The title says it all. What is a normal day like for you at Gen Con? Get up and have events early? Game all day? How many events in a day? How much time do you spend in the dealer hall? Do you arrive on Wednesday? I'm curious what Gen Con looks like for everyone.
A blur. ;)
Heh... seriously, I'll put some effort into a more thoughtful answer and post in a bit here. But really, I'm not lying. :D
I try to schedule early games to start the day off. This allows me to not get sidetracked by other shiny objects and miss games.
Lunch after the first game (usually beats the normal lunch crowds) and then dealer hall action/additional events.
Open gaming and dinner followed by more open gaming.
I have issues with evening games being scheduled because you never know if you're going to get sidetracked by a new game or meet interesting people to play games with. The last few years I've been able to fill my evenings with games that were not scheduled (ticketed) just by grabbing a table and setting up a game.
We are arriving on Tuesday this year.
Shower, get ready, pack what we need for the day.
Breakfast early at the hotel and leaving there by 7:30a.
Gaming scheduled 8a, 10a, noon, then break for a late lunch (we pack lunches each day in our insulated lunch bags). We also bring double wall tumblers and stock them with ice from the hotel, then fill from the water stations all day at the con.
More gaming scheduled into the evening, then break for a late dinner, picking something off our to-visit list or ordering takeout and taking it back to the room. Best place we ate last year was either Buca or The Colts Grille.
Rinse, lather, repeat.
We're staying until Monday again this year. We like having the extra day to decompress.
Tuesday - Arrive, scope out the nearly empty convention center, stock up on supplies from Marsh Supermarket, dinner at a popular restaurant before the crowds arrive, boardgaming with friends
Wednesday - Farmers Market in the morning for more edibles, get badges from will call, buy Gen Con t-shirts, boardgaming with friends, attend Stink, group dinner at Fogo de Chão private room followed by more gaming
Thursday - Purchase in-demand games during exhibit hall early access and start working through the aisles, spend most of the day getting through at least half of the exhibit hall, perhaps play some schedule boardgames, attend VIG mixer in the evening, late night boardgaming with friends
Friday - Finish going through the exhibit hall, go through art show, attend scheduled boardgames and seminars, more boardgaming with friends in the evening
Saturday - Mostly scheduled boardgames, lunch at White Castle with friends, D20 burlesque in the evening
Sunday - Scheduled games and last chance to catch anything missed, usually group dinner at Buca di Beppo and bleary eyed gaming late into the night but this year we won't be staying until Monday since we'll be heading to Kentucky/Tennessee for the eclipse
Throughout all of the above I make sure I check out the auction store, other areas that I don't actually attend but just like to see (SPA, miniature painting, True Dungeon, etc.) and trying out lots of new boardgames in different demo areas (Mayfair, Rio Grande, etc.).
Tuesday - Arrive early, red eye flight from California. Get checked in. Go to local market and get water and whatever else anyone needs me to get. Check out of the mostly empty convention center. Take in the yearly sights of making it to another Gen Con. Dinner with group at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Gaming with group in the evening at one of the local hotel lobby's.
Wednesday - KFG at the RAM (if they are doing it this year). Get badge and event tickets. Go to the Stink. Probably dinner at the RAM or Scotty's. Pickup board game or RPG at one of the downtown hotels.
Thursday - Game early in the AM. Spend some time in the dealer hall in the afternoon. Evening game, usually True Dungeon and late dinner, maybe sushi downtown.
Friday - Early AM game, probably D&D. Lunch at one of the food trucks, afternoon dealer hall. Early dinner at Fogo de Chao (that place rocks!). Evening board game
Saturday - Game most of the day. Finish up dealer hall but probably won't spend much time there as Saturday is so crowded. True Dungeon run. Yard House for dinner.
Sunday - Flight home in the early AM. Already start feeling bad that Gen Con 2017 is over.
My schedule looks very similar to those above....
Arrival (Wed) scope out the Convention Center attend any Wed night events
Thursday: Make it a point to catch the opening ceremonies then hit the dealer hall for "must haves" followed by a casual stroll through the dealer hall. Lunch break then gaming until a dinner break, then more gaming
Friday : Gaming until lunch, Sotty's for a lunch break, seminars/games, Dinner, Entertainment events
Saturday: Gaming/Seminar, Lunch break, Dealer Hall visit, Gaming, dinner at some place based on others recommendations, Return for some type of entertainment event
Sunday: Final gaming day and stroll through the dealer hall. Gen Con Rear Guard meet up . Gaming into the night.
Mine is boring, but action packed. We drive up from DFW on Wednesday and get settled into our hotel room.
We wake up early and get ready (every day shower is a must), eat breakfast at the hotel, and head for the parking garage off the Sagamore Ballroom. We play Pathfinder so we usually have an 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 8:00 PM game scheduled Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and just an 8:00 or 9:00 AM one scheduled Sunday.
