I have never been a VIG, but I did find a VIG swag bag one Gen Con Sunday sitting on a window ledge in a hotel crosswalk with a sign saying "Free, Take It" on it. It had some cool stuff in it indeed.
Thanks Mike now I need to find a recipe for Bourbon Cream filled Maple Bars with Bacon on top...
Since I started my first Gen Con as a VIG I think the SWAG has been good considering the normal price for everything you get as a freebie. I agree with what everyone's stated but I'd add the staff that assist you as a perk as well. Plus the WIFI & charging stations since I don't think any one has mentioned that. I bring a surge protector power strip and my own charger to most events though.
I have a great bunch of people that do so much for the program.
As an ex-member of said staff in the VIG Lounge, I have to say that the folks that run the Lounge are excellent, dedicated people who really do go out of their way to help the VIG's that come through. They're top notch.
Is there any thought to a middle ground. Some mini-program where you don’t get hotel access or swag, but you can get lounge access or other event access, for a moderate price?
No. I don't believe alcoholic drinks are found anywhere inside the convention center. I know that the VIG Lounge carries a decent selection of sodas and water, or did when I worked there.
No alcohol, but they go through a lot of sodas. There's also free coffee, which is great in the morning when the lines at a coffee shop are 20+ minutes. To me the real savings with lounge drinks is time - minimal/no line means getting a drink takes mere seconds and you can get back to your convention. Last year, when I would wake up, I would pop down to the lounge from my hotel, get coffee for me and my wife, and be back to the room in far less time than it would take to hit the hotel's coffee shop.
The spouse and I have gone back and forth about entering the VIG lottery over the years, and free beer and wine in the lounge would be a much bigger draw than free coffee and soda, as shallow as that sounds. But now that we’re in a position to acquire affordable downtown convention housing on our own, that eliminates what is IMO the biggest draw for going VIG, so we probably won’t pursue it in the future.
The free alcoholic drinks are served at the VIG mixer (along with yummy food).
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group