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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: A Guide to Gencon rss

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Dan White
United States
Iowa
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I went to my first convention last year, Adepticon, and while fun it was full of wasted time, random purchases, junkfood diet and a lack of sleep. In short, it was a poorly planned convention. I read this article today and I agree with all of it. There's nothing ground-breaking in here but it's all solid advice for ensuring you have a good GenCon.

http://midwestwargaming.com/pride-rodinas-guide-gencon/
 
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Mindy Basi
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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I would have liked it better if it wasn't an advertisement the last 2-3 paragraphs...I understand you are involved with one game, though, and are excited about it. Oops thought you were the author, my bad.

I would add bring a water bottle you can refill at the water fountain. If you don't like plain water, bring one of those tiny flavoring bottles and add some flavor to it.

Wash your hands. Bring travel wipes with you. Try not to touch your face. Sneeze/cough in your arm not on your hand, but assume no one else is doing this. The evidence is spotty that vitamins, over the counter immune products and the like are effective, but it can't hurt you. Get enough rest and eat regularly.

Wear comfortable shoes (closed toe, people step on feet) and clothing that breathes. Please use deodorant. Reapply some in the afternoon (they make little travel sizes). If you are a person who perspires a lot, bring an extra tshirt in your backpack and change. Don't forget the breath mints, too.

Leave time for eating. The lines are long.

Set a budget. It's easy to overspend as there are wayyy too many shiny things to buy. You can preorder games and pick up at GenCon for some vendors. Cash is a good idea, but if you use plastic, you can at least keep track of where the money went. If you use cash, keep a record of your expenditures so you have money left on the last day for that special thing that went one sale!

Speaking of that, Sunday there are sales and discounts. Saturday there also can be special bundles and pricing at some booths.

Buy generic tickets so you can get in on sessions that may have been sold out earlier. Wander around, you never know what game might be open because someone didn't show up.

The playtesting room is always interesting and you can try out the next big hit, in theory.

Thanks to Dave Taylor from To the Table for reminding me of some of these tips.

https://tothetablereviews.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/gen-con-s...

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Nicholas Krause
United States
GRAND RAPIDS
Michigan
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All of that is some really good advice thanks for posting. Here are a few tips I'd like to put out there for those hitting the convention floor in a few weeks.

1. Sleep- There will be more than a few days that you'll be tempted to stay up to all hour of the evening gaming. While that's fun to do for a day or two, it's really important that you take one day and make sure that you get to your hotel early to sleep. You'll thank me when you can think straight on Sunday morning.

2. Buying

A. Most publishers with some kind of new hotness aren't going to put up for sale all of their copies of whatever it is you want on day one. So, if you missed that game on Thursday there's a real good chance that if you show the next morning they'll have another 100 or so for sale. If you really want it, keep it up, you'll get your game. Also, don't be afraid to ask them when they're going to get more in. You'll be shocked at how honest they'll be.


B. Map out the convention hall before you go and know who's going to have what. Learn that path and use it to navigate the convention hall. It's very easy to get turned around in there, which can cause the loss of precious gaming time during those 4 days.

C. Don't be afraid to haggle. This is never more true than on Sunday just before the vendor hall closes. These guys don't want to ship this stuff back and if you see a ton of something you want, just walk up to the person taking care of the booth and offer a fair price. Chances are they'll take it. If not they'll at least give you a counter offer. It also helps to bundle stuff. The more you have the more likely they are to sell.

D. Stay away from apparel. While there are a few vendors every year that actually have good deals on T-shirt, most of them are gouging you, knowing that you're willing to pay 20 bucks for a convention souvenir. If you know that going in and you're fine with that, then have fun. Otherwise, chances are, that at the end of the convention you'll find that same awesome shirt online, from the same company, for half the price that you paid at the hall.

