So, all my team's events are stuffed into Lucas Oil Stadium. What the <censored>? No one is going to want to come see us there. We mostly got all our traffic from walk-by's. I really think our numbers are going to be down.
How do they decide who gets exiled to Lucas Oil?
Gen Con LLC
I am not optimistic about our numbers increasing. I guess we shall see how many tickets we pre-sell. All on my team are doubtful. I don't feel that people find it worth it to travel down to the stadium.
Not much I can do about it. I guess we will see how much enthusiasm I have next year. I'm not happy about this.
Last year, OUR entire sparks was over in Lucas and we had little issue filling our tables... Yes the # of walk by's was not as big as normal, but we still had full tables..
You can only expand outward so much before reaching a cliff. Putting forth the suggestion that someone doesn't have a quality game opposed to walking 3/4 of a mile to get to said game is an interesting statement, though.
Take a breath, then open the excel spreadsheet of events and filter by location Lucas oil. You will see that lots of established gaming groups are in there this year, plus the library, plus true dungeon, plus seminars.
You will get walking traffic. Those groups will help get more people over.
Speaking as someone who has done convention event planning before (not to this scale, but the same kind of discussion)
The museum last year was probably much more likely to bring people to LOS who weren't already holding event tickets than just having the gaming groups there this year. Not that I think its the end of Gen Con. Leaving the dealers hall I'm very likely to walk through Halls A-D rather than around them on the way to the Marriott. I'm not at all likely to wander through LOS before heading to the hotel. If you are dependent on ticket income from your events and have regularly had a number of no shows that you fill with generics, then you will want to take Derek's advice and plan ahead.
Thanks people for the input. I guess I just need to see, but I don't have high confidence in attendance. If we're up to me, I probably wouldn't bother with an event in Lucas Oil if I were looking. I'm concerned about people just not bothering.
As a point, I'm not worried about ticket income as I'm not putting much out of pocket. It's more for the success of it all.
Last year we did get a lot of walk ups due to our visually pleasing tables. Others in our group got more traffic from people walking by to see our stuff. I'm worried it won't happen this time.
I know things grow and there is probably a turning point where Lucas Oil has enough in it that people bother to head down that way, but I just worry we arent there yet.
Our group is also in LOS - while we do have some reservations -we are also looking forward to it . We do expect our numbers to drop -likely from players realizing they have 5 minutes to game time and they are 15 minutes away in the main building, But that is part of change -I am confident that Gencon events will take that into account for the future .
However ,I also expect that once people get used to having to go to LOS for small group gaming the numbers of walk ups will trend up ,likely will take at least 1 year to resonate though.
We do not see the move as exile -but to make it a successful move (both for the gm's and gencon)it does need to have a consistent and persistent message from gencon itself . Have the same groups there a few years to allow attendees to get used to the location - be proactive as to reminders to attendees ,perhaps have a mini dealers hall over there with some high profile / high draw companies (give them some more space/price break as an incentive ),there are a number of things that can be done beyond the basic "here are the maps of where events are "
Thing is, I'm not sure if I'm going to be running anything next year....or again for a while. So...for my last year, I feel like it has a decent chance of flopping.
I was going to ask the same: what is your game? Who are you?
I'm part of Shuttle Tydirium podcast doing off-beat X-wing mini games. Everything from Trench Run (death star) games to Mario Kart Races with Xwing rules. Lots of random stuff.
Please don't hold my skepticism against anyone associated with us as it's just me complaining.
As for why is it an issue? Because we rely on walk ups a lot. I don't know many people that have actually been down to Lucas Oil before. It always seemed too far. I only even made it outside for the food trucks once last year. Just too busy seeing all the thiings in the main building. Also, when people find out that we are there, they usually say, "that sucks" or "sorry to hear that". So, it isn't just me.
It really sounds like you decided LucasOil is where games get sent when they've been bad, but that's not even remotely correct. The games on demand library is there. Nascrag is there. ConTessa is there. Rogue Judges is there.
It's new space, and it's being utilized by groups that are considered to be premier groups.
If you didn't know, there is a general negative opinion about Lucas Oil. It's generally considered too far to bother checking out when there is so much to see in the regular space. I admit that that is how I felt about it. Others have told me the same.
Wait, wait... who says there are no walk-ups there? I specifically wandered over to LOS multiple times just to wander, see what was available, and spectate things. And I had zero events there. I never tried to count any bodies, but I saw plenty of people who did the same.
Sure, there are going to be a lot of differing opinions on this. I hear people complaining about Union Station and the JW as well. And I understand the worry; it is out of the ICC and not in the center of things. But that said, I hope that event organizers realize that there are those of us who are willing to go where the good stuff is, and have already demonstrated a willingness to get to LOS to find it. Expanding to LOS is a sign of a successful convention, and I hope these other locations don't earn a reputation for being a hinterland.
The idea that walking the extra quarter of a block to get to Lucas Oil is "too far" when you are already going to be spending the entire weekend walking is pretty ludicrous.
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like the 'good stuff' is all moving out of the convention center. True Dungeon was first, then last year NASCRAG and Mayfair games... And this year I'm seeing more of the LARPs and other RPGs moving to Lucas Oil. I definitely have a lot of events there (if I get the items on my wishlist) and plan to be in Lucas Oil every day.
Perhaps it's just perspective, but this 'too far' thing really gets to me. Do you want all of GenCon to be confined to one room? One floor? Would that be the ideal con for you? It's a big con and getting bigger. As it does, it will spread out. The Lucas Oil space is huge, connected to the convention center and much quieter. I've been very pleased with the events I have enjoyed there over the past 2 years. I go to many cons each year and most of them have far more walking involved, with offsites and panels in neighboring hotels. The walking is an important part of my day and is expected. Given the junk I eat and the long periods of sitting at cons, the walking is a nice way to get my blood flowing and perk myself up between events. As big as it is, and with so much down there, more people will be going to Lucas Oil every year, and I look forward to it.
Although I personally will walk, and walk, and walk to find a RPG game (most times just to irritate my less than healthy nerd group), I will say there is an overall point to Lucas Oil not being seen as a destination spot. Last year as a (paid) volunteer handing out buttons (GEN CON 50 buttons no less) when I was sent to Lucas Oil was the only day I did not hand out all my free buttons because of less foot traffic. This being said, GEN Con has never let me down in the past so I trust their overall judgment of trying to build this to a destination spot and be seen as a big part of the convention going forward. Your X-wing games sound amazing and may be part of the decision to place you out there because of potential foot traffic you may bring just like other premier groups they are placing out there. Once again just a huge thanks and kudos to those behind the scenes that tackle such an administrative nightmare as far as game placement.