Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
38 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions

Subject: My First GenCon! And I have a lot of questions... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brian Schwartz
United States
Holbrook
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey all,

I'm excited to go to my first large scale convention EVER! I'm going to GenCon this year from Tuesday evening to Sunday. I've never been to Indianapolis nor a big convention so I have a lot of questions. I've started doing some research and reading some threads on here, but I know you guys are helpful and love answering questions (albeit, repeated ones) so I figured i'd ask.

1) I booked a hotel that is not super close. There were a small handful of hotels left as of today and the ones that were close to the convention center were about 500+ a night, which I cannot see myself paying. Therefore I have stayed at a very cheap hotel that's about 4 miles away. Do people do this? Is it a MUST to stay near the convention center? I booked it with a cancellation option.


2) I love to walk. I walk on average 8 miles a day. Is it possible to walk the 4 miles from my hotel to the convention center in the morning? Is it safe? (I would not do this in the evening).


3) Do you guys recommend bringing a large suitcase that I check or a smaller carry on bag that I can put a duffel bag in and check that on the way home?

4) I'm going alone and will know no one. What's the best way to meet people at the con?

5) Do you guys set a budget/limit of how many games you take home? Do you take them on the plane or do you ship them home if you're flying, as I am..?

6) I don't mind eating meals at weird times. I have lunch at home sometimes at 11 AM and dinner at 4/4:30. Are the places less crowded at these times?

That's all I have for now!

Thanks in advance everyone! And if anyone wants to meet up when I'm there, feel free to message me!


Brian
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The War Chief
United States
Parkville
Maryland
flag msg tools
designer
BRING ME THE HEAD OF SETH NEMEC AND RIK FALCH!!!!!!
badge
In Memorial: Moose, my dog. B:? D:01/13/16. He died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. You will be missed.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1. Depends on how much late night gaming you are planning. Otherwise, there are a lot of people in the same boat as you regarding staying in "distant" hotels. The adjoining hotels in the convention block sell out very quickly.

2. Depends on the location of the hotel. There are some dicey areas in Indianapolis you do not want to walk through at any time. Do some research on your walking route. Check to see if the convention shuttle services your hotel, or Uber a ride.

3. I would nest a small suitcase inside a larger one if you want to get your purchases home intact. Pad your purchases with your clothes for extra protection. A Duffel bag will get crushed during the loading process.

4. Everyone is there for the same reason, so you will have no trouble making friends, especially in open gaming and in any of the numerous lines you will have to wait in.

5. Your limit is your budget and how much room you have in your suitcase. I usually take them home on the plane, but if you want to ship them, DO NOT use the shipping service booth in the convention center. I've heard nothing but horror stories about using them. Find a UPS store a few blocks away and use them instead.

6. If you are eating on off hours, you shouldn't have any trouble. Another tip is walking a few blocks and finding a restaurant. They usually are not as crowded and they appreciate the business.

Hope that helps. Just be prepared for massive crowds, long lines, and ocassional "gamer funk".

Most of all, have fun. Gen Con is a once in a lifetime experience.





4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Warnken
United States
Harrison
Ohio
flag msg tools
I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.
badge
Happy grandfather!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Spend the extra $10 to have your badge and tickets mailed to you so you can avoid the pick up line.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Meyer
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mundane wrote:
Spend the extra $10 to have your badge and tickets mailed to you so you can avoid the pick up line.


I second this comment! It can save you a LOT of time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Meyer
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Also: hand sanitizer, a good water bottle with frequent fill-ups (the convention center air is pretty rarified), and some packable snacks are invaluable.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve O'Grady
United States
Jacksonville
Alabama
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congrats on deciding to go to the biggest Game Con in America. My wife and I have been going for 5 years now and we love it every time. My two sons also fly in to join us.

