Wednesday - We drive down with our troop (10-12 people, depending on the year) at night after work, usually arriving between 11 and midnight, get our will call badges and call it a night. Waiting in line for a few minutes is fine with me.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday - I'm up at 7-8am, eat breakfast, and head over to the Con before the exhibit doors open. I usually don't plan any events and totally freestyle the whole weekend, so I spend all of Thursday and most of Friday scouting out interesting things in the Exhibit hall or speedwalking (DO NOT RUN!) to some new release to try and buy it before it sells out. I duck in and out of the free gaming rooms as I feel. We usually get dinner as a small group and find a hotel to drink and play games in. Friday night some of us usually hit a few bars and skip the gaming. Pretty much gaming off and on all day until I'm just too tired (or otherwise indisposed *ahem*).
Sunday - Head up to the exhibit hall for a bit and knock out any of the last few things we wanted to get in and start the drive back home (Detroit) in the afternoon.
We drive back and forth every day from about 60 miles out. We get in to the convention center about 9am and look around then we usually schedule 2 hours of gaming and 2 hours in between for hall time or food the rest of the day. with at least one day having a 4 hour hall time. We found that doing the 2 hour segments really makes the day enjoyable, by not sitting in one spot for too long and having plenty of time overall to look around.
Wednesday - the drive, nine plus hours on the road, then check in hotel and hitting the convention center where I get the lay of the land (ID where I will be going to game & etc.) and stopping by Off-World Designs to grab a shirt or two and something else. Then it is the beer garden and off to dinner. Back to the hotel for sleep. There use to be Will Call but started to have my packet mailed to me.
Thursday - Up for breakfast and then off for any events I have. I try to make the opening of the Dealer Hall, giving myself down time from 10 a.m. until noon. Then off to more events, with a break around 6 p.m. to grab a quick bite. My day ends somewhere around 11 p.m. or midnight, then back to the hotel.
Friday - Up for breakfast and then off for any events I have. Break around 2 p.m. for food and at least an hour down time before more events. Friday nights are for the ENnies.
Saturday - Up for breakfast and then off for any events I have. Try to hit the dealer hall one last time, then a dinner with friends and finish the night with some events or pick up games.
Sunday - Return drive is always longer 12 hours, so, sleep in, pack and try and hit the road early. I keep telling myself I will leave on Monday one day...
Sunday?-Monday-Tuesday: I have always wanted to arrive days early but have never been able to do so since I always caravanned to Indianapolis with friends who could not just take off work willy-nilly like I apparently can; this year I actually need to leave early, so I figured I would take this chance to break with tradition and just go for broke. The 13th is also my birthday, so who can argue with my decision to go to Indianapolis alone for it?! I assume I will take these days to do some of the things I never feel like I have time to do during the convention itself, whether going to local gaming stores that would feel superfluous during the convention or eating at places that are always packed normally (no not the Ram, I went there all the time when I lived in Seattle so now I am over it, haha).
Wednesday: Then pick up my badge, drop off anything I am selling in the Auction, lament the Colts Grille's decision to move Nerd Trivia to Thursday when I would never have time to go, go through the event list one last time to make sure I have all my tickets...
Thursday: ...though to be fair I basically have gamed an average of one day per convention in all the years I have gone. I often say on these Forums that Gen-Con is too short for gaming; there are too many amazing things going on that are literally unique to Gen-Con for me to feel comfortable spending too much time slinging dice, however much fun gaming is under normal circumstances (though Khoric's suggestion on this page to try to focus on 2-hour gaming blocks is something I might want to experiment with).
Friday: Oh yeah and I also usually volunteer for the Auction, so I spend much of my day running around to the various stations, sometimes auctioneering, sometimes doing bag check, sometimes selling bidder cards, and making sure to run through the Exhibition Hall at least once a day (usually twice on Thursday and Sunday).
Saturday: Saturday at Gen-Con is synonymous with T.O.V.A. in my mind; for those unaware, that is the Auction's "[T]oys, [O]ddities, [V]ideos, and [A]rtwork" section, or in other words "things that did not fit into another category." It is basically always the most fun part of the Auction, even though I think Auctioneer Josh may be in temporary/semi-retirement, which is a shame.
Sunday: The most obviously overlooked day, Sunday is the other best day besides Thursday to hit the vendors up--Thursday because their stocks are at maximum, Sunday because they are dreading loading it all into their vehicles and start making deals to get rid of it (well, some of them do anyway). Plus I mean, sure things end at 4, but until 4 it is still Gen-Con, just with a little less energy as people are exhausted. And things are still going on all evening anyway, as everyone goes out to dinner with their new or old gaming buddies!
And I forgot "stuff myself so full at my hotel's all-you-can-eat breakfast that I do not need to waste time eating lunch, short of a granola bar and some coffee or something." Seriously, so much time and money saved that way ;)
Wednesday: Kentucky Fried Gamers @ RAM and/or Scotty's most of day. Then Stink & NSDF in the evening.
Thursday: RPGs, Boardgames & Writing Seminars topped off with performing She Kills Monsters at 8 pm. Probably go grab drinks and decompress with the cast afterwards
Friday: First foray into the convention hall. More RPGS, Boardgames & Writing Seminars. Might visit the filmfest
Saturday: AM convention hall. Afternoon and evening NASCRAG all the way into the awards event
Sunday: Convention hall and end of con events.
We arrive on Wednesday and go over to the convention center to get a program book. Then we usually go to whatever restaurant is having the trivia contest and have dinner.
I usually schedule 3-4 games daily ( I like to play train games which last about 3 hours). I schedule time for meals and time to take pictures of cosplayers. I also put the parade in my schedule. I like to start gaming early around 8am and end around 8-9pm. I do not spend much time in the dealer hall only about 15-30 minutes the whole convention.
My husband usually schedules 4-5 games a day and tries to spend some time in the dealer hall each day. He plays board games and RPG's. He also attends some of the seminars.
My son likes to start later in the morning (after 10am) and schedule more games after the dealer hall closes. He likes to spend a lot of time in the dealer hall. He games until 11pm or later.
My son & I also try to schedule time to do the free paint & take. If we have time, we will go in the game library and play games with friends.
We normally like to leave on Monday but this year we have to leave on Sunday which means only dealer hall time for son & husband until 1130am while I pack, then we hit the road.
Well for me that has changed over the years. But on a non gm day I will typically play a few games, wander the dealer hall, meet up with some people then wander the convention just enjoying the time and taking in the experience.