GenCon Wrap-Up: A Second-Timer’s Guide

August 15, 2015

Elizabeth goes to Gen Con!  Again!
In a follow-up to my blog post from last year , here are my thoughts after attending my second Gen Con.

Planning Ahead:
Registering for scheduled games in advance was great. I made a “wish list” of events I liked on the Gen Con website, and then I sat at my computer with an itchy trigger finger on the morning of event registration (which was May 17 this year). It was great because I didn’t feel the financial pinch of having to pay for both food and events at Gen Con, because I had already paid for my events in advance.

Unfortunately, I failed to coordinate with the rest of my friends. I got to play all the games I wanted, but I spent a lot of time on my own. I also learned that almost every event I attended (even the ones that were “sold out”) actually did have room for more players.  Lots of people got into events just by walking in and using generic tickets.

I signed up for about 1-3 events per day, which seemed about right. I made sure to leave open space in my schedule to shop in the vendor hall, participate in the costume parade, and collect puzzle hunt clues.

We’ve also heard that it’s important to coordinate with your friends in regard to booking hotel rooms. We booked outside the official Gen Con room blocks, but if you want to shoot for hose rooms, just be aware that the official room blocks sell out within hours. Housing reservations opened on January 25 this year, so you and your group will need to commit pretty far in advance.

At the Con:
If you are splitting up with your friends, it’s handy to write down not only their schedule, but what rooms their events are in.

When you write down your schedule, make sure to look carefully at your event locations. I had one event that took place offsite at a bar, which was a surprise. The event was offered on two different days, and I didn’t notice the location difference.

Know your limits. I saw multiple people being escorted out of the vendor hall due to overheating, over-exhaustion, etc. I heard stories of people nearly passing out due to forgetting to eat, or trying to subsist only on candy bars. I saw EMTs onsite once. I’m sure all those staff members would prefer if you would just take good care of yourself while visiting.

And yes, we solved the annual Puzzle Hunt this year. Go team Barrister!

Elizabeth W.

Elizabeth is the Regional Manager and keeps the entire Barrister family organized. When not at the stores, you can sometimes find Elizabeth in the 16th century. Some of her all-time favorite games are Early American Chrononauts, Forbidden Island, Concept, and Codenames.

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