Possibility of expanding with additional days of Gen Con?
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Posted by syntaxed

Looking at the events and how many are sold out I was wondering about any plans Gen Con may have of expanding the dates.

Personally Sunday has always been a little bit of a let-down since events end so early. 

Gen Con starting on Wednesday or going until Monday would be awesome considering how popular it is becoming. Maybe have a Wednesday or Monday which doesn't have the vendor hall as prominently featured but has more gaming? Might make some more connected hotel dates available for those who can come earlier/later.

I noticed the events put out that fans are running on Wednesday are almost all gone so maybe the demand is there. 

I want more gaming :D

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Posted by donaldbain

This comes up every year.

The would add to the cost for renting the convention center another day or two.  If the dealer room is to stay open, they have to pay their people as well.  How many people can take more time off and pay for another night in the hotel? 

 

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Posted by lanefan

As GenCon already has access to the ICC (or parts of it anyway) on Wednesday for things like will-call, trade day, etc. how much extra (if any) would it cost to open up some of the other spaces in there for events (or open gaming - hint! hint!) for Wednesday afternoon/evening? 

You'd still need a badge for scheduled and-or paid events of course, thus people picking their badge and tix up at will-call wouldn't want to schedule anything before about 3 p.m. just in case something goes sideways with the line or system...no sense missing an event because you're stuck in line.

Obviously some of the spaces (auction room, VIG area, escape-room spaces, some LARP areas) couldn't be used as they are being set up for the main Con; but there's still the main ballroom and ante-room (Sagamore?  Where they've had the Killer Breakfast in the past) on the main floor and some spaces upstairs that could be opened up with relatively little effort, even just as open-gaming areas.

Thoughts?

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Posted by nikki

Origins started doing this years ago.  I think officially starting (some) things Wednesday afternoon would be a great idea!

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Posted by melkor

It kind of unofficially does start early with KFG and other groups doing stuf
at Scottie's, the Ram, etc...on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Posted by bakermouse10133

I have noticed a lot of events for wednesday  (granted they not be what you are interested in), a lot of seminars, some games, some LARP's, and I think even spouse activity's. Plus The Stink is always on Wednesday night. 

Someone had a Ticket to Ride game set for that afternoon but I am trying to rest up and not get burnt out before sunday, well that and the tickets are gone already. 

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Posted by njseahawksfan

Provided you're not talking about having the dealer hall open for more days or longer hours, you might be on to something.  The one thing that every single dealer/company I've ever spoken to about expanding hours is dead set against it.  But there's no reason the Con can have people participating in non-dealer hall activities earlier in the week, I suppose.

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Posted by zaphod

Expanding into Wed is really necessary for the overall health of the convention.  Most other conventions already use this model.  A limited opening of the dealers hall Wed evening from 6-9pm would be ideal, as would having space for open gaming (e.g the game library).  I know its possible to submit events for Wed, but travel timing/waiting in line/checking in is very unpredictable.

Every year thousands of people are in downtown Indy on Wed, and everyone is scambling to find room to game, when it should be done at the convention.  Gen Con LLC has been majorly dropping the ball on this for years, and hasn't shown much interest in listening to feedback from attendees in the issue.

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Posted by helenbb

Bakermouse is right. There are already a number of activities on Wednesday. Trade Day goes all day, and then the Stink. There are games and LARPs all late afternoon/evening. You can easily start your gaming mid-afternoon. If you want to start earlier, the KFG events are good.

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Posted by braewe

The reason has always been the convention hall expense(for instance, no air conditioning on wednesday, do you guys really want to game in that? I don't!!! It gets HOT in there!!!), but what about just scheduling stuff in the hotels?

That said, with kfg gaming, the stink(which even if it is sold out always has room once the real tickets walk in), plus other groups are holding stuff too.

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Posted by tdb

The hotels charge money for their event space too. 

I'm always kind of torn by the question of extending the con.  On the one hand, the idea of more Gencon sounds great. On the other hand, by Sunday afternoon I'm exhausted, so making it a day longer might not be so great.
 

