Premier Event Groups for Gen Con 2018Each year we try to identify and highlight some of the best event groups and companies at Gen Con, based on their attendance data!The requirements for inclusion in the program are pretty strict:
We provide the following benefits to premier groups as a token of thanks and a bit of recognition for their hard work:
Most of these benefits are automatic, but we do need premier groups to send us their highlight details by filling out this Google form and emailing their print-quality (300 dpi) logo as a .png file to [email protected]. All details for the premier program are due no later than Sunday, April 22. Any premier groups that have not provided appropriate details by that point will simply be listed by name.And now, without further ado, the full list of premier groups for 2018!
We sold out every event, so with 98 total ticket slots we could have had 19 no-shows and still qualified.
We had 22.
Congratulations to MU Skulls, NOVAG, and Infinite Imaginations. The number of groups that have qualified for Premier status every year it’s been offered is now down to you three.
We so proud to be on this list and to be part of the SPA section!
Well, being one of only three groups for all the years was a surprise. We also have been plagued by no-shows. Our solution has been to put up an easel-style white board on the storage box between our two tables, with a daily-updated list of what events we are hosting in the next 24 hours and text saying "GENERICS WELCOME at most events." We also make it very clear to all walk-ups that have questions or are admiring our tables/events that they should come by, and we we will try our hardest to take generic tickets. Of course, our events are miniature games that can scale up to larger numbers, not delicately balanced role playing events.
One zombie game we ran, we had 8 slots sold at pre-reg, with ZERO players showing up at the table. The same event four hours earlier, we had to turn away five players with generic tickets. Unfortunately, I don't have a better solution than what we've done.
Looking forward to seeing you all at GenCon!!!
Northern Virginia Gamers (NOVAG)
Thanks for including us as one of Gen Con’s premier event groups !!!
37 Zombies is expanding past offering just RPG’s this year, and are excited to be introducing some board game and LARP events.
We hope to see many many of you there :)
Thanks again Gen Con friends and GMs for being a part my favorite week of the year!!!
We have a waiting list for every game (22 games) that we maintain ourselves. That pretty much means we have one person dedicated to tickets & the waiting list.
I'm honored that Infinite Imaginations, Inc (III) has been a Premier Group for every year it's been offered. I have the distinct pleasure of being the coordinator for some of the best GMs around, and we're all looking forward to GenCon 2018.
This is our 36th year at GenCon, and we have 126 events running this year, but, like so many others, we do run into that no-show issue. We work hard on our RPGs/LARPs/ZED events, and it's heartbreaking when an 8 person event sells out but then folds because of no-shows.
One of the things we do which both helps our players as well as our premier status is to do everything we can to find players who end up without a game due to no-shows another event to play in. We coordinate between our GMs and track who is running at capacity, who has room for a player or two and who doesn't have enough players. If we have an 8 person event and only 3 people show up, we'll try our best to get them a seat at another table.
However, I know a lot of other Premier Groups aren't as large as we are, and so they can't find something for these players to do. I wish that somehow ticket sales could be factored into Premier status - if your game is sold out in advance, but your players don't show, there sadly isn't anything you, as a GM, can do about it.
Infinite Imaginations, Inc.
Would love to get back on this list! How do we do that? DrunkAssGames killin' it for 7 years, going on 8.
@derekguder - if I would like to email to ask about my group & why we didn't make premier status what email would that be?
I know in years past we were there, so I just like to see what we can do as a group to improve :)
[email protected] is fine - I'm always happy to confirm data with folks, though you can probably run the math yourself, if you want. Grab your event export from last year.
Gen Con LLC
Thanks for recognizing UH Publishing, Inc as a premier event group with Universal Horizons. We still have open spots and always accept walk-ins and generics at third floor, JW Marriott. We offer games throughout the convention and hope to make premier status again! I always feel experiencing new games, game terrain, and campaign arcs are the best part of Gen Con!
Thanks again for another Premier listing .. we are adding maps and players every year .. look forward to another great GenCon.
If you have suggestions on what to do that would actually combat no-shows and not make individual attendee's experiences worse, I would love to discuss them.
As always, I'll review attendance data during the fall, but in previous years RPGs have not actually suffered from no-shows more than other events, though their small scale does mean that when a group of friends fails to show it can have a large impact on individual events.
My usual suggestions are to raise prices, run high-demand games, and to run games for 12-18 players at a time (spread out across multiple tables, of course), to reduce the chance that no-shows will cause an event to get canceled altogether.
Derek, wait listing would be a great idea. If individuals could go on "standby" and receive a text or email alerting them that an event had an opening, I believe it would help address the no-show issue.
Potentially, but I don't think it is as simple as that, honestly, and that is not a feature we will be likely to be able to implement in the near term.
Also, keep in mind the realistic timeline this would require onsite: the GM waits 15 minutes to confirm players aren't showing up, alerts some/all people on the hypothetical waitlist, then waits another 15 minutes for them to get the message and find them, which only works if they already have generics. In the ideal situation, that's a 30+ delay before there's any indication of whether it was successful, and that's before including real-world delays and complications.
I suspect it would not have a significant impact on overall fill rates, to be honest, except for maybe a few key events that folks are willing to drop plans and rush to attend. It seems like the games that are able to weather no-shows with minimal impact are those run by groups that are organized at scale and have the apparatus and player base to fill as needed - basically, organized play programs for Pathfinder or D&D. Gaming groups that can established enough of a reputation that attendees are willing to play almost anything they run and can reliably seat a few extra people a slot may want to try to build to a similar path.
Otherwise, I have a feeling that figuring out a way to have a "games with open seats near me now" or establish hotel HQs as a reliable and central place for folks looking to hop into something would work better than a simple wait-list - but RPGs are always going to be in a difficult spot as (in my experience) players tend to be looking for more specific things than general boardgames, whether that's the system, setting, or genre of the game.
As a Hotel HQ, we usually get the GMs coming up and saying "If anyone needs something to do push 'em our way", but we rarely get people saying "I've got generics, what can I do". Mostly because the Hotels are destinations rather than a place to walk through looking for something to do. You go to a hotel because it has an event you want to attend, rather than looking at it as a place to look for a random game.
At the Union Station, at least, we're more likely to get people just looking at the architecture than looking for a random game.
It looks like we’ll fail to qualify for Premier event Group status for the second year in a row. Last year was disappointing, but with similar results this year, I think the RPG culture has changed at Gen Con. It’s still gaming driven, but not event driven unless it’s one of the huge events: Paizo, Baldman’s D&D, etc.
By not worrying about qualifying, we can focus on the fun parts of running events. If we qualify in the future, great. If we don’t, that’s okay too.
I will make one suggestion re: the Premier Event formula. Instead of 80% attendance, try this: Group’s must either get 80% attendance, or 80% of your tables must be “filled”. In this context, filled = 5 players per table.
Right now a single table event can have up to 8 players, but a six player event where five show up helps a potential premier group (83% attendance) while an eight player event with six players showing hurts the group (only 75%.)
With the 5 players per table rule, GMs aren’t punished by increasing the number of potential players to increase the possibility having enough players. A GM would be a lot more willing to expand a game from 10 to 16 players as you suggest if they know they won’t get hurt if only ten players show up.