3. Shuttles and Uber: Unless you're one of the few lucky people to have gotten a hotel downtown, chances are you're going to need to get there some how. If you're like most people that means you're going to drive there and while I understand the convince parking in Indy on that weekend can be upwards of 40 dollars a day. Plus you have to deal with all of the trouble of actually finding a spot. Before you resort to that, call you're hotel and find out if they offer a Shuttle service. If they do, is usually free, save a tip for the driver when you get off, and it can save you more than 160 dollars during the convention if you utilize it correctly. If you're hotel doesn't have one available try using Uber. If you haven't before the first trip is free, and it's only about 10 bucks a trip if you happen to be within 6 miles of the convention center. Find a friend and split the fair to keep the prices even lower.

4. Food. Do yourself a favor and don't buy food at the convention center. For starters, it's pricey. Secondly it's not very good. There are food trucks outside the convention hall that have all sorts of fantastic grub and it's usually under 10 bucks. Also, you can actually find healthy options, which is nice when you're trying to put your body through as much walking as you have to during the day. Also, make sure you stick a few apples in your pocket from the hotel continental breakfast.

5. Your hotel- This is my last point, and I'm pretty sure it's one that hardly anybody does. Spend a few hours on your first day and bust out a game in your hotel lobby. Withing minutes you'll start noticing gamers coming out of the woodwork to watch. Invite them to join you and try talking to them. These are poeple you're going to see in the morning when you get up and at night when slink in off to bed. You'll learn stuff, you'll laugh, and who knows maybe you'll make a new friend or two.

I hope this helps.
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Mindy Basi
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More good advice above.

One other thing about buying -- demos for 15 minutes, when everyone is having a great time, do not always reflect how good a game is.
One game that got tremendous hype last year, and while nice, was not that great after repeated plays. So, just be aware that the gild can come off the lily after all the excitement is over.

I thought Shadowrun Crossfire was so great and then I got it home and played it...once. I keep thinking I will play it and love it at some point, but so far, nope.

I totally agree prices can be high but if no one bought at the con, no vendors would come back. So it's a toss up. I really enjoy seeing the various tshirt styles, hats, chain mail, and all the other junk and treasures, depending on your taste, displayed on the show floor. So, your mileage may vary on what to buy at the con. I still wear the tshirts I bought last year.
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Pete
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Northbrook
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Best advice I can give:

If you walk ONE BLOCK farther than most people's typical comfort zone, and you can sit down and eat in peace.

Pete (knows there are a ton of half-empty restaurants just beyond where the crowds are)
 
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ackmondual
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krauseng wrote:
3. Shuttles and Uber: Unless you're one of the few lucky people to have gotten a hotel downtown, chances are you're going to need to get there some how. If you're like most people that means you're going to drive there and while I understand the convince parking in Indy on that weekend can be upwards of 40 dollars a day. Plus you have to deal with all of the trouble of actually finding a spot. Before you resort to that, call you're hotel and find out if they offer a Shuttle service. If they do, is usually free, save a tip for the driver when you get off, and it can save you more than 160 dollars during the convention if you utilize it correctly. If you're hotel doesn't have one available try using Uber. If you haven't before the first trip is free, and it's only about 10 bucks a trip if you happen to be within 6 miles of the convention center. Find a friend and split the fair to keep the prices even lower.
Parking's up to $40 a day!? Wow... I only paid $10 just a few years ago!

krauseng wrote:
4. Food. Do yourself a favor and don't buy food at the convention center. For starters, it's pricey. Secondly it's not very good. There are food trucks outside the convention hall that have all sorts of fantastic grub and it's usually under 10 bucks. Also, you can actually find healthy options, which is nice when you're trying to put your body through as much walking as you have to during the day. Also, make sure you stick a few apples in your pocket from the hotel continental breakfast.
Expect lines, or even long lines at the food trucks. However, it's not like the lines at the ICC are that much better, so I digress



plezercruz wrote:
Best advice I can give:

If you walk ONE BLOCK farther than most people's typical comfort zone, and you can sit down and eat in peace.

Pete (knows there are a ton of half-empty restaurants just beyond where the crowds are)
One place outside a hotel that sold hot dogs and 'nothing special food' was pricy, but they had a few takers because their lines were practically non-existent. Good way for them to capitalize on time!
 
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