You’re initial explanation of why it was ok for exhibitors to get in line before anyone else and purchase was well...BS at best. Not sure if it was your intent, but you basically came across as entitled because you rented space in the hall. You rent the space to make money from patrons so I’m not making the connection how it entitles you to be in line first. Again, if being in line before the doors open is a perk then good for you, but since you didn’t state that, I have a feeling it might not be.
You have no idea what I would do if a vendor wasn’t at their booth, but since it has happened on occasion, I’ll tell you...I just came back later. I don’t live and die by what happens at the Con, but your sarcastic comment about PSTD might mean you do. I made a simple observation and if you clearly read my entire response, then you would noted that I really don’t have a problem with Exhibitors getting in line. I think they should just limit the number that can be sold to them so the rest of us, the ones covering your rented space in the end, have a chance at the game too. I will not comment any further because this is not what this forum thread was intended.
@ Squirecam: Yes, that was it. OK, I went ahead and ordered it. I was hoping to demo it first, but I'll trust your recommendation. I'm hoping that besides just being fun, it may have educational applications. We shall see.
There is no entitlement behind the decision. What there is, speaking from my experiences in the past when I was an exhibitor for a few years, is the simple realization that these people with exhibitor badges are people and gamers too. They are expected to be at their booths the entire time the Hall is open. That doesn't mean every one of them has to be at their booth--it means that all booths must be staffed at all times. For larger companies, if a booth staffer wants to take time to go buy something or demo something (which they want to do, because they are people and gamers too), there is plenty of staff to cover.
But for smaller booths, someone leaving the booth means that there is no one left at the booth. This is both bad for business, and against GenCon exhibitor policy. You can get kicked out or uninvited in the future if you leave your booth unstaffed.
And yet, these people are people and gamers as well. So there's a decision to make: allow them to go get in line for the hard-to-get games early, which might leave some other attendees without those games, or not allow them to, which will guarantee that the exhibitors (who are people and gamers too) will not get those games. Gen Con has decided to allow those people to get in line, make the purchase, and run back to their booths, as opposed to saying to them "Sorry, you are excluded from being able to get in on this hard to find game, because you paid to be here as an exhibitor".
Gen Con solved this issue by realizing that it would be a nice thing to do for these fellow humans to allow them a chance to be gamers and consumers for a moment. That's really it. It's not about entitlement or some sort of class warfare between exhibitors and attendees. It's about letting them be gamers, yet still getting them back to their booths in time for attendees coming to their booths to not miss out on anything.
The entitlement that I see is coming from your position, where waiting outside the hall and rushing to the booth in some way entitles you to be first in line. That's the sort of attitude that I've seen lead to fist-fights in lines. "I got here first!" "But I grabbed the copy of the game first!" Adults acting like infants when they decide that they somehow have been cheated. In the converse, I have never seen an exhibitor get in a fight when they were not allowed to get in line early. As I understand it, some exhibitors simply expressed the regret that they weren't able to get some of these hard-to-get games, and a decision was made.
My comment about PTSD is intended to indicate as well my belief that it is somewhat silly to be complaining about there being other people in line in front of you in the first place. So yes, it is also a bit silly for an exhibitor to spend a lot of time complaining about not being able to go get in line. We are talking about buying a game. Not about waiting for life-saving medications. If the exhibitors were not allowed to get in line early, this would not be a cause for wailing and gnashing of teeth. Similarly, your arriving to find the exhibitors in line seems to me to not justify much in the way of complaint. That's why I responded to your initial moderate complaint with a reasoned explanation of why that decision has been made...to be met with laughing dismissal.
Could there be better methods for dealing with the situation? Sure. But the exhibitors don't really have control over that. They are prevented from selling anything before the Hall officially opens or after it closes, and they are told they must be at their booths. Additionally, many of the companies selling the hard-to-get games bring limited copies each day, which sell out very quickly. Some in the past have put limits on how many copies someone can buy--to a somewhat better effect, but with eventually the same results--sold out by noon or earlier each day. (My only personal experience with this when I was an exhibitor was the re-release of Netrunner. After the first day's sell out in a matter of an hour, I think, they limited people to IIRC two copies each time through the line. Still sold out in an hour or so. And fist-fights. They did let exhibitors get in line early for that.) So while the current system is in place, the decision is still whether the exhibitor-humans-and-gamers get to take part in trying to get new releases and hard to get games, or whether they are excluded. If they do get to take part, the decision to get them in line early is not about entitlement, but is about getting them back to their booths early, so that attendees don't miss out on something else at another booth.
