Tips and Tricks to navigating Gen Con
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Posted by matthias9 brotherbock

brotherbock wrote:
Can you get it delivered to your work address?

That's a good idea for many, but unfortunately not an option in my case.  Someone was getting stuff delivered multiple times a week so they just said "no personal deliveries anymore ".

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Posted by matthias9 mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote: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.
Mike

I like this.  I'm a big believer in planning in advance. 

My strategy is to make a one-pager grid (I use Excel).  One hour per line, you can get the whole convention on it if you use both sides of the page.

Aside from listing the events for which I am registered, I include things I might want to go see and do.  Maybe something to try to get in to with a generic, or the costume walk, or even a game I might just want to watch like a championship.  Maybe a film that looks interesting and would let me sit and decompress if I need it.  If you are new and haven't memorized the exhibit hall hours, you can include those on the grid. 

Depending on who you're traveling with, you can also include events that others are scheduled for (eg. so I know where my teenagers are).

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Posted by donaldbain matthias9

matthias9 wrote:
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.
You can go to the post office and "pre-sign" for it and they'll leave it in your mailbox.

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Posted by tinabear81 matthias9

matthias9 wrote:
mikeboozer wrote: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.
Mike

I like this.  I'm a big believer in planning in advance. My strategy is to make a one-pager grid (I use Excel).  One hour per line, you can get the whole convention on it if you use both sides of the page.
Aside from listing the events for which I am registered, I include things I might want to go see and do.  Maybe something to try to get in to with a generic, or the costume walk, or even a game I might just want to watch like a championship.  Maybe a film that looks interesting and would let me sit and decompress if I need it.  If you are new and haven't memorized the exhibit hall hours, you can include those on the grid. 
Depending on who you're traveling with, you can also include events that others are scheduled for (eg. so I know where my teenagers are).
SPREADSHEET FISTBUMP!

Mine was color coded, broken down by day, hour, and person (only 2 so no biggie). It also included event location down to the room number and the approximate walking time between our individual events. I'm inordinately proud of it. It made deciding to add events we wanted to do together or separately after our original ticket purchases much easier.   

My family would tease my Czech grandma about needing a plan and a schedule for vacation. Grandma was right.

Also, I can't believe no one has mentioned this one but...
Wear comfortable shoes with a lot of support. You're going to do a fair bit of walking and standing. Make sure your shoes aren't going to rub, cause blisters, or otherwise leave you hurting at the end of the day.

Try to go outside for a little bit and get some fresh air and sunshine. I know it is hot and the big yellow circle burns us, but it is good in limited doses. Besides...outside is where the beer and ice cream vendors are. Beer, ice cream, fresh air, vitamin D. Going outside also helps get the funk out of your nose Saturday afternoon/Sunday Morning cause by the folks who don't believe in the 1 from the 5, 2, 1 rule or in deodorant.

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Posted by squirecam donaldbain

donaldbain wrote:
matthias9 wrote:
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.
You can go to the post office and "pre-sign" for it and they'll leave it in your mailbox.
This is a great tip. 

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Posted by quarex helenbb

helenbb wrote: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!
Counterpoint, it is nearly impossible to get a truly quick lunch, and I find gorging yourself for breakfast and surviving on snacks until dinner is the best way to avoid missing ~6 hours of primo Exhibit Hall time at mid-day through the course of the convention.

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Posted by mikeboozer squirecam

squirecam wrote:
donaldbain wrote:
matthias9 wrote:
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.
You can go to the post office and "pre-sign" for it and they'll leave it in your mailbox.
This is a great tip. 

I did not know this! If it's doable it's a great tip!

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Posted by mikeboozer

Just so you all know we begin shipping a couple days after Ship to Me ends (June 14 this year)

We print all USPS packets first alphabetically by last name. It generally takes us 2 weeks to ship all of our packets. 

So you can expect to get yours in the time period 3 to 5 days after it ships.

You can track your shipment on your "My Packets" page to know exactly where it is and when it should be delivered!

It begins it's journey in Seattle.

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Posted by helenbb quarex

quarex wrote:
helenbb wrote: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!
Counterpoint, it is nearly impossible to get a truly quick lunch, and I find gorging yourself for breakfast and surviving on snacks until dinner is the best way to avoid missing ~6 hours of primo Exhibit Hall time at mid-day through the course of the convention.

Not really a 'counterpoint'... one 'good' meal a day helps a lot. If that meal is breakfast, and that keeps you going the whole day, then that works. 
 

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Posted by tinabear81

Getting a hotel that feeds you breakfast is always nice. The cost is rolled into something you're already paying, and it usually keeps you going for a bit.
 

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Posted by ryric

If you can bear to miss out on about a half hour of exhibit hall time, 5:30 is the best time to try for dinner. Generally at 5:30 the wait at nearby restaurants is minimal; if you wait until 6 the wait becomes an hour or more simply because of the huge rush from the closing hall. 

When Mike says it takes half a day to see the entire exhibit hall, that's just to literally walk the entire hall at a moderate place. If you plan to stop, talk to vendors, play demos, and so forth, block out an entire day or even more. My wife has started printing a map and bringing colored markers so she can color code booths we want to return to, with things like purple = demo we want to try, green = maybe come back and buy if the budget holds, etc.

 

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Posted by trace_sl

IF you get in on Wednesday, take the time to walk the halls and get a lay of the land so you know where your events are and best way to get to them.  Also, it get to see things that may interest you when the con starts.   

IF doing WILL CALL know it is open 24 hours starting at noon on Wednesday, so, you can pick up packets late at night.  

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Posted by mermaid_princess

For your walking, I recommend support socks. Runners and folks with heart issues have worn them for years, they come in a ton of cool styles. Your feet will feel brand amazing. If you don’t want to get support socks for the con, putting a second pair of socks in your backpack and switching out at your low point and save your day. Bring a ziplock for the sweaty, dirty ones. (I know people who would just toss them). A clean, dry pair of socks can make you feel renewed. If you’re going to be gaming late (it is a con) consider packing a travel antiperspirant-deodorant in your bag and refreshing in the bathroom. This does not count as a shower, but running all over downtown Indy can make you sweat, and you don’t want new gamer buddies  to think of you as That gamer. 
Keep an eye out for kids - they’re the gamers of our future, and the disabled, they are us. Just slower. 

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Posted by chris pratt mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
Just so you all know we begin shipping a couple days after Ship to Me ends (June 14 this year)
We print all USPS packets first alphabetically by last name. It generally takes us 2 weeks to ship all of our packets. 
So you can expect to get yours in the time period 3 to 5 days after it ships.
You can track your shipment on your "My Packets" page to know exactly where it is and when it should be delivered!
It begins it's journey in Seattle.
When will the decision be made whether Gen Con will happen this year?  Before anything starts getting shipped it would seem to be that the decision to hold or not to hold Gen Con should be made first.

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

This year's tip: Stay home & game remotely with friends.

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