(1) We stay out by the airport and drive in each day and park downtown, a drive that is about 20 minutes or so. The hotels we stay at (Best Western, Laquita, Holiday Inn) normally run about $125 a night. Some even provide a shuttle, though we have never done that. Given the cost of a downtown hotel, $125 a night plus $20 for downtown parking still beats the heck out of downtown hotels.

(2) I would not walk, but then, I am over 60. There is a lot going on downtown, even besides the convention. Try it once, and if you don't feel safe, just Uber back and forth. My two sons do that despite me having the car because they sometimes stay later than I do.

(3) Definitely bring the large suitcase, and pack carry on bags inside so you can maximize space for what you buy. Because you WILL buy when you are there...probably at least something for every day you are there. So pack bags and bring luggage to account for at least that. You will probably buy more...just sayin...

(4) depends on what you like. We go as a family, so we keep to ourselves. There are SO MANY people and so much to do, it is hard to coordinate blindly with anyone. We see friends, but mostly we see them in the passing.
We enter a lot of game events, but when game events go live in May, many sell out in the first 1-2 minutes. So don't expect to get into a lot of events. But...do try...it's what makes the Con memorable.
Try to get into one entertainment event...they are memorable. Just be aware some can be very adult oriented.
We plan to spend 1p-6p each day in the exhibit hall, trying to get into demos, and shopping for the cool new games, though many will be limited and hard to get after the first hour on Thursday.

(5) see above. I flew to the Origins Convention last year and the space in my suitcase was a great budget limit for the Con. At GenCon, my wife keeps me in check. By yourself...might require some self discipline.

(6) with 60k+ at the Con, there is no good time, it is always crowded. We always budget 1 hour for lunch and dinner and you can easily eat at the food trucks outside within that time.

Have a great time this summer.

3 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Marl
United States
Pissburgh
Taxsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1) I've gone the last 4 years. Four miles out is about the closest I've ever been.

2) I wouldn't plan on walking to the convention. The hotels are all located near the freeways. If you have to cross them, I don't knwo how you'd do that. You'll do lots of walking in and around the convention. The hall is huge.

4) The best way to meet people is play games. I met somebody from my own area two years ago.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The War Chief
United States
Parkville
Maryland
flag msg tools
designer
BRING ME THE HEAD OF SETH NEMEC AND RIK FALCH!!!!!!
badge
In Memorial: Moose, my dog. B:? D:01/13/16. He died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. You will be missed.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hand Sanitizer is a great idea, along with EmergenZ, and plenty of water. You do not want to catch Con Crud or whatever bug is going around the con.

And from personal experience, avoid the food trucks. Most are dicey and my friend got food poisoning from one of them. Walk a couple of blocks and go to a reputable restaurant. Your stomach will thank you.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A. B. West
United States
Beech Grove
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Why aren't you PLAYING a game?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a local and have been to GenCon every year it's been in Indy.

1) Can you say where it is? South? North? In general, Uber (if you're comfortable with that) is the way to go.

2) There are some safe paths (one from the Northside), but you'd need to know them well - and I can't imagine walking late at night out of central downtown. I'm usually gaming until 11:00 PM or later. The center of the city is quite safe, however. But as always, just be aware of your surroundings and stay in crowds.

3) No suggestions on this one.

4) I don't think this will be a problem. Dress like a gamer, take a shower, and smile. You'll meet TONS of people that are just like you. Welcome home!

5) As for budget, I'd recommend it for a first timer. I had a self-imposed limited my first several years. The size and scale of the vendor hall is overwhelming - I mean HUGE - and so tempting! It'll take a full day just to get through it at a pretty good speed. Also, you can pre-shop. Wait for the official BGG GenCon listing here. That's what I do now. There will be 'rush' games that will sell out in minutes of the door opening. Last year I targeted and prioritized and got everything on my list - even the rare games. So be planful if you want certain games!

