How GM badge works for independent GM?
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Posted by pangaea ultima

I have submitted some events I’m excited to run as an independent GM that would account for > 70 player hours. I have purchased my own badge and I plan to just hang on to that until the con so I can register for events for myself.

My main question is, as an independent GM, do I go to GM HQ during the con to trade in my personal badge for a GM badge, and then get reimbursed later? Or is this just for groups that request GM badge allocations after event registration is open? Basically, if I want a GM badge, should I have submitted my events with a group name (of one)?

Also: do event tickets you buy for yourself get transferred to a GM badge?

Finally, is badge reimbursement affected if people flake out on your event? Or if it doesn’t sell out?

Sorry for the super basic questions. I promise I did try to figure this out on my own, but much of the info I can find is about gaming groups (likely a majority of GMs?). I really loved attending Gen Con last year and I’m very excited to contribute by running some events.

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Posted by funny-shaped dice

I’ve only ever GM’d through a group, but I *think* I can answer a few of these...


  • Badge exchange.  Yep, GM HQ and then you get reimbursed later. I don’t think you have to have a group name - that just helps keep things organized on the Gen Con side as far as I know.  I’d also guess it allows player-hours to roll-up to the same group which, in turn, can impact where that group’s games are scheduled in the ICC/Lucas Oil/Hotels.
  • Your events will transfer to your GM badge - what matters is that your Account Number is the same.  The events are tied to your account - not your badge type.

I’m pretty sure reimbursement is not tied to how many people show up - at least I hope it isn’t - you don’t have a lot of control over people deciding they are too tired / drunk / met a group of friends they haven’t seen in awhile / etc.  I *do* think that it can impact where your events are placed in the future if you GM @ Gen Con again (i.e. if you are not a “draw” for players, your placement isn’t going to be in a premier location, etc.)

There are usually benefits to signing up with a group, though - so you might want to continue to explore that option.  Especially since you’re basically looking to GM non-stop!  There are lots of groups who could use that kind of support and you’d benefit from someone else dealing with some of the bureaucracy, drawing more players to you, etc.  

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Posted by rong

This being your first year running games, you won't have a GM Badge. You can request reimbursement after the show, as long as you turn in your tickets or use e-ticketing.

Go in to your events now and edit them to add a group name. After this year's show, e-mail the events e-mail and ask to have a group created for you. This usually happens automatically when you request the refund, but the email doesn't hurt.

Next year, assuming your group is approved (should be), you only need to purchase a badge if you plan to use the Gen Con Housing block. If that is the case, purchase a badge, then when you assign your GM Badge to yourself (assuming you have enough event hours) the original badge will be refunded.

Event tickets are tied to your account and will transfer from your 4-day badge to an assigned GM Badge no problem.

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Posted by rong

As for no shows, that does not effect your compensation. As long as your events are filling, Gen Con understands you have little control over people ditching events.

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Posted by rong

Check out the Event Host Policy for all the details.

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Posted by pangaea ultima

Great, thank you for all of the feedback.

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Posted by derekguder

GM badges are not tied to how many years you may have been running events at the convention.

The event organizer for a group or company can request an allocation of GM badges that they can assign to their GMs. Any attendee badges those GMs have in their accounts will be refunded unless those badges are assigned after fulfillment begins, at which points GMs just need to drop their attendee badges off at GM HQ by Thursday.

GMs who are not running events under any kind of group name will need to request reimbursement after the convention.

A group can consist of a single member - you mainly just need to submit all your events under a consistent group name and them request badges under that name.

Full details are on the Host page and in the Event Host Policy.

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Derek Guder
Senior Event & Program Manager
Gen Con LLC

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