Badge Sales Up From Last Year & Indy Contract Extended
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Posted by roganca brooks

brooks wrote:
nialith wrote:
A couple years ago, they increased badge cost with the thought that it would flatten attendance. It seems to have done the job. They knew they were getting close to their self-imposed "cap" for attendance. 

It's not a self-imposed cap. GenCon staff have explicitly stated that last year's cap was due to fire marshal restrictions.  
It is a self-imposed cap, whatever has been explicitly stated. (You don't believe everything you hear, do you?) The 2014 NRA convention at the ICC had 70,000 attendees, or even more. They are signed for 2019 and 2023. It'll be interesting to see how many of those folks they can cram in.

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Posted by brooks aaronr

aaronr wrote:
brooks wrote:
nialith wrote:
A couple years ago, they increased badge cost with the thought that it would flatten attendance. It seems to have done the job. They knew they were getting close to their self-imposed "cap" for attendance. 

It's not a self-imposed cap. GenCon staff have explicitly stated that last year's cap was due to fire marshal restrictions.  
Do you have a source for that? From the higher up staff I have talked to I don't think that's true.

During the Running GenCon panel discussion at GenCon 50 on Sunday at noon, Adrian Swartout specifically said that the cap was due to fire marshal concerns. 

 

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Posted by aaronr

Weird, because when I talked to her she said it was because any higher and they were worried that it would negatively impact the experience.

Edit: Also, as was pointed out above there have been and are scheduled to be larger conferences held at the ICC.

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Posted by brooks

She also discussed that during the panel as did Peter Adkins who brought up the fact that downtown Indianapolis handled the Superbowl with vastly higher numbers than GenCon. They also brought up that they were looking at traffic flow and hoped for changes this year. 

Seriously I'm not trying to antagonize anyone, but I specifically remember that comment and had everyone on the panel sign my 40 Years of GenCon Book. 

 

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Posted by nialith

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Posted by mhayward1978 njseahawksfan

njseahawksfan wrote:
flamepulse wrote:
mhayward1978 wrote:2018 will mark 2 years of declining attendance in a row, preceded by a year or two of flat attendance, which is honestly fine, but don't buy the hype that attendance is driving the sell out.

?? if last years was record setting attendance then how will this year mark the second year i a row for declining attendance?

GenCon's official attendance numbers only say 60,000+ for last year (in the press releases that I could find) so the poster is making an assumption that it's less than previous years despite the published turnstile numbers going against that assumption.I find it weird that I can't find a concrete number for last year's unique attendance, but even so, I feel that the OP is overstating the case to make a point. 

Bingo!  Gen Con has a long history of posting announcements of record setting attendance in both unique attendees (a real number that matters) and "turnstile" attendees (a fudgeable number with no definition that Gen Con has ever provided).

One thing is certain about record setting "turnstile" numbers: there are no turnstiles at Gen Con, nor any way of accurately counting other than counting sold badges.  The smart money is on them counting each 4 day badge as 4 "turnstile attendees," and each 1 day badge as 1 "turnstile attendee."

The "record setting" turnstile numbers are just an artifact of flat-to-down unique attendees combined with a few percent increase of attendees buying four day badges (which cost less than 2 one day badges).  You can see this in Gen Con's own 2016 press release if you read between the lines: 2016 had fewer unique attendees than 2015, but sold more 4 day badges, and registered more turnstile attendees: http://www.gencon.com/press/postshowrelease

Gen Con did not announce a record setting unique attendee number for 2017, which they surely would have had it occurred, and as they did in prior years whenever this occurred.

They did announce exact figures for unique attendance in 2016 and 2015, and 2016 was lower than 2015.

The failure to announce record setting unique attendance in 2017 is pretty strong evidence that unique attendance in 2017 was less than in 2015.  

I guess 2017's unique attendance could have been between that of 2015 and 16, and thus not two years of decline like I said.  I should have said "two consecutive years of unique attendance below that of 2015."

The numbers are at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen_Con

For the curious. 

2015 saw 61,423 unique attendees, 2016 saw 60,819, and 2017 saw a surprisingly vague, "over 60,000" figure (2017 marked the first year in the last 5 when exact unique attendance figures were not released).
 

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Posted by melkor

Forgive me if this was mentioned, and I missed it, but I'd like to see
the #'s of attendees registered for any kind of events -vs- the actual
attendees #'s.

I'm sure there's a ton of day trippers and even 2 day badges sold
exclusively for folks only there for the Dealers room.

Not knocking folks there for that reason, just curious.

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Posted by ryric aaronr

aaronr wrote:
Weird, because when I talked to her she said it was because any higher and they were worried that it would negatively impact the experience.
Edit: Also, as was pointed out above there have been and are scheduled to be larger conferences held at the ICC.
Not that we actually have any real information to base anything on, so this is just speculation, but Gen Con might have a lower maximum safe attendee cap due to its layout. Maximum occupancy numbers are based on how quickly a crowd can evacuate in a dangerous situation - Gen Con with its exhibit hall layout is very different than a stadium, for example.

Again this is just pure speculation, we just don't have the data to know for sure.

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Posted by mstabosz

I can't really fit the badge into my budget until the first week of April.  I hope that isn't too much of a delay.

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Posted by aaronr mstabosz

mstabosz wrote:
I can't really fit the badge into my budget until the first week of April.  I hope that isn't too much of a delay.

I would be very surprised if 4-day badges sold out before June.

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Posted by mikeboozer braewe

braewe wrote:
Kind of curious if badges refunded are added back into the system. Surely they are?

Refunded badges are not put back into the system after we are sold out. They are calculated for in our sell out scenarios.

Mike Boozer
Customer Service & Event Team Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by andrewj.rager mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
braewe wrote:
Kind of curious if badges refunded are added back into the system. Surely they are?

Refunded badges are not put back into the system after we are sold out. They are calculated for in our sell out scenarios.Mike Boozer
Customer Service & Event Team Manager
Gen Con LLC
Whoa! That seems like a huge deal! Maybe I am wrong, but this makes the new cancellation policy for housing, and keeping people from buying multiples even a bigger deal.

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Posted by mikeboozer

To clarify, once we are sold out badges are not put back into the system. Badges purchased before then are put back in the system.
I just realized that my original post may have been misleading, and we can't have that!

Mike Boozer
Customer Service & Event Team Manager
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by mstabosz

I went and bought my 4 day badge just now.  I had kind of wanted to hold off until the event catalog was open.  Also there were some budgetary things I mentioned.  The event catalog I will probably not examine thoroughly because I'm probably just going to buy some generics.  Planning out events last year was kind of a bust because I either didn't feel like sticking around for the event or very few people showed up and the event sucked.

As for the budgetary thing...  I had to take my car into the shop and they gave me an estimate of about $850.  Because I wanted to get the ugly business of payment out of the way, I moved some money out of my savings and made an $800 payment on my credit card last Wednesday, the day I put the car in for repairs.  They just called and the repairs came in at only $373.  So this left me with an extra credit of $428 on my card.  Used that to pay my cable bill and get the GenCon badge.  Still have $104.26 left over, which I guess I can spend on that other car repair I need but forgot to tell the mechanic about.

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