Also my mention of depending on customer sales was in reference to the vendors not gencon. I can see no reason why the vendors would want to limit the number of customers.
Sorry about that...
This conversation was much more productive when we were kicking around ideas of how gencon could expand to accommodate the increasing attendance, not trying to discuss which events need to be culled to force an attendance slowdown.
Increasing attendance is a good problem to have. It means you are doing things right.
You cannot add 60k people to this formula as only about 1/2 would be using the service.
Of course you can. Your badge price includes cost for things you never use.
You might never attend the True Dungeon, but Gencon needs to have space for it. Thats included in your badge.
You might never visit the exhibit hall. But you pay for them renting the space just the same.
You might never need to utilize the will call area as you bought all your items and had your tickets shipped to you. Yet you pay for that space too.
You might never game as a spouse, but your badge price is the same as a gamer.
Spreading the fee to all attendees is how it works. Otherwise, If you only did True Dungeon, then why not have a system where you only pay for those services you use.
Moreover, as you dont know if you will get a downtown room, placing a fee on everyone is fair. Some years you might need it. Some years not.
That being said, I had no problem with the $50 unlimited shuttle cost. It was the service that was awful.
Also, we aren't talking about growth any more. We are hitting capacity. That's it. That is literally what a cap on badge sales is. People are going to get left out in increasing numbers due to continued rise in demand.
Increasing attendance is a good problem to have, and it does mean you are doing things right so long as you are keeping your target audience happy. If you do not have the infrastructure to do this it is a bad thing.
I am sorry if this concerns you (or anyone else), but not believing that Gen Con is primarily a gaming convention is just a fundamental problem in your reasoning that will prevent us from having a productive discussion.
https://www.thrillist.com/lifestyle/louisville/all-the-people-who-go-to-the-kentucky-derbyhmmmmm.......a direct quote from this article states
"Little of the infield experience is actually about the horse race; rather, it's the people-watching. This is where you will find homemade hats of epic proportions, authentic Kentucky rednecks, and a damn fine group of over 60,000 people all crowded together to toast the greatest two minutes in sports (even if they never see a single horse)."
or maybe this quote
"Do a large number of them know anything about horse racing? Probably not. Will they be ordering a hot dog from one of the hundreds of vendors or a batch-made mint julep? HA! Yeah, right.
The Millionaires Row attendees are usually seen lounging on a covered terrace, casually watching the races while dining on gourmet fare and sipping on one of those famous $1,000 (!!) mint juleps. "
To be honest, the whole article is spattered with lines about how many of the Derby attendees don't care much about the actual races. I think the article makes another point that is valid here, too.
"the Derby is all about tradition."
And so is gen con. Geeky cosplay traditions. Zombie walk traditions. Hawaiian shirt traditions. Giant geeky balloon sculpture traditions. our cardhalla tradition. The con is fun because we have made it our own. The very culture you want to strip away is what makes Gen Con a fun place to be.
Do we really want to compare ourselves to this? Do we really want this to happen? Only a limited amount of rich people can afford to attend, who often don't even care about the main event, while people who DO care about the main event can't go? Think carefully about that answer, as it is also how big comic book conventions keep losing their comic book souls when they decide they are just going to be generic pop culture, entertainment and cosplay shows.
You may try to use a "tradition" excuse- but Gen Con was already fun before these "traditions". Gen Con's biggest "tradition" is GAMING, and gamers will still show up in droves based on that alone. We have decades of Gen Con history to prove that.
First off, attendance will be limited. The potential customer base will be limited no matter what due to the cap in badge sales.
Secondly, being a vendor at Gen Con is very expensive. I speak from experience. Besides all of the costs already mentioned by mhayward you also have transportation for staff and goods, additional labor before, during, and after the show, meals, displays, prize support and giveaways, hotel costs and so on. For many vendors Gen Con is barely worth it financially, even if they make a "killing".
So say, for the sake of argument, you will have a limit of 60,000 attendees per day. That is all the badges there are, that is the biggest the pool of customers can get.
Say you are a gaming company that is selling gaming goodies. Say you have a very narrow margin between breaking even at Gen Con and losing money at Gen Con. You now have a big interest in the demographics of those 60,000 people.
If, again just for the sake of argument, 20% of those people aren't gamers. Your potential customer base is only 80% of the total attendees. maybe you can afford to come back to Gen Con next year.
If you bump that up to 30% for people who are nongamers you are now only looking at 70% of attendees as potential customers. Gen Con next year is starting to look questionable.
If that number gets up to 40%....you are staying home next year.
If you ever wonder why many gaming companies aren't looking at attending Gen Con has being mandatory any more- this is a big chunk of the reason.
Alec Usticke, Unofficial Gen Con Indy Facebook Discussion Group
Just a point of interest regarding the 'fluff' and gen con attendance. Maybe something to make you go hmmm.
Attendance the 5 years prior to the addition of the SPA program:
SPA Program introduced 2006 21,250
and then holy moly as more 'fluff' events were added and the word spread that just because your main friend/spouse/parent/child was hardcore into gaming didn't mean that you couldn't go and have a great time too:
And of course we all know the numbers just keep skyrocketing up. Yes, they did level off from 2015 to 2016 but badge prices went up a LOT for those who purchased after the deadline.
I can't attribute ALL the rise in attendance to the 'fluff' stuff but I would be willing to bet it accounts for a pretty decent number. Not that I have a direct say, but...my vote is we keep the fluff. And just expand the convention center so badges are not capped. Still plenty of hotels in Indy. I would way rather stay farther out than not go at all.
Holy message nesting, Batman. You guys know you can trim out the previous 37 messages before you post, right? :-)
Anyway...heading out to SDCC next week so I'm interested to see how their hotel shuttle system works as I'm staying out in Mission Valley. The shuttle chart shows me getting to the convention center in 30 minutes which seams reasonable for where I'm at.
how wonderful !
All the threads that get closed, and this one is still going?
It really is pretty interesting to watch the "gaming convention means only gaming" argument, also taking place occasionally on the Facebook discussions. I feel like I am the anti-Gharris, since my catchphrase is literally "Gen-Con is too short for gaming." There are too many other amazing things going on there that do not exist anywhere else in the world for people to spend all their time playing games; go to Origins if you want a convention where basically all that is going on is gaming. :)
Gencon should not go backwards in their thinking. To do so only invites another con to take up what Gencon has been doing and could replace gencon as the premier gaming con years down the road. If you think it can't happen look at D&D and Pathfinder. It has been years since I have given anything with the D&D logo the time of day when browsing the game store. (Unless we are talking old stuff) Could you have imagined such a thing ten years ago?
You know what, we're a month out, and no one has time for an off topic rambling thread with some personal attacks.
Gen Con is the best 4 days in gaming, and it will continue to have nongaming events as well.
Demand for attached hotel rooms will continue to exceed supply.
This thread is played out.
Gen Con LLC