Thought we would post some things here that we believe make things easier for attendees when navigating Gen Con.
Please add any of your tips or tricks that you use to the discussion.
1. Have your packet (badges and tickets) mailed to you! This will save you valuable Con time as you will not have to stand in a Will Call line that can admittedly be a couple hours long at times. If you are not set to mailing you can do that on your "My Packets" page. We only use USPS so our friends outside the US will have to select Will Call or have their packets mailed to a friend in the US. Packets are mailed priority mail and require a signature by someone at the residence.
2. If you are ordering event tickets while at the show do not do it online! This will mean your tickets will be printed at Will Call and you will have to get in said line to pick them up. The window for this is a four hour wait. There are multiple place to order tickets. Front end registration, the Event Hall, LOS, and some hotels. Be smart and go to one of these stations to order and pick them up immediately.
3. You can search for rooms throughout the year! Did you not get the room you wanted? You can manage your room or simply search for one throughout the year. Simply go to your "My Housing" portal and click on the "Manage room" or "Go to Housing Portal" link by your badge (If you don't have a reservation yet) to search for a room. As long as you don't complete a new reservation your old one will stay in tact. You can do that until July 13th.
4. Plan your day out! Make sure you give yourself ample time to go between events and planned space like the Exhibit Hall. The hall itself takes at least half a day if you want to see most of it. Also don't forget to practice good hygiene, hydrate, eat, and sleep! You want to be fresh for every day at the Con.
Please add whatever tips or tricks you have while attending.
If you have your heart set on an event, dont be discouraged if you dont get a ticket right away. I've had maybe 2-3 events in my 10 years of gen con where everyone showed up.
Use the app to check for event attendance changes during the event.
Schedule a meal! I know that there is a lot to do, but if you can squeeze a 90 minute window into your day to get a proper meal and even sit down to eat it, you will feel much better throughout the con. There are a lot of places where you can make reservations, or order online for a pre-scheduled pickup. Don't go all day without eating, or eating only crappy snacks from your bag!
The easiest thing to do that will increase everyone's enjoyment is to remember, whenever you're going into a crowd--think about the people around you.
Don't stop dead in the middle of a crowded aisle. Don't drag a roller bag through the exhibit hall. Don't push and shove. Say excuse me and please and thank you. Easy to do if you just keep it in mind.
From our policies:
One is at Front end registration The Event Reg kiosk
One is in the actual Event hall near the front entrance.
One is at the far end of LOS on the floor.
One is at the Marriott
That's it for now
Mike - any plans to make badges by mail ONLY in the US for US addresses?
Would seriously cut down the will call line and this would be a very good thing to do to prevent squeezed in lines wrapping around the building.
Just a thought, given the circumstances.
The wait times have varied a lot over the years, of course. Some years I'd walk in Wednesday afternoon and the Will Call line would be short or nonexistent, whereas the line to buy a badge and/or event tickets was super long. The last year our one buddy didn't buy everything in advance was a year I was done in a few minutes and headed back to the hotel room to unwind from the car trip; two hours later he called me from the line to have me bring him a drink. I think he finally escaped an hour later. (When I got there he'd just reached the roped-off queue.)
The first time I did mail-order badges, I checked my badges about once a week to make sure I hadn't lost them in my apartment, then checked 3 times before I packed the car. Went to the airport to grab my buddy in Chicago, where I checked again. We went to breakfast, checked again. Stopped to get gas and snacks, checked again. Got to the hotel, checked before going up, and then moved them to a drawer to be safe. promptly forgot I had done that, then panicked tearing the room apart, getting ready to drive back up to Chicago to get them from my apartment, before finding them again.
Now I admit that I get to Indy on Wednesday, and the line moves quickly enough that I've only ever waited like... 30 minutes at most in line. Its not the money for me, its the sanity.
Everyone's mileage varies on mailing or not. We have kicked around some plans.
One of the main reasons Will Call lines are long is because many people are just picking up tickets that they have ordered after Ship to Me closes. That's why we encourage you to not order tickets online close to or at the convention! You can just go to a kiosk to order and pick them up immediately. If you order them online you will have a 4 hour wait before they will be available.
As e-ticketing ramps up the Will Call lines will go down as more and more tickets are just your badge for access. At some point in the future the only thing you will be picking up is your badge at Will Call.
Same. All that. Plus, getting it delivered is actually a hassle for me as I am at work when they try to deliver -- and they won't leave it without a signature. Not sure anyone has good advice to solve that problem.
The money is the least of it. So, I've been doing Will Call, which I feel kind of bad about as it puts more pressure on staff that they don't need.
Another bonus to getting a packet sent to you is if you are buying for multiple people on your account all of their badges and tickets ordered before the Ship to Me date are sent to you. They do not all have to wait in line to individually pick up their packets.
Will Call is a lot of work but we manage it. The issue with it is it's impossible to predict when someone will get in line. Since it is open 24 hours a day it is usually better to wait for off hours to pick up a packet.