Super excited to be going back to Gen Con this year!
I'm curious about whether it will be significantly less crowded because of the number of people unwilling or unable to attend due to Covid concerns. (And I don't mean for that to come across as a criticism of people in that situation.)
Do we have any idea how many badges have been issued so far?
They said somewhere that capacity was being limited to 60% of normal. I don't know if that's taking into account the fact that they aren't using Lucas Oil this year.
Not all badges have been sold (as of right now).
So... 50%? Half the people of normal? Obviously, this is a total ballpark guess.
There are about 6,000 events compared to 19,000 in 2019. So about a third by that measure.
Interesting. I'm hoping more events get added.
I see no events from Paizo, Catan Studios, Train Gamers Association, and others who used to run a lot of events. Hoping they add events, rather than just drop out completely.
I guess it's also possible that some companies see that their events are already sold out, so they add more.
To be fair, Gen Con will be split between physical and virtual. There could be thousands of additional online events in addition. For example, Paizo will be online but not in-person.
Being moved to September definitely didn't help those people/families that are in college or have kids in school. I doubt you'll see a significant number of events added.
I think everyone is kind of waiting to see how open gaming will be this year.
I'm curious about badge sales too. Gen Con stated that they expected 4-day badges to sell out quickly. I wonder what they meant by "quickly," and if their expectations were met so far.
Alec Usticke, Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group
I am not sure what "quickly" meant to them exactly, but "before event registration" seems fairly certain. I mean we are more than halfway between when badges went on sale and when the convention is, at this point, are we not? Oh actually no, not quite. But this is definitely not quickly, and they have mentioned nothing else about it since, suggesting sales are slower than expected (the companies bailing at the last minute likely decelerated purchase rates)
There are still downtown (including connected) hotel rooms both inside and outside the housing block available. I noticed that after the initial housing block rush, hotels actually started offering rooms on points again whereas prior there were none available, indicating the bookings were less than expected.
Google tells me there are approximately 7,700 hotel rooms in downtown Indianapolis, though I don't know how far "downtown" extends in that context. Going with an average of 3 people to a room -have no idea what the actual average is, just taking an average from "2-4" people per room- if every room downtown was booked like previous years, that would be around 23,000 people most likely there to attend Gencon or accompany someone attending for the majority of the long weekend (we will give the other 100 spots to unsuspecting business and family travelers not knowing what weekend it is).
That being said, that doesn't account for people who purposely booked hotels outside of downtown, attendees not staying in hotels (locals, vacation rentals, staying with family/friends, etc.), and day-trippers.
TL:DR- Going by hotel availability, badge sales so far appear to be slower than I would have expected.
Would it be fair to say as well that the hotel pool might be bigger this year as less rooms had to be allocated for exhibitors and vendors. I am assuming they got blocks of rooms downtown but maybe not. Since Paizo for example didn't need a bunch of rooms those are now available for attendees.
Ticket sales do seem slow though. I donated my ticket last year and when tickets went on sale this year i was told that if 4 day badges sold out and I wasn't able to get one that I should contact them and one would be available to me "somehow".
Looking at the fact that Gen Con is having to advertise that there are plenty of hotel rooms in downtown Indy says a lot to this old Gen Con attendee. When in past years the room went up like a water on hot Texas payment well it's almost like the early days of Milwaukee.
I will never forget waiting for a table at Mikado in 2017 and sitting next to a marketing manager for one of the companies who not only wasn't interested in GenCon but complained that the room they were given at the JW Marriott was "too far away".
Well considering I see at least one complaint every year about how the Embassy Suites is a "bit of a hike" I am hardly surprised that someone might think the J.W. Marriott was too far away, considering it is farther still from the Exhibit Hall