Last year a number of events held in Lucas Oil Stadium reported declining attendance numbers. I love the big open space and the lower noise level, but if we can't encourage enough people to make the walk, the events there will dwindle and fade away.
Are there any plans by Gen Con staff to encourage people to come out to LOS?
Some events saw a decline, but not all. Some saw growth, actually. Being located in the Stadium does not automatically affect attendance any more than being located in the JW does.
We have done a variety of things to encourage folks to get used to the idea of Gen Con taking over the Stadium, but if you have other specific suggestions, please let us know.
Senior Event & Program Manager
Gen Con LLC
My suggestion is open gaming tables in the corridor to the stadium. Encourage people to go that way (for more than just true dungeon).
It is a very long hall and currently only has retro arcade machines hntil you get to los
Maybe that means putting all the 8-hour games/tournaments there. Or maybe something like Magic has dedicated players who want to play the same game all day.
Last year it seemed like board games were randomly allocated to LOS or Halls C and D. Since board games are fairly quick, the constant back-and-forth could result in as much time walking as playing. I'd much prefer to go to one location and play 2-3 different games in a row.
There's nothing wrong with the location of the stadium; it's better than the JW for proximity to the vendor hall, food trucks, and many hotels.
While being in the stadium might not have affected attendance for people that already had tickets, it certainly seems to have affected walk up & play numbers. I was in or saw several games in halls A-D of the ICC, where there were some open slots, and people walking by looked over, took an interest, and used a generic for the event. Last year, I ran an event in LOS, and there was almost no one walking past the tables to even get an interested party to fill the slots. In the ICC gaming areas, there are a lot of people wandering around, at LOS, it's dead. It seems like you go to LOS if you have an event or something else there, do what you're doing, and leave. YMMV, but this is what I observed.
There just is never going to be a mass of people walking through LOS going somewhere else. The same thing is true I’m sure for the JW or Union Station. Sure there could be a few tweeks...maybe set up Kristen and the twitch livestream stage there, or if Gen Con is organizing some replacement of the Cheese Weasel put the give away drawings in the stadium. But lets face it True Dungeon has how many people doing runs during the convention? If they aren’t providing walk up traffic I’m not sure what will. Even in Hall A-F, if you aren’t right on the main aisle You often don’t get a lot of walk up traffic.
But lets face it True Dungeon has how many people doing runs during the convention? If they aren’t providing walk up traffic I’m not sure what will.
TD is under the stadium, not on the field, so while they are drawing hundreds of people, not many of them wander the field before/after their TD session.
There is not a simple solution to getting attendees out to the Stadium - other than to schedule compelling games there that attendees will pre-register and then show up for.
Just like how the JW took time to be "normal," the Stadium will come to be as much a part of the show as any other space. And we still see people complaining that the JW, or any hotel, or even different corners of the event hall in the convention center itself are all too far away and there's no way an event there will get any walk-by traffic, etc. There will always be those complaints.
Events are scheduled in spaces based on their operational needs, preferences, applicable contract, suitable spaces, and historical data of the ratio of directly ticketed players vs generics, and that general trend is not likely to change in the near future.
RE: Lucas Oil -- SIGNAGE, SIGNAGE, SIGNAGE! As a GenCon first-timer (last year), I can say that once someone is walking down the stairs from the "upper bowl" onto the Lucas Oil field, it's a little confusing and overwhelming as to how one is to quickly locate an event. I seem to recall a little bit of color-coding in the signs and plastic tablecloths, but I could be wrong. I suggest having full-time "ushers" (akin to some theaters) with knowledge of the event hosts' exact locations, who can quickly direct/navigate an attendee to an event! And please hire multiple ushers for each stairwell / elevator bank, in order to handle the (ever-increasing) crowds of attendees!
I run a few small games each year and I have almost always been at the JW Marriott except for one time at the Marriott Indianapolis. My games are always sold out and we are usually in the small rooms with four to six tables in them and they can get rather loud. I have no need of walk up traffic for games and would prefer the most open and quiet space that I could be assigned.
Maybe when we fill out the event description there could be an option for "Would you mind/prefer to be in Lucas Oil Stadium" just like there is for special needs, etc. That way those who do not mind or maybe want to be there can and those who would prefer not to be there might (I stress might) not be assigned there.
It would, like every request, be based on the needs of the Gen Con folks to manage the spaces that are available.
A simple sign or two might help. Over by the Georgia street entrance?
Lucas Oil Stadium this way. Home to True Dungeon, the Games Library, Nascrag, Game Base 7, etc. With a map of the space?
Nascrag always thrived when we could attract spontaneous walk-up traffic. That won't happen in LOS. As much as I love the lower noise level, natural light, and space, it's a complete bust for pressganging.
Put a Starbucks in LOS!
Wouldn't help unless it was down on the field. :-)