As someone in the exhibitor hall when it opened, we were NOT allowed to go roaming to pick up things, even though there were a good 20+ of us, so if this IS something allowed, it'd sure be nice to officially know. The only things rung up early were from our meeting the night before--not all products were available in the room. IE we also did not SELL anything early to OTHER exhibitors.
Clearly this was just the booth where I was. Heck, we decided at almost the last second to rearrange where our line was and had the guy doing the 15 minute announcement with everything undone and needing to be reset back up. We made it though!
Edit: That said, individual booths might have their own restrictions on staffers doing this.
Another wonderful Gen Con with my wife. I’m a lucky man.
Great stay at Home2Suites. They’ll be our first choice if we’re lucky enough to snag a downtown room again next year.
Our group’s traditional Tuesday night Harry and Izzy’s dinner. Get your seafood “Oscar style”. You won’t regret it.
Enjoying the perfect Wednesday night weather at Bazbeaux’s Pizza and walking around Mass. avenue, an area of downtown Indy I haven’t seen too much of.
Three great groups of Paranoia Trek players. Lots of laughs on both sides of the screen.
A rare chance to play play an event, since one of our games had some open seats on Thursday night. Since I had missed the playtest, I could fill out the group. First event I’d played at Gen Con since it moved to Indy, and provided one of the biggest laughs I’ve ever had at a gaming table.
Assisting one of our GMs in our Call of Cthulhu event “Save Our Space!”, an homage to Breakin’ 2 and other save-the-rec-center films of the 1980s. I played the red herring villain. Lots of great younger players which is always cool to see.
Can of Whupass went extremely well Saturday night. Lots of new players, hilarious taunts. Fifty Shades of Gandalf the Grey won Best Taunter prize, while the Dooku of Hazzard won the event.
Traditional post- convention wrap-up lunch at Hooters.
Some great hall Captain work done by Gen Con, which was needed because...
We ended up butting heads with another gaming group for a couple days. The first time was Thursday afternoon, and in fairness it was not their fault. We had both been assigned the same table in the same time slot for one of our events. Fortunately, the hall Captain was able to assure me that another table in the room would be free for the rest of the evening. No big deal...
...until the next day, when I head to table 6 again, and the same group has already set up on it. I checked the Gen Con site, and this time there was no double booking. They were supposed to be on tables 3 and 4 in the middle of the six table room, but instead set up on 5 and 6 in two of the corner tables.
A different hall Captain was called in this time. I was not happy, particularly because the head of this gaming group lied to me and my wife multiple times, making a variety of excuses: “It said table 6 earlier!” Nice try, but my wife had a time stamped screenshot of the schedule.
“Yesterday wasn’t your fault, but today? This is on you,” I told him. “You wanted the corner tables so that’s where you set up.”
Completely busted, he finally said “You’re right, this one is on me. Will you accept my apology?”
I had a game to run in 15 minutes, my priorities weren’t on making him feel better about himself, and we still had four more events to run in that room over the next two days. “You apologized. Let’s leave it at that,” I said.
Again, the hall captains were great and did everything they could to ensure the rest of our events went smoothly. But the gaming group’s behavior was disturbing. We used to respect this group, and even touted one of their events on the old Gen Con boards. I know they used to get their own room at the JW. So did we. But don’t decide that your events are more important than the other ones sharing your space. Play well with others, and alongside others.
THE MEH: The $50 Shadowrun sixth edition books were sold out by the time I could get to the Catalyst booth. Fortunately my wife encouraged me to buy one of their limited edition hardcovers.
Like I said, I’m a lucky man.
THE GOOD: Meeting new folks, gaming in lobbies on Monday and Tuesday, Burger Study, CoC, The Dark Eye, Cthulhu Tech, rolling a crit to kill Strahd on the last roll of the session, friendliest large CON on Earth (imo)
THE BAD: Shadowrun 6e (total letdown)(imo), some wanna be security in the Catalyst booth telling myself and others that we cant even go in to browse their booth without having to stand in line. When asked why, he gave me some BS about a fire code, yadda yadda yadda. Guess the whole exhibit hall broke this non-existent code then huh lol. I just laughed shook my head and entered their booth with no hassle hours later.