I will usually run two games somewhere in there as well.
We use early finishes to games to go check out the vendor room and Sunday afternoon for that as well.
Then we get in the car and head home Sunday afternoon to arrive in DFW early Monday morning.
I originally went and tried new games or editions, but I decided that I play Pathfinder at home and that is what I enjoy at the convention so I just play it. My son will join some video game tournaments while I am gaming. He likes the Smash Bros games the best.
As for food, we sometimes make sandwiches for lunch and grab something for dinner there at the convention center. We have never really had issues with long lines and the prices are reasonable. If we have more time, we will grab something at a restaurant like Fridays or whatever is not busy.
Like I said, boring, but wall to wall busy with minimal sleep and down time.
Drive in wed afternoon. Get situated in hotel room.
Go to con, pick up badge and stuff from will call.
Go out and have our annual group's meeting (usually around 6PM or so)
Eat a nice sit down dinner at that Indian restaurant just down from the spagetti factory.
Get to bed around 10pm, so i have at least ONE good night of sleep, and shower before hitting the sack.
Thurs-sat, wake up around 7.20am. Brush teeth, put on clothes, grab stuff. Walk in. Game till 1am. Go back to room, shower, hit sack.
Same for sunday vice drive back home after last event around 4pm..
Drive up Tuesday, meet my friend who lives in town and play board games Tuesday night. Stay in hotel near airport.
Wednesday morning, drive downtown, see if hotel allows early check in, and head to Trade Day. I do seminars while wife goes shopping in the mall. My friends all arrive over course of the day so in the evening we get together for dinner and play games after.
Usually, Thursday morning I'm up ahead of everyone else so I can go get in the early access line - being there an hour early still puts you a hundred or so back in the line. Since educators got screwed out of early access this year I guess I'll be waiting with the normal crowd. Either way Thursday is shopping day - most of it is spent in the exhibit hall, just walking up and down the aisles to see what's there and buy any "must have" purchases.
Go to lunch at 11:30 and dinner at 5:30 each day - best way to avoid huge waits at restaurants. It's the difference between a 20 minute wait and an hour.
Friday and Saturday are for seminars, games, and events. Fill in some hall time when available. Each evening play board or card games with friends.
Sunday is a last run through the exhibit hall, and usually on the road by 3 PM or so.
Things are going to be so much easier this year now that we are rescheduling Nascrag to be at 1 pm and 7 pm daily.
It used to be on Thursdays we did our judges meeting noon - 4pm, then ran games 5 pm until 1 pm. A brutal way to start the convention.
And we'd have 9 pm slots every day. Which didn't bother me when I was younger, but I'd be getting pretty tired by 1 pm on Friday.
So this year I'll wander the exhibit hall in the morning, or sit in on a seminar, judge Nascrag 1 pm - 5 pm, eat dinner, then judge Nascrag 7 pm - 11 pm, do a little drinking, swapping stories with other judges (players are endlessly amusing and inventive).
Some time in there I'll skip a round to be a player in someone else's game - probably the Plaid Chameleons 7th Sea LARP.
Sunday depends on different things. Often I'll just head home around noon. I'm generally spent by then.
Arrive monday, enjoy a day of sheer pure utter 'away from work with no responsibility' day. Swim in the hotel pool, eat a nice relaxed meal, leisurely go over character sheets, adventures, etc.
Tuesday the crew start arriving, so it's all storytelling and talking and laughing with a game thrown in and then we head to the RAM to get in some RAM goodness before the crowd, then later head to
scotty's, same reason. By tuesday night everyone is in town, and we game, perhaps too late.
Wednesday used to be KFG gaming, not sure if they are doing that this year, so maybe we'll do our own. Will call line. GM meeting. Stink.
Thursday is dealer hall, them I gm the rest of the day.
Friday I gm all day, 8am to midnight.
Saturday is a day all for me, playtest hall, some D&D, whatever.
Sunday I finish filling in my GM hours commitment, until 4pm. Game with whoever else is staying over to monday. Maybe hit the pool.
Monday is a leisurely drive home.
I might add that to get a monday to monday vacation, I do work saturday and sunday before, and the saturday after. Bleh.
And hearing some of the stories i have where either the stuff got lost IN the mail, or someone had it mailed and had a brain fart and forgot their stuff, i would rather pick it up myself...
What does a typical day at Gen Con look like for you?
I’m not sure I have a “typical day at Gencon.” Each day is different based on when gaming events are available.
Even after reviewing the days I have left my home to attend Gencon, there is not a typical day that I have started my journey.