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Posted by brotherbock zaphod

zaphod wrote:
Expanding into Wed is really necessary for the overall health of the convention.  Most other conventions already use this model.  A limited opening of the dealers hall Wed evening from 6-9pm would be ideal, as would having space for open gaming (e.g the game library).  I know its possible to submit events for Wed, but travel timing/waiting in line/checking in is very unpredictable.
Every year thousands of people are in downtown Indy on Wed, and everyone is scambling to find room to game, when it should be done at the convention.  Gen Con LLC has been majorly dropping the ball on this for years, and hasn't shown much interest in listening to feedback from attendees in the issue.

I don't think you'll get many dealers behind the Wed dealer hall idea. That means they are showing up Sunday or Monday now for the big ones, Tuesday for the small ones? Nope. A lot of these people have lives away from their game companies. 

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Posted by ploveking

Expand into sunday before we start talking about Wednesday. Sunday is a let down because so many people wake up, check out, get in their cars and skip the events they registered for. On sunday there is no such thing as a sold out event, you can usually get in with generics, which is good, but there are events that don't happen for lack of attendance, which is bad. I've had years that I've been worn out on sunday, but I try to drag the convention out for a few more hours by staying until at least noon on sunday. Our group has started playing the stuff we purchased on sunday afternoon, as a way to keep going.

 It's just sad when we've looked forward to gencon for so long, and it's still there, but, only as a shadow of the day before. Checking out of the hotel doesn't mean it's over. Sunday brunch doesn't mean it's over. We don't stop for hangovers. Was it over when the germans bombed pearl harbor? No! It's not over until we say it's over!

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Posted by wavester

I think the above is on to something. People burn out. Sunday is mostly a ghost town for us (though we schedule some high demand things to make people show on Sunday to even our our player curve somewhat). Sooner you start the sooner people burnout. I think if you started Wednesday then Sunday would just become even more of a ghost town everywhere except the dealers hall. 

Also Gen Con would have to change it's policy on charging for events on Wednesday (which I believe now you cannot do). I know BMG would open a bunch of D&D on Wednesday evening if we could charge as I have 60-70 DM's checked in by that point just looking for something to do/eat/or drink in some random order.
 

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Posted by brotherbock wavester

wavester wrote:
I think the above is on to something. People burn out. Sunday is mostly a ghost town for us (though we schedule some high demand things to make people show on Sunday to even our our player curve somewhat). Sooner you start the sooner people burnout. I think if you started Wednesday then Sunday would just become even more of a ghost town everywhere except the dealers hall. 
Also Gen Con would have to change it's policy on charging for events on Wednesday (which I believe now you cannot do). I know BMG would open a bunch of D&D on Wednesday evening if we could charge as I have 60-70 DM's checked in by that point just looking for something to do/eat/or drink in some random order.
 

I disagree about the burnout. It's not like four days is hard-coded into our DNA as a limit. I think most of the Sunday specific burnout comes from it being the end of the weekend, plus the last day of the con. I very much doubt if it started on Wed that people would behave on Saturday like they do Sunday now. Particularly when Saturday would still be packed with events all day. 

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Posted by aaronmlopez

Part of this is perception. Right now, Gen Con attendees have the perception that the Con is four days. That has been ingrained into our heads. ("The Best Four Days in Gaming", etc.) So now it has become almost routine for people to think of this as a four day event. Could it be longer? Absolutely! But it would take time to change the 4-day only perception that we have already built up in our minds. If Gen Con were to change to 7 days (for example) it would have to start changing the perception FAR in advance. Vendors would adapt. Game hosts would adapt. There are plenty of non-gaming events that are longer than four days that seem to do fine so I am pretty sure that Gen Con would do fine if it were to extend beyond the four days. For an example, if Gen Con were to go from Thursday to Tuesday and I was an exhibitor, I would plan for two crews to man the booth. One would work setup through Saturday, the other would work Sunday through Tear down with perhaps a manager type working Setup through Sunday and one Saturday through Tear Down. Game hosts could choose to run games/events the same way. Perhaps round one Thurs - Sunday, and Round 2 Sat through Tuesday. Attendees could stay all six days or just attend four days in a row. Passes could be daily, four day, or six day. 