THE UGLY: Gale Force 9 cancelling my Aliens Board Game 2 hour demo then sending me an email stating that if I just go to their booth with my cancelled ticket, they will honor it and run the same scenario. When I attempted this I was informed I could jump in on a 30 minute session and that 2 hours was not possible for them to run at their booth. Very disappointed. Not good business.
I normally have a laundry list of good, meh, and ugly. It's short this year. I think this year is a GenCon that will be largely forgotten except for the great Pathfinder 2 release. Other than that, everything else was meh.
I almost always complain about the bathroom situation, i.e. lack of toilet paper and cleanliness. I thought they were far cleaner this year, but had less tp available!
No band on Georgia Street Wednesday night? The bands have always been decent. The DJ in the middle was lackluster, as was the music. Georgia Street is always a great way to kick off a Con, but this year's was bland.
Will Call the past few years has been superb. This year it was very slow. Not sure why. It was slower than GenCon 50!
Coupon book was worthless as usual, no need to mention the swag (which was nonexistent).
Lack of walking room in the Dealer Hall. I realize people need backpacks, but it becomes nearly impossible to walk from one point to another with these giant packs. Not to mention the ubiquitous use of wagons, push carts, and strollers (many of which lacked any children!). People already lack the situational awareness to step aside to gawk at wares, and this was worse this year. I wish GenCon would expand the walkway width and add some sort of dotted yellow line that basically tells people to move here/stop here. I spent less time in the Dealer Hall this year than in any other year due to this. It's becoming egregious.
The Consignment Store was an utter disappointment. The line to get in was longer than it's ever been any day/time, and once in, the people set the prices so high it wasn't worth the wait and time spent browsing. I found markups on things that could be purchased online well over 50% less! I won't bother with the Store next year.
>>>>>The Consignment Store was an utter disappointment. The line to get in was longer than it's ever been any day/time, and once in, the people set the prices so high it wasn't worth the wait and time spent browsing. I found markups on things that could be purchased online well over 50% less! I won't bother with the Store next year.
I have to agree about the Consignment Store. Some dealers are just dumping their extra stock at MSRP levels. I even saw someone who RAISED the price of their materials through the weekend. So if it doesn't sell on Thursday sell it for more on Friday?
They're hoping that someone will see the game and think, "I'd better buy it now, because it will be more expensive tomorrow."
What really happens, though, is that someone sees it and thinks, "It was less expensive yesterday, and I missed out! Oh well!"
This was my first time working as an exhibitor and I had a blast! The company rep was really cool and though it was just the two of us, I felt as though he gave me plenty of time to do what I needed.
The Wifi was actually pretty good for a "first attempt" and held up pretty well even with the mass of people.
Overall kindness of the people! I think I say this every year, but I find gamers to be the friendliest lot of people on the planet! Sure you have a bad apple every now and then (see my "Ugly" section below), but overall, gamers are very kindly disposed toward others.
The ICC "food" and pricing. Seriously... the food is pretty low quality and WAY overpriced. Someone needs to take a look at the food prices and quality and revamp the whole system at the ICC. I did not try LOS this year, so I cannot comment on it.
The individual who stopped by my booth where we were only demonstrating game for their upcoming Kickstarter. He asked "Is this game for sale now?" My reply: "No sir, it is coming to kickstarter on November 5th and should be available by this time next year!"... to which he replied "Well what the "F" are you doing at Gen Con! You and your company should get the "F" out and quit wasting our time!". Now I am a pretty easy going guy, but this is the first time I had wanted to punch someone right in the nose in a very long time.
My only problem with kickstarter companies at the Con was (just a couple of times, years ago when this first became a thing at the Con) when a couple of booths weren't upfront about not having copies available. One booth even had empty mock-up boxes stacked around the booth, no 'We're on kickstarter!' signs to be seen. I demoed the game, liked it, said "Cool, I'll take it" and only then did they say "Well, we're not actually selling it here..." That did make me a little upset. Not enough to swear at them. I think I said "...Seriously?" followed by "You might want to tell people that up front". But I tried not to be mean to the booth staff.
Sorry that dude was a d**k.