unfortunately, I am back at my desk bright and early Monday morning (following Gen Con). With the crowds, sold-out badges and housing, I was prepared for an epic fail for Gen Con 50. With said said, the Gen Con Staff and Visit Indy hit it out of the park! While the crowd was big, they seemed to manage it well, registration/badge pick-up was the best it's ever been, and I've been going to Gen Con for 37 years. If you planned, you could get a meal within a decent amount of time. This is all attributed to the careful and meticulous planning that goes into executing an event of this size - which is no small feat. I am sure someone experienced a hiccup or two along the way but I cannot begin to say how impressed I was with Gen Con to provide an excellent experience for the vast majority of those that attended. I am ready to plan for Gen Con 51 but we'll let the staff have a breather first.
Yes, kudos not only to the Gen Con staff, but to all the amazing volunteers throughout the convention!
I loved the expansion into Lucas Oil Stadium. Well done, Gen Con!
I went to Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago in a month ago and to Gen Con 50. There was no comparison between how the events were organized. Everything that Pokemon Go Fest Chicago did wrong, Gen Con did right. There were record crowds, people everywhere and yet we got our badges at 4 on Wednesday in less than 20 minutes. Amazing! We never waiting in line for food once at any of the restaurants we went to. The Exhibitors hall didn't feel any more crowded than last year. Only Thursday and Saturday felt crowded at all. Friday and Sunday we had not trouble getting around. Everyone has so helpful, kind, and happy to be there. I also love that we can have 70,000+ people in one place and not need a single bag check. Gamers are awesome.
To anyone trying to put on an event, they need to take notes on how Gen Con does it, because no one does it better.
Thank you Gen Con, thank you exhibitors, but most importantly, thank you gamers. Two years in a row you have restored my faith that there are lots of good accepting people in this world that just want to have a good time and enjoy each others company.
See you all in August of 2018!
I agree I thought it was overall good. My only suggestion moving forward is to switch the dealer hall with halls a to e. I think with the additional space in Lucas oil it would make the flow better to get between events. Also it would ease a major choke point.
I too was pleasantly surprised that the dealer hall didn't seem any more crowded than last year! We were frustrated Thursday morning though because the entrance where we stood in line did not open and at 10:15 we were told to go to a different one. Someone miscommunicated and maybe 100 of us got in 20 minutes later than we'd have liked (so, longer lines when we got to CoolStuff, but my other 1st-visit still had what I wanted). Other than that everything was great! I had friends eat at food trucks at premium times with no lines as well.
Best organized year!
Having all of Lucas Oil to spread out in was a huge deal. It helped relieve a lot of the crowded feeling by moving not only Mayfair but some other events that need serious space. Having the Artemis bridge simulator out on the field kept it cool but you had to really raise your voice to be heard by your team (since it was so wide open). I'll take shouting over claustrophobia any day though.
While I missed most of the crush each morning at the dealer hall (gaming!) I didn't notice a traffic difference after 1PM. I did notice that the number of "repeat" booths weren't much of an issue this year (tshirts, CCG card booths, etc.). I could have missed them since I only did one complete walk through and some strategic shopping.
This is the first year that I can really say that there were crowds in the ICC after 8PM. There've always been Werewolf groups and people looking for pick up games but there were actual crowds of people just hanging out. It really felt like the Con didn't ever "stop" this year.
If their were ever a year to implement a restriction on wheeled (and even regular) suitcases in the dealer hall this was it. While it was no worse than last year I longingly await the day these are no longer allowed. On a brighter note I only took two hits to the achilles this year from the fully armored battle strollers (of course loading with merch and no children in site).
Overall I still commend Gen Con's organizers for a job well done!
True, but when that guy then hears someone go "OI, your bloody bag just smacked me in the face" and the person just makes a face and walks off? THAT to me is not just carelessness, but being a douche.
I guess this is what I get for not keeping up with the industry, but I didn't realize Catan had been sold, so I was very disappointed not to see the open-gaming social with the light snacks that Mayfair offered last year at the Catan area. The guy I talked to was pleasant enough, and explained the game had been sold, but (understandably for company an employee) didn't redirect me anywhere other than their official booth at the exhibit hall. Does anyone know if Mayfair continued that at their new location, or if they can't since they don't own Catan anymore?
Customer Service & Event Team Manager
Gen Con LLC
I thought you did a fantastic job this year! Things were smooth and I didn't feel as hectic as previous years. Y'all give yourself a big ole hug!
I would also like to congratulate the staff and team. It is always easy to see the flaws and hiccups while ignoring the amount of work that goes into something like this.
The speed and efficiency with which they move people through the various lines was amazing.
Also, the addition of the seminars and museum on the history of Gen Con was genius.