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Posted by brotherbock aaronmlopez

aaronmlopez wrote:
Part of this is perception. Right now, Gen Con attendees have the perception that the Con is four days. That has been ingrained into our heads. ("The Best Four Days in Gaming", etc.) So now it has become almost routine for people to think of this as a four day event. Could it be longer? Absolutely! But it would take time to change the 4-day only perception that we have already built up in our minds. If Gen Con were to change to 7 days (for example) it would have to start changing the perception FAR in advance. Vendors would adapt. Game hosts would adapt. There are plenty of non-gaming events that are longer than four days that seem to do fine so I am pretty sure that Gen Con would do fine if it were to extend beyond the four days. For an example, if Gen Con were to go from Thursday to Tuesday and I was an exhibitor, I would plan for two crews to man the booth. One would work setup through Saturday, the other would work Sunday through Tear down with perhaps a manager type working Setup through Sunday and one Saturday through Tear Down. Game hosts could choose to run games/events the same way. Perhaps round one Thurs - Sunday, and Round 2 Sat through Tuesday. Attendees could stay all six days or just attend four days in a row. Passes could be daily, four day, or six day. 

Still disagree about the vendors. For many game companies, the actual booth at the con is a money loser. You make money later thanks to publicity, but the con itself, you're in the red. Obviously not true for MtG dealers and the booths selling t-shirts and such. But true for many. You would be surprised at how many sighs of relief there are inside the dealer hall five minutes after close on Sunday. That last day, many just straight up don't want to be there anymore. It's stressful as ****. And while FFG might be able to have two entire staffs of booth workers (which I actually doubt, but maybe), smaller companies just can't afford that. 

I seriously doubt any fifth day would come with a dealer hall. At *best*, maybe one set of dealers for part of a longer Con, and another set for the rest. But small companies just can't afford to go longer. Many would ditch Sunday right now if they could (but it's contractual, you can't). 

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Posted by pezkat

We do start the con on Wed. ;)  Husband does Pathfinder all day, I do KFG events at Scotty's (signups will be on Warhorn).  After checking into the hotel we do dinner at one of several restaurants with gaming activities.  Saltire does a trivia contest at one (Colts Grille last year) & last year there were some game companies running demos there as well. 

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Posted by marimaccadmin

Just a few quick notes:

We already do support unofficial gaming on Wednesday by allowing some ticketed free events, mostly in the Crowne Plaza.  

It would be somewhat difficult to actually use the ICC for events on Wednesday; there are plenty of people still setting up, and the convention center rental cost is different dependng on whether it is a set up, or event day.

I can't think off the top of my head of any other fan convention that has more than a 4 day Exhibit Hall.  It may exist, but it's definitely the exception, and I would not expect Exhibitors to be in any way enthusiastic about a 5 day Exhibit Hall.

Definitely, I encourage people to consider running/participating in more events on Sunday; I think we can fit a lot more Gen Con in on that day. :)

Marian McBrine
Event Coordinator
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by aaronmlopez brotherbock

brotherbock wrote:
=inheritFor many game companies, the actual booth at the con is a money loser. You make money later thanks to publicity, but the con itself, you're in the red. 
I agree with you here. I imagine that nearly all game companies lose money at the Con when they compare their actual sales to cost of goods sold while there. I would be hard pressed to find a company that actually made money when you consider all the costs involved. You would have to make a PHENOMENAL amount of retail sales in order to make up that type of investment. When I owned a company in another industry, we attended conventions and such not for the sales we made there, but for the notoriety which would generate sales throughout the year. We made sure to take note of new customers and how they found out about us so we could measure the impact the convention made. If it made little or no impact, we didn't do it again. That is what game companies do at the convention. They are there to get their name out and on the lips and in the minds of their targeted audience which, hopefully will translate into sales if not then, then throughout the years to come. If you are a new company and only count on convention sales for your income then you are probably going to fail. But if you think of it as a marketing tool (much like a newspaper ad) and you think it will make a positive impact on your sales, then stick with it as long as you think is fiscally feasible. Right now, I'm not sure if a longer Gen Con is, but I am positive that it COULD be in the future if the tabletop/boardgame industry keeps growing.

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