6) Food should not be a problem. Don't eat inside the Convention Center unless you really are in a hurry. Food Trucks will be there en masse and most are *really* tasty (but yeah, they are not necessarily healthy nor monitored for cleanliness). They are extremely crowded almost all day and night. The Circle Center Mall is connected and a very short walk. Pricing there is reasonable (meal = $10 or less). It will be fairly quick off hours. Restaurants are plentiful and welcoming, but those within a few blocks will be jammed packed during core eating hours - so avoiding those hours will help. In general, the further you walk away from the Convention Center, the faster and cheaper things get. There are a bunch of really great places to eat. There is no grocery near by.

I envy you! The first year is one of the best. Have fun! Make sure you get plenty of sleep! Take lots of breaks and enjoy the sites! Drink LOTS of water (that's really important)!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil Bauer
United States
Vienna
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My .02 for you. I have been to GenCon about 7 or 8 times since it moved to Indy in 2003.

1. Four miles (eight round trip) may not seem like a lot to a seasoned walker like you, but realize you may walk another three, four, five, or more miles just walking around the exhibit hall(s) and to/from meals. If you keep your reservation, you may want to Uber one or both directions to the convention center. Let Day 1 be your guide.
2. Depends where your hotel is. Mornings are probably safe, evenings might be.
3. Again, depends how many games you might buy. There usually aren't any exclusive games at GenCon (if they're available at GenCon, they are likely available at your normal FLGS or OLGS around the same time). Small suitcase inside large is probably fine for your first GenCon. *Note, if you have some games you want to get rid of, the GenCon auction is an attractive option--I highly recommend registering your games beforehand and dropping them off at the earliest possible time.
4. You can meet people during demos in the exhibitor hall, organized events, and a myriad of other places.
5. When I've flown (about 75% of the time since 2003), I've never had to ship games home. Maybe I'm getting picky in the games I buy, but I rarely purchase more than five or six games.
6. as has been mentioned, convention goers are fairly lazy with respect to meals, especially lunch. If you're willing to walk, there are plenty of good, affordable places to eat three to six blocks from the convention center. If your hotel is to the northeast of the city center, you will find a lot of cool, local places to eat up Massachusetts Ave.
7, Enjoy GenCon. It's a blast!

**edited to change "78" to "7 or 8"
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Boggs
United States
Louisville
KY
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm looking forward to going this year myself for the first time.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Schwartz
United States
Holbrook
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

1) Can you say where it is? South? North? In general, Uber (if you're comfortable with that) is the way to go.


My hotel is on Bixby Street? It's a Super 8. Does that help context it?



As for the comments about the walking, I go to Disney World a LOT and I'm used to walking sometimes up to 16 miles in a given day. My feet can definitely handle it!

I am also going to be there for Trade Day through my job, so I believe I can pick up my badge on the Wednesday before the general public.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C M
United States
Bourne
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
Hey Brian - congrats! You're going to have a blast.

1)I've stayed downtown and I've also commuted in on the various years I've gone, and I personally don't think there's a tremendous difference. There are people that swear by being downtown for ease of coming and going and 'immersion', but I find that the only difference is you need to plan your shopping trips - no running back to the room with a bag of games at a moment's notice!

Otherwise, with the 'Con basically going 24-7 for 4+ days, I don't think it matters. Once you're downtown, you're there.

FWIW, I prefer being out of downtown. I'm 40, and I like the space and separation if I want it. I also book an entire house through AirBNB with a group, and we end up spending far less per person on lodging than even the people at the airport hotels - and we're usually only a mile or two out. It's the best of all worlds - close enough to come and go, and a whole well-appointed house.

2) The Super 8 on Bixby puts you way southeast of downtown, and you'll be crossing 465, 65 and 70 to make that walk. It's also (in my experience) not a great part of the city to be walking in from. YMMV, but I'd recommend an Uber in and out. The app is easy, the drivers a plentiful all hours of the day and night, and it's typically pretty inexpensive. I would also guess that you'll find others in the hotel that are coming and going at similar hours as you, so it's pretty easy to share a cab or Uber.