Since 2003, I have started my 4 hour voyage to Gencon on Sunday once, Monday’s 8 times, and on Tuesday’s 5 times. I like to drive in early – to be at the hotel at the initial check in time, and make at least one stop at the Indiana State Fair. This Monday, 2017, the “Happy Together Tour” – Flo And Eddie of the Turtles with Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, The Association, The Cowsills, The Box Tops, and the Archies Ron Dante are due to be performing. The current grand plan for this year is to cruise to the Indiana State Fair Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning leaving at 10:00 E.S.T to arrive at the Ropkey Armor museum in Crawfordsville Indiana by 11:00 E.S.T. – an approximate 50 minute drive from Indianapolis. It all depends on who’s performing on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at the Indiana State Fair, and or what’s playing at the Indiana State Museum IMAX – fantastic theater. This is the first time I have my badge being mailed to me, so I’m not sure how I’m going to spend my Wednesday. But, if you’re picking up your badge on Wednesday morning, arrive around 10:15 E.S.T. and expect to wait until they open up the will call badge lines.
But my actual (Thursday / Friday / Saturday) Gencon, day goes something like this:
05:00 E.S.T. – Wake up call.
06:00 E.S.T. – Approximate breakfast at a local outer ring restaurant (Steak N Shake / McDonald’s / Waffle House / IHOP…..ETC.)
06:30 E.S.T. – Leave outer ring hotel to drive into downtown Indianapolis.
07:10 E.S.T. – Arrive at the convention center.
The above times are pretty much chiseled in stone, after that………..well………I aim for one early and one late event so I will have time to stroll the exhibit hall………….These last years I never seem to have enough time to see all of the exhibitors – just not enough time during when the exhibit hall is open (10:00 E.S.T. - 18:00 E.S.T.) to do everything. Spanning over three days, I do attempt to schedule 10 hours to just walking the exhibitor’s booths.
Don’t forget to schedule lunch (an hour), and dinner (an hour). For gaming events, I bring snacks.
Also, get a couple of generic tickets.
22:00 E.S.T. – midnight, drive back to the outer ring hotel and fall into bed.
Sunday – sleep in and leave.
Your mileage may vary.
Not too many chances to play Adv. Civ. face to face anywhere but at conventions.
I'll echo Al above - "typical" is a tough thing to apply to GenCon days. It's really more like one giant open period of time that happens to occupy five days or so. ;)
That said, here's the rough take:
Wednesday - Arrival in Indy. In years past, we've driven in from New England as well as flown, but the arrival time is pretty similar. (This year, we're getting in via Southwest at about 10am)
-Head out to meet the AirBNB host for the rental house. (This is the only way we do GenCon now - skip the Housing melee, get a full house that costs roughly $80-$100 per person per night? Sold!)
-Settle in. Shop for some supplies (Packable snacks, breakfast items, adult beverages, etc.) Head out for lunch somewhere.
-Hit up the Sun King "Unofficial" GenCon Kick-Off party. Catch up with old friends, find some games, go out for drinks. (This year - possibly hit up https://escaperoomindy.com/ before retiring to the house for gaming late into the night as the crew shows up.)
Thursday through Saturday - Aim to get up and get going down to the Convention center by the opening of the dealer hall. Do the "Snag the can't miss hot games" crawl on Thursday, and just spend a few hours taking the hall in.
-Lunch. Some of us pack snacks and supplies, and others end up at The RAM, Colts Grill, etc.
-Back to the 'con. Many of us are Magic players, so lots of pickup games with friends and fans of the website. (www.GeneralDamageControl.com)
-More roaming around the dealer hall and the board game rooms to play demos. This is a BIG part of what we do; just trying anything and everything out there, as much to have fun and enjoy the variety as anything. Personally, I'm also making a mental list of the stuff that I'll come back for on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.
-Dinner/drinks - We nearly always go out at night. The 'musts' include Harry & Izzy's, and Saturday night is our traditional PF Changs dinner.
-More gaming in the hall after dinner, maybe a little bar hopping, or just back to the house to play games and recharge the batteries a little.
*The only variance here is that we tend to hit the 'Throwback' movie at the theater in the mall - I forget what night it happens (Friday?), but it's great. Conan the Barbarian one year, Aliens another. When Mad Max: Fury Road was released two years ago, the throwback was Road Warrior - amazing.
Also, this year will mark the first year we finally all do a True Dungeon together!
Sunday - Everyone is starting to pack and prepare for departures. Most of us leave in the afternoon, so we clean up the house and then head down to the 'con for some last minute games and final shopping. This is also when we do a traditional group battle in the MechWarrior Game Pods.
Once the afternoon hits, everyone slowly starts to filter out and head for home. Some of us catch a final dinner together, and then hit up our flights to points elsewhere.
And on my return flight, I'm already planning out the trip for next year. ;)
Everyday from Wed-Sun is a bit different, Wed 1/2 travel day, Thursday only shopping day, Friday all day gaming, Saturday 3/4 day gaming 1/4 party/dancing, Sunday 1/2 Double Exposure trying out beta games 1/2 day travel.
If i didn't get a room compped from DMing, i might have to look into those AirBNB houses/apartments..