Is there a cap on attendees this year like 2021?
Posted by funny-shaped dice timjs21

timjs21 wrote:
funny-shaped dice wrote:
timjs21 wrote:
I'm sure there are many that won't be attending this year for many of the same reasons. 

...and I'm equally sure there will be many who *will* attend this year precisely because of the changes.  Myself included. This argument is pointless.  I opted out last year because I didn't like the policy; you can opt out this year.  I think the safe bet is that things will change between now and August - but, hey, the more people agree with YOU the less competition there is for Downtown Hotels! Win!
(I'll leave the running of Gen Con's business to Gen Con - and let them decide what works best for them and their financials)
In all seriousness: you can choose not to participate now when a lot of things are not known, or you can buy a badge, reserve a hotel and then opt out in June when the picture is clearer and it costs you, what, $10 for a badge cancellation?  That's what I did last year and it was fairly painless.

Just as an FYI and a word of warning to all that don't know.  I purchased my badge and downtown hotel last year based on GenCon's policy that they were going to require us to show proof of vaccination but masks were not required.  I was fine with that which is why I booked.  Then AFTER GenCon's self-imposed refund cutoff date, they changed their decision to not require proof of vaccination but did require masking. I attempted to get either a refund or a system credit based on that change.  I was told no.  There is only one reason that makes sense to me that they would have acted in this manner - they are hurting for money.

I'm sorry you weren't able to get a refund or system credit after the cutoff; that truly sucks and I think I'd be disappointed in that situation if I were in your shoes - but, to be fair, Gen Con REPEATEDLY stated last year that the policies were subject to change. They kept encouraging people to get vaccinated and warning that the policies were not finalized.  I wasn't confident in their willingness to enforce vaccination and masks - and wasn't terribly surprised when they backed off requiring vaccinations (especially since Gen Con takes place in a politically "red" state).  I backed out at the end of May because the stance wasn't strong enough at that time and, with all of their warnings, I didn't trust that things weren't going to change at the last minute.  Given all of the warnings, however, I don't blame them for enforcing their refund policies.  Again, I'll leave their financial position to them; they know their business.  I agree - suddenly giving a bunch of refunds wouldn't have been good - especially since it would have been hard to "replace" any lost attendees within the time window remaining but I'm not willing to say that they made that decision with malice aforethought and based on concerns about their own solvency.  That's a pretty nasty point of view IMO.  If you really believe that, I would encourage you to vote with your dollars and just not patronize Gen Con at all - that's a pretty evil move.  I believe they were trying to make the best decision they could - with the health and safety of their attendees in mind - in a difficult, changing environment.
For those planning to attend this year be aware that based on the scaled back convention from last year, you can expect limited hours that the convention hall will be open.  You can expect an exhibitors hall that is smaller than normal and will have many empty booths.  You can expect to pay full price for downtown hotels however they won't even clean your room each day while you are there.  You can expect a much smaller selection of games to choose from. 

As far as the other things you mention -

  • Most people aren't in the ICC 24 hours a day.  A small fraction of gamers are present after midnight so, for most of us, that's not a loss even if they did close at midnight.  Heck, the vast majority of gamers have moved out into the city by 10PM.  The ICC is still active - the in-ICC crowd is a small fraction of the out-ICC crowd after 10PM.  
  • From everything I've heard, the 2021 Exhibitor Hall was a great success with lots of people finding new publishers they hadn't heard of had time to visit before - and spending MORE money than usual. As I watched the vendors pull out last year, most were not vendors I spent money at so they weren't a huge loss - frankly, not having Paizo, R. Talsorian, Fantasy Flight, etc. there was a big "meh" in my book. FWIW, I get that there are a LOT of people that equate Gen Con and RPGs with d20 systems - but there are an awful lot of us that don't (I played so much D&D in the 80s and 90s that I'm just done with it and reskins of it. I'm not alone.)  I also always visit Fantasy Flight but there are lots of other publishers and you can see Fantasy Flight's games in their online store.  The absence of big names - and a smaller exhibitor hall - allow for a different kind of Gen Con for sure - one where you can actually move around the hall without bumping into people constantly - but not a bad one.
  • Regarding Hotel costs..."Full Price" is a bit misleading here.  Attendees paid full *Housing Portal* price (likely) but not full retail price.  Even at full *Housing Portal* price, attendees were already getting a discount.  I've booked rooms out of block before - and those in-block rates are significantly better than out-of-block rates regardless of whether Gen Con is running at full strength. As far as daily housekeeping - my Gen Con experience is normally to just want fresh towels while I'm there.  I don't particularly want housekeeping in my room when I'm not there; and I'm sure there are a lot of others out there who are similar.  I'm sure there are plenty of people who want that; but I'm a grown-ass adult, I know how to keep my own space clean for 4-5 days without a maid.  :)

