Is there any way to find out ahead of time what events have been submitted? I'd like to run one or two games this year, from a set of probably 10 I'd be willing to run, and I'd happily pick the two with the least coverage, but there doesn't seem to be any way to find out which two those would be. Should I just pick my two favorite and hope 40 other people didn't also submit them?
I'd just run my favorites, for what it's worth.
Otherwise I'd look at what was run last year and pick things I like that weren't well covered. http://gencon.highprogrammer.com/ is one place that has last year's event listings available if you don't have a copy.
Some things might vary based on event type: RPG/board/card/miniature/etc. For example, if a new edition or expansion for a board or card game is coming out and the publisher attends Gen Con, they're more likely to have a bunch of scheduled events for it and I may choose something else. (They may have nothing at all, though. It's an inexact science. :)
Not really, no. But for the most part, I wouldn't really worry about what other folks are running, unless you're representing a company or large gaming group.
For individuals or small groups, just run what gets you exciteed on a schedule that is convenient for you. Unless your favorites are really obscure, you'll probably do perfectly fine, even if a bunch of other people submit them.
If you're specifically looking for advice on what games to pick that seem to be in high demand, I would check out this thread for a list of titles from 2015 that had the highest unserved demand, at least when registration opened up.
Alternatively, you could wait for the event list to be released and submit stuff to fill in gaps you find. That means you'll be submitting late, so your events may not be ready to go for the launch of event registration, but that may not matter if they're in particularly high demand.
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