I know Gen Con is Aug 1st - Aug 4th this year, but what hours? For example, should I get there by Thursday morning, or does it start Thursday evening? I don't want to miss anything, so I'm thinking of booking an extra hotel night on Weds night too then I can get there early Thursday morning, but then I thought I remember someone saying nothing happens until Thursday evening...anyone know more?
I completely disagree that "nothing happens until Thursday evening". We arrive on Wednesday and just take it all in, eat, drink, and hang out with friends. Thursday, the exhibitor's hall (we still call it the "great hall" from the MKE days) at 10:00 am and we spend the entire day trying games and seeing whats new.
In a week or so, the events list will be released, so look through that and let that guide you. If this is your first Gen Con, I suggest skipping events during the day on Thursday day and just walk the hall and take in the spectacle of the whole thing. Start the gaming and auction and whatever Thursday evening.
And have fun!
There's a lot of action Thursday morning. I've seen events as early as 8. Not sure when the exhibition hall opens but it is early. People start doing stuff Wednesday night, events at the Ram and stuff. A lot of people come Wednesday so that they can get an early start on Thursday.
" ... someone saying nothing happens until Thursday evening ... "
Whoever said that is either flat-out wrong or has a very interesting events schedule. :)
I took a look at the last few years of events, and the paid ticketed events look to start at 8am on Thursday.
If you've got the budget & the time, and you want to maximise your Gen Con time, come down on the Wednesday.
The Exhibit Hall is open from 10 to 6, Thursday to Saturday, and 10 to 4 on Sunday. The opening ceremonies are Thursday at 9am, and scheduled events start at 8am, and run round the clock until Sunday at 4. On Wednesday, besides Trade Day, there are free gaming events in a few different locations, and non-scheduled informal games all over the place.
There is definitely plenty going on Thursday, right from the crack of dawn :-)
I used to come in Thursday morning checking into the hotel Thursday afternoon. After getting screwed over on the hotel room, basically never getting the double beds that I had a reservation for I have just gone for Wednesday attendance. Much smoother more relaxing
There are scheduled events on Wednesday, and (at least in past years) they are free.
Thank you all! I went ahead and got the Wednesday room :)
It is also best to get the lay of the land on Wednesday, finding where your events are and finding landmarks and your way around. Oh, Will Call is open at 12 Noon on Wednesday and remains open 24 hours until Sunday.
We arrive Tuesday night and call Wednesday "buffer day" (in-between a long 9 hour drive and the epic-ness of GenCon). There is not much to do on Wednesday (though I had unusually good success finding some people to play games with last year), so that's a great day to go to the Ram or whatever, pick up tickets, walk around.
I usually do an event mid-afternoon on Thursday (2 or 4 or so). By that time, I've usually made my "first strikes" in the dealer's hall, and am ready to play a game and re-group.
Your comment about "nothing happening" actually makes sense if you substitute "Tuesday" for "Thursday," so maybe that is what you were actually told? :) Tuesday night is usually when groups start having their pre-convention meetings and informal gaming groups start running hotel lobby-based games, leading up to Wednesday which is functionally a full day of the convention itself at this point, even if there are no paid ticketed events running yet and setup is still going on. I mean, the Georgia Street beergarden party alone makes it feel like things are already in full swing, and I never do anything but walk through that on my way from and to other things going on, to say nothing of Trade Day indeed meaning it really is already all underway!
So yes, I do not even agree with Sprout that there is not much going on Wednesday, though I DO certainly agree it is the lowest-key day of the whole convention (contradicting people who claim that is Sunday).
I highly recommend getting there on Wednesday.
1. You will be much happier having a full night of sleep going into Thursday, especially if you are planning late night games on Thursday.
2. Getting your badge on Wednesday is the best. Everyone is excited, nobody is that annoyed yet, and most importantly, you dont waste time on thursday in a line.
3. The beer release block party thing is worth going to.
4. There are games in the morning on Thursday, so getting their early is good for that.
In general however, i recommend scheduling like 8 hours in the vendor hall across all 4 days. If you're the type to play demos, double that easily.
Nice tips, i will certanly do it