3. You will shop, and you will need to bring stuff back. I would recommend a big suitcase checked. Bring it mostly empty with the basics, and a carry-on for your laptop/tablet/books/travel goodies. Use your clothes to pad the purchases for the return flight in the suitcase.

The first year that I went, I was primarily there for Magic: The Gathering - I packed my clothes in a carry-on, and had a laptop bag. After picking up some cool dice sets, and a Shadowrun rulebook, some D&D odds and ends, a ton of cards, stuffed dragon for my son, t-shirt for my wife, etc...it was a TIGHT return trip. I'm more board-game oriented now, so this year I'm running the trifecta - clothes in a small suitcase, empty large suitcase, messenger bag carry-on. Two free checked bags through Southwest, and a ton of return room!

4. The best way to meet people at the 'Con is just to go do the things that you are interested in. You'll meet people easily and plentifully without even meaning to.

5. I find that I like the feeling of letting the experience guide my trip, so I don't like to limit my purchases quantity-wise. I'll identify some things before-hand that are must-haves, and then just go with it.

(EDIT - if there are any "must-haves" on your list, do your research ahead of time. Highly sought-after items will sell out incredibly quickly and usually immediately on Thursday, so you may need to make the vendor hall your first stop if there's something you can't bear to miss. Most bigger vendors tend to find ways to restock throughout the weekend, but smaller vendors don't have the same ability to do so in all cases, and restocks can arrive at very odd times. The only guarantee is being ready to go at the beginning of the 'Con.)

I *do* try to create a 'Con Fund ahead of time, so that I have a rough idea of how much money I have to play with - from there, there's emergency plastic if needed. ;P

Seriously, though - do try to set some sort of rough limit. It's remarkably easy to spend money at GenCon, and it can get away from you in a hurry.

6. The best standing advice on food is to pack some good snacks with you to keep you going, and break off to get a good meal whenever you feel like it. I'm also used to eating at odd hours, but with 60,000-80,000 extra people floating around Indy, you'll find that it creates a constant 'dinner crowd' mentality. The close restaurants will certainly be more packed around 'conventional' (not to be confused with 'Con-ventional...pardon the pun!) eating hours, so if you can get outside of them - or call ahead for reservations - you'll be in good shape. Also, proximity rules are in play...the further away from the Convention Center you are, the easier it is to find an open table.

Also, the food trucks - while always packed - are usually all pretty great. It's becoming a growing attraction (and a growing industry) and it is well regulated and professional. Don't fear the food any more than you would at any restaurant. (And there are some good options too!)

7) Badges. Keep in mind that Will Call opens on Wednesday for everyone, and it starts to stack up pretty fast. (I'm not sure when the Trade Day badges become available, but if it is before the main Will Call, I'd prioritize that if you want to breeze in and out. Otherwise, I have typically gotten in line Wednesday evening to get mine, and the wait is usually between a half-hour and an hour depending on exact time. If you can dodge the lines, it may be worth it, but I've found that it's not a big deal. Again, YMMV.

->Cass
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Krause
United States
GRAND RAPIDS
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WittyreaderLI wrote:
Hey all,

I'm excited to go to my first large scale convention EVER! I'm going to GenCon this year from Tuesday evening to Sunday. I've never been to Indianapolis nor a big convention so I have a lot of questions. I've started doing some research and reading some threads on here, but I know you guys are helpful and love answering questions (albeit, repeated ones) so I figured i'd ask.

1) I booked a hotel that is not super close. There were a small handful of hotels left as of today and the ones that were close to the convention center were about 500+ a night, which I cannot see myself paying. Therefore I have stayed at a very cheap hotel that's about 4 miles away. Do people do this? Is it a MUST to stay near the convention center? I booked it with a cancellation option.

Super common. I use hotel points so I usually have to end up staying outside of Indy by a few miles and only have had problems in the past if I had to park. While yes, staying downtown has it's advantages I really wouldn't worry about it too much.

