On this, event registration eve, I know a lot of people are excited, and yes, also a little nervous, about event registration tomorrow. Luckily, I do have some tips to ensure you get great events at Gen Con, and I don't want them to be secret, so I want to share them with you all. You old timers might know a lot of this, but we've got a lot of new people here, and I want to let everyone in on the secrets.
1. Buy your badge and set up your wishlist NOW. I get that this is obvious to most of you, but every year, we have someone who comes on an hour before, or right at, noon, to but their badges and get their events. So please, if you haven't done that, do it right now.
Are you waiting for your gaming group/company to assign you a badge? Well, they should have done that already, but that's ok, buy a badge now and your badge can be refunded after you're assigned another badge.
2. Remember you can add multiple instances of the same event. You want to play some new great boardgame? Put it on your wishlist at various times, even if you only want to play it once. It's totally ok, you can remove extra instances of that event from your cart before you pay for them.
3. Remember you can add overlapping events. If there's two great events at the same time, and you're not sure which one to choose, put them both down. If the system can't get you the first one, it'll try for the second. If you get the first one, it'll skip over the second.
4. Remember the laws of supply and demand. There are simply not enough spaces in some events, for everyone who wants to do those events. Sometimes by orders of magnitude. There are events that have 6 tickets, and only 6 tickets. There are 10s of thousands of people wanting events. Being incredibly prepared, and doing everything "correctly", still doesn't mean you'll get that event. If you only have extremely high demand events on your wish list, that have extremely small numbers of tickets available, the odds are not in your favor. Better to have a mix of high demand events, and some great events that have more space available, or maybe are not the latest hotness.
5. Remember that you can resubmit your wishlist. Yes, you can resubmit it as soon as it resolves. However, do keep in mind that your cart will dump after two hours, and you can't pay for your cart while your wishlist is processing, so it's not a bad idea to pay for the events you did get, then resubmit it. Because....
6. Tickets will be returned; check back often. People will return even high demand events; whether their friends got them a ticket, or their schedule changes, during registration, events will ping pong back and forth from being sold out, to having space, to being sold out again. That's why you want to resubmit that wishlist, and check back on other events you are interested in periodically, honestly, for the next few days. Persistence often pays off.
7. Show up onsite with generics for an event you really want. This is so important. Events that sell out in prereg will sometimes not even be able to run onsite, due to noshows. It's an unfortunate fact, but one that you can use to your advantage. Show up early, with generics in hand, at the event location, and let the organizer know that you really want to get in on generics. You have a very, very good chance of getting into an event that way.
and finally, the one you don't want to hear...
8. Be flexible. We typically end up with something like 20,000 unique events. They all aren't going to appeal to everyone, but I guarantee you, for every gamer, there are probably several hundred events they'd really enjoy. I 100% get being disappointed in not getting the exact event you want, but you will still have a good time at great events that aren't your first choice. And, don't forget that events are added all the time to the system; we've got some great events that are still being worked on, and will not be in the system for a week or more. Come check back often to fill those holes in your schedule; I know you'll find something new and interesting.
Folks, I know it's stressful, and I know it's disappointing when you don't get your first choice of events right away; I've absolutely 100% been there. But I promise, it's not going to ruin your Gen Con if you don't get every event you want, unless you let it. Gen Con's still amazing, and wonderful, and you'll still have a great time.
Gen Con LLC