Now...regarding the event selection...yeah, that sucks.  BUT.  It's an opportunity to try new and different games or activities.  I normally fill up on RPG events (if I'm not running events) and I look for Indie Games when able.  The event catalog wasn't that exciting to me last year - but I figured last year was going to be different and planned to just roll with it and find other ways to occupy my time.  I'm normally in the ICC from about 8AM to 8 or 10PM and then I hit the bars and restaurants or find pick-up games in hotels.  This year, it sounds like event registration being open to independent GMs is going to be the norm again and, as long as that is so, we'll probably see a significant number of events again.  Will it be everything I want? Probably not...but we're still probably not going to be back to a 100% normal year.

My entire point is that your reasons for being down on Gen Con are not reasons that matter to everyone and, given how popular Gen Con is, I suspect that 10,000 - 15,000 gamers who feel the way YOU do can easily be replaced by 10,000 - 15,000 gamers who feel the way *I* do.  And, frankly, I'd be surprised if 10-15,000 gamers opt out of Gen Con for the reasons you've given - especially with how successful Gen Con was last year.  My suspicion is that there will be MORE gamers present this year and that the con will look a lot more like it did in 2019 than it did in 2021 - even with masks and vaccinations.  We're also further along in the pandemic which means overall risk of infection is going down (not a reason to NOT mask up IMO) which means that there is likely to be more people this year willing to go than last year.  Regardless, it will still be a blast.

In the end, everyone has to make the decision that is right for them.  For *ME*, Gen Con is not just about playing games - it is about the entire experience of being surrounded by Gamers for 4 days, without any other distractions or cares, and being able to just immerse in geek culture.  It's about the time I have with my wife and friends, regardless of the activities in which we engage.  The boardgames and RPGs are just the catalyst for the experience; they are not the point of the experience.

Whatever you choose, timjs21, good luck and game on man!  I hope you're able to have fun gaming with friends whether it is at Gen Con or elsewhere.

Posted by sovietprince

if the vending hall was as small and lack of big companys like last year it's going to suck. 

Posted by traveller sovietprince

sovietprince wrote:
if the vending hall was as small and lack of big companys like last year it's going to suck. 

Keep in mind, none of the non-American companies were able to travel that cut down a lot of vendors.  Add Paizo not going (not being able to secure an army of volunteers) and you get a very different exhibitor hall.  While smaller it was still a good size.  Here is hoping some of those newer vendors are able to come back.

Posted by donaldbain

Paizo said they're going to be back in the hall and in the Sagamore.  I wouldn't mind if they cut a row off their booth to leave space for some of the new guys from 2021. 

Posted by quarex

Yeah experiencing what it was like without the companies that take up four aisles' worth of width and make it hard to be positive you actually saw everything makes me wish for more restrictions on how much booths can block other booths.  Those huge walls that cut off line-of-sight and extend for multiple aisles are the biggest culprits, I think.

Posted by lore seeker

Paizo for sure is going to be there in person (it was on their blog), so that's good.

Posted by mikeboozer

Off topic here. There is a topic more appropriate for this.

Dealer Hall Layout-the Big Guys?

Posted by brumcg sovietprince

sovietprince wrote:
if the vending hall was as small and lack of big companys like last year it's going to suck. 

Then why did I spend so much money?

Posted by urielblue quarex

quarex wrote:
You said it, Burrfoot72.  It is a microcosm of the draw of Gen-Con; who KNOWS what kind of awesome nerdy stuff is going on at 3 A.M. in any of the dozens of occupied rooms?  And if you suddenly find yourself totally unable to sleep, you could go find out!
I am pretty sure you would have to live a hundred simultaneous lives to really get a handle on all the things happening at and around Gen-Con any given year, and I love that.
Yup! Even after most of my buddies are asleep, I love wandering through the ICC, hotels, the streets until 3am... I work in a nightclub, so am always up till 4am anyway, and 3am Indy feels like midnight-1am for me, so I'm still pretty wide awake. Great time to try a random card game, or whatnot.

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