2) I love to walk. I walk on average 8 miles a day. Is it possible to walk the 4 miles from my hotel to the convention center in the morning? Is it safe? (I would not do this in the evening).

Possible yes. Safe, probably not. I just took a look at what I think is your hotel and it looks like you'd be walking through some questionable areas. Also, google is saying it's going to take about 2 hours to get there via walking. That's a ton of con time chewed up by just walking back and fourth. If your hotel does offer a shuttle, that's going to be the best way to get to the CON, however, I have noticed in the past that shuttles either only go to the airport or if they do go downtown, don't operate after 8 or 9 PM. In either case, most nights you're probably going to be using either uber, lyft, or a taxi to get home. I'd use them in the before mentioned order. Taxi drives in Indy gouge people during the con and often intentionally jack up the fare to catch the many people there from rural America off guard. Just make sure you're paying attention. One last thing, the buses in Indy are super cheap and work very well for skirting around town. I don't believe they run super late, but depending on how big of a night owl you are that could end up working for you.

3) Do you guys recommend bringing a large suitcase that I check or a smaller carry on bag that I can put a duffel bag in and check that on the way home?

As other people on here have said, either pack in a non flex suitcase or ship the stuff back home to you. I drive so I haven't had that problem at Gencon, but with other cons I just refrain from buying anything that won't fit in my carry on.

4) I'm going alone and will know no one. What's the best way to meet people at the con?

There are several awesome ways that I've had success with in the past. The first is sign up for events. I know some people advise against it, but it's a godsend if you're trying to meet new people. If you like someone and are having a good time, try and find out if they'd be up for playing games later. Always bring some business cards so you can hand them out for easy contact exchanges.

Filler games in lounges. Almost everyone at the con is there to game in some capacity. Bring a light, compact, interesting looking filler in your bag. The lounges are always full of people trying to get a quick rest before moving on somewhere else. Just ask if anybody there wants to play a quick game. Most of the time you'll fill up with people in minutes and some of them you might even end up drinking with later.

Hotel lobby. People often bring groups to big cons like Gencon and most of them head back after a hard day of con going looking to play some of the new toys they picked up at the convention. In previous years I've had a ton of success waiting for groups like that to pull out games and then casually striking up a conversation. Many times this results in me making friends and playing games in the wee hours of the morning.

Finally, don't underestimate the open gaming room. Either pick up a game you know how to teach or look for someone who want to teach one themselves, pop down and get to know people. You'll find that it's a great way to meet people.


5) Do you guys set a budget/limit of how many games you take home? Do you take them on the plane or do you ship them home if you're flying, as I am..?

Always give yourself a budget and yes you're going to be tempted. I know people have said otherwise, but many games release early Gencon. (Almost all of Stronghold's lineup from last year comes to mind.) Just know that you'll be paying MSRP and pushing through crowds to get anything that's an early release. If there's something you really want then maybe it's worth it for you, just try not to go too nuts. Most of those games will be online or at you FLGS a month or two after the con ends. Where I usually find myself in trouble is with the discounted games. If you wait until Sunday some of the deals you can get are simply insane. Without a budget it's too easy to start picking up games simply because they're a good deal and not because you really want them.

6) I don't mind eating meals at weird times. I have lunch at home sometimes at 11 AM and dinner at 4/4:30. Are the places less crowded at these times?

It depends on too much to say. I know people who swear by hitting the food trucks early, but I haven't had much success with it. Maybe your luck will be better.



That's all I have for now!

Thanks in advance everyone! And if anyone wants to meet up when I'm there, feel free to message me!


Brian
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shaun Morris
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WittyreaderLI wrote:
1) I booked a hotel that is not super close. There were a small handful of hotels left as of today and the ones that were close to the convention center were about 500+ a night, which I cannot see myself paying. Therefore I have stayed at a very cheap hotel that's about 