Announces Hybrid Format with Concurrent In-Person and Online Experiences
Today, we’re announcing that we are postponing Gen Con 2021 as originally planned for August 5-8 in Indianapolis and announcing plans for a hybrid slate of concurrent in-person and online experiences, including the rescheduled Indy convention, this September 16-19, 2021. We believe this is the best approach both to meet the many challenges of the moment and to explore possibilities for the future.
By offering a flexible range of opportunities to participate, we hope to safely include the largest number of people in the Gen Con experience this year and adapt to conditions as they are in September: in-person at Gen Con in Indianapolis with capped attendance and a modified format, from home through Gen Con Online events and livestreaming, and at local game stores through Pop-Up Gen Con retail activations.
With the rollout of effective vaccines, we look forward to an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and an eventual return to normal convention conditions, but the timeline is far from certain. In consultation with public health experts and local partners, with community feedback in mind, and with cautious optimism, we are moving forward with planning while maintaining the ability to shift course as needed to meet the requirements of changing conditions.
Convention planning happens on a long timeline, and we appreciate your continued patience as we tread these murky waters. By postponing our dates and expanding our approach, we hope to provide you with the best experience we can this year. With so many pieces in motion, we aren’t yet announcing dates for badge, hotel, and event registration, but we will announce those decisions soon as we advance to the next stages of planning.
Read a personal message about this announcement from Co-Owner and Chairperson of the Board Peter Adkison on our blog.
We understand that our date change places Gen Con on Yom Kippur. We recognize the seriousness of this conflict and the valid disappointment felt by our Jewish attendees and exhibitors. During the course of investigating our options, this was unfortunately the only date we could take that maintained an opportunity for us to still run Gen Con this year.
We intend on offering accommodations to our Jewish fans and vendors, including on-site Erev Yom Kippur service. You can check the Help Center article “What will Gen Con be doing for Yom Kippur?” for more information as it becomes available.
Click here for a message about Information and Accountability for Gen Con and Yom Kippur from the team.
Gen Con 2021: September 16-19
Gen Con Indy
Reduced-Capacity Convention in Indianapolis, IN
Gen Con Online
Online Gaming, Livestreaming, and Discord
Pop-Up Gen Con
Retail Activations at Local Game Stores
Gen Con Indy
“The Best Four Days in Gaming™,” with capped attendance and enhanced health and safety measures.
- Smaller attendance numbers to comply with public health mandates and enable safer-attendance procedures.
- Potential combinations of social distancing, mask wearing, and vaccination requirements as determined by public health guidelines.
Gen Con Online
Concurrent with the convention in Indianapolis, a virtual offering of livestreaming, remote/virtual gaming and events, and community on Discord.
Pop-Up Gen Con
During Gen Con weekend, Pop-Up Gen Con activates participating Friendly Local Game Stores (FLGS).
- FLGS adapt their event to local health and safety conditions and requirements, determining how to structure participation in their community.
- Publishers’ games available to stores for demos, events (where allowed), and purchase.
How is Gen Con ensuring safety at the convention?
Our partners at the Indiana Convention Center are continuing to develop best practices for convention safety with the recommendations of state and local health departments. You can read about their efforts here.
In addition, we will continue to work with events industry professionals and public-health officials to determine safe ways to run this and all future Gen Cons. Our industry presents unique challenges and we will be very diligent in developing appropriate policies and procedures for in-person attendance.
Health and safety measures will be determined as get closer to the show based on public health guidelines. This will include potential combinations of mask-wearing, temperature and symptom checks, and social distancing.
At this time we do not know whether or not vaccines will be required, though we strongly encourage all eligible community members to get vaccinated as soon as they are able!
If I cannot attend Gen Con in person this year, what will be your refund/rollover policy?
If you currently have a badge but either cannot or choose not to attend the 2021 convention, you have the following options by emailing [email protected]:
- Your badge can be rolled over to our 2022 convention with a price-lock guarantee. All badge roll over requests must reach us by May 16 and include your Gen Con ID# (Next to your name on your account) and the name(s) on the badges to be rolled over.
- Your badge can be converted to system credit that can be used for any future badge or event ticket purchase on gencon.com. System credit is non-refundable, non-transferable, and does not expire.
- Your badge can be refunded to your original purchase method (minus a 5% processing fee).
Will Gen Con have an attendance cap?
Yes, capacity at the convention center will be limited by public-health authorities this year. We will limit badge sales based on maintaining social distance and safety requirements as required by public-health regulations while also taking into account individuals who rolled over their badges from last year.
Priority for attendance will be given first to attendees who donated or rolled over their 2020 badge, and then available to all. If we believe that we can safely hold the convention for additional attendees, we may offer additional waves of badge availability.
When is Gen Con opening badge, hotel, and event registration?
Badge and event registration dates have not been announced yet. We will update our website and announce these dates as soon as we have more information available.
Will there still be in-person gaming?
Yes! But the scope and scale will be limited, based on health and safety guidelines from public health officials. Some events are likely to be changed or adapted into a format that will work with social distancing, for example, and some events may operate at reduced capacities. Ample space will be reserved for open gaming and events from key partners if it is safe and responsible to do so in the fall.
Full details will be provided when the key dates for event submission and event registration are announced.
For more information, click the Help bubble in the bottom-right corner of the screen, or search our new Help Center.
If you have another question or concern, you can contact us by phone at (206) 385-1967 or by email at [email protected].