My obsessively detailed guide to Gen Con
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Posted by trace_sl

my notes:
* When selecting your events, check LOC (location) try to keep them close to each other to cut down on your walking.

* Use rain ponchos not an umbrellas - easier to carry and don't get in the way.

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Posted by john3103 trace_sl

trace_sl wrote:
my notes:
* When selecting your events, check LOC (location) try to keep them close to each other to cut down on your walking.
* Use rain ponchos not an umbrellas - easier to carry and don't get in the way.

Thanks for the feedback - I'll work those in.

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Posted by ryric john3103

john3103 wrote:
trace_sl wrote:
my notes:
* When selecting your events, check LOC (location) try to keep them close to each other to cut down on your walking.
* Use rain ponchos not an umbrellas - easier to carry and don't get in the way.

Thanks for the feedback - I'll work those in.
One thing I do on Wednesdays is track down the actual location for all my events - makes it much less likely I'll be late if I've scouted ahead and found all the rooms beforehand. An hour spent exploring before things really start saves a lot of stress later.

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Posted by andrewj.rager ryric

ryric wrote:
john3103 wrote:
trace_sl wrote:
my notes:
* When selecting your events, check LOC (location) try to keep them close to each other to cut down on your walking.
* Use rain ponchos not an umbrellas - easier to carry and don't get in the way.

Thanks for the feedback - I'll work those in.
One thing I do on Wednesdays is track down the actual location for all my events - makes it much less likely I'll be late if I've scouted ahead and found all the rooms beforehand. An hour spent exploring before things really start saves a lot of stress later.
Yeah, I second this. I only do a 1-3 events but I always find their location. Also just walking around the ICC and the area with so much anticipation is a blast. You might stumble across something you were unaware of.

Last year, I went to the open gaming tables by the food kiosks near Georgia street and found Ted from Bezier Games showing off and play testing Palace of Mad King Ludwig to other game designers. They let me watch and interact with them. It was a fun unique experience, I happily stumbled upon.

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Posted by kalebhermes

Just curious, I didn't see anywhere in your guide, what time do the convention halls close Thurs-Saturday. I'm considering making a day trip, and was curious what kinda time I'd get just attending Friday or Saturday! 

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Posted by john3103 kalebhermes

kalebhermes wrote:
Just curious, I didn't see anywhere in your guide, what time do the convention halls close Thurs-Saturday. I'm considering making a day trip, and was curious what kinda time I'd get just attending Friday or Saturday! 

Thanks for asking this! The short-answer is that the ICC doesn't close. It's open 24 hours. I'll take a shot at making this more clear in the blog-post. 

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Posted by ballaghj

Thanks so much for this guide! I grew up following the HeroScape tournaments at GenCon and have always wanted to go. My friends and I are all avid players of Catan, Magic: the Gathering, all sorts of RPG's, and a plethora of other games. We're currently in the middle of making plans to attend this year; for a bunch of cash-strapped college kids, your advice is extremely helpful.
 

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Posted by revx

Thank you. I am coming in from the other side of the world..  and this is a god send...

 

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Posted by john3103 revx

revx wrote:
Thank you. I am coming in from the other side of the world..  and this is a god send...
 

You are totally welcome friend. If you do find any helpful hints during your trip regarding international-travel, I'd love to hear them! I don't have much experience from that angle. 

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Posted by jmccabe

Great Job on this guide!!! Thank you for sharing

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Posted by nascragman

I don't think Hickman's Killer Breakfast is happening any more.  You might want to take that out.

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Posted by meldh john3103

john3103 wrote:
revx wrote:
Thank you. I am coming in from the other side of the world..  and this is a god send...

You are totally welcome friend. If you do find any helpful hints during your trip regarding international-travel, I'd love to hear them! I don't have much experience from that angle. 
Jet lag Is A Thing. We used to fly in (from the UK) on the Wednesday morning, arrive in Indy around 6pm Weds, and then start gaming Thursday. If you do this, or a schedule close to this, don't book yourself in for a late event Thursday evening or you will be face down in your rule book, snoring, and getting pelted with dice by the rest of your group. (Okay, maybe not that last part.)

These days we fly on the Tuesday and get into town late evening Tues, but I still wouldn't want to bet on my alertness Thursday eve. (Makes running 0800 games easy, though...).

Either way, if you're flying in from Europe (possibly also elsewhere), are not staying downtown and may need a car anyhow, consider flying into Chicago and driving on to Indy -- it's about a 3-4 hour drive depending on traffic and saves the additional checking of luggage and internal flight.

Dice bags in hand luggage confuse the hell out of the TSA. (Even more so if you buy any of those pretty, pretty semi-precious-stone dice in the trade hall and pack _those_ in your hand luggage.)

Consider carefully how many rulebooks you're _really_ going to need. Those things are heavy!

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Posted by meldh

Also re: international attendees: GenCon don't post badges out overseas so international attendees need to pick up from Will Call. Not the end of the world, just factor the potential queuing time into your plans (it's been a lot better in the last couple of years)
 

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Posted by meldh

Also, one final note re: not turning up to an event for which you have tickets. Please do return the tickets, that's great, but also: if you have contact details for the organiser (and in most cases they will have an email address listed on the event details on this site), _PLEASE_ tell them as well -- we don't automatically get notified of returned tickets.

You don't need to make excuses, you don't need to tell us why you won't be there at all, but it makes it a lot easier if we KNOW you won't be there and can look for replacements if needed. This goes double (or triple, or whatever-ple) if more than one of you have booked together and none of you are going to make it.

(Why yes, I did have four people who'd booked together for a six-player game drop out last year and not tell us; I may be slightly sensitive on this issue)

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Posted by john3103

Just wanted to jump-in here and say thanks to everyone for all the edits and suggestions. I haven't worked them all in just yet, but I greatly appreciate the help!

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Posted by ytuni john3103

john3103 wrote:
kalebhermes wrote:
Just curious, I didn't see anywhere in your guide, what time do the convention halls close Thurs-Saturday. I'm considering making a day trip, and was curious what kinda time I'd get just attending Friday or Saturday! 

Thanks for asking this! The short-answer is that the ICC doesn't close. It's open 24 hours. I'll take a shot at making this more clear in the blog-post. 
The exhibitor's hall is only open 10am-6pm on Thursday, Friday & Saturday (10-4 on Sunday) if that helps you plan your trip.

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Posted by lilyjade aj_simon

aj_simon wrote:
Thank you!  I really appreciate the comprehensive advice.  I'm going to be a first-timer focused on the Writer's Symposium.  
I have done many of the seminars at the Symposium the last few years. I will only be doing 2 this year as I have shifted my focus more towards games, but there a couple on Thursday I wanted to do. Maybe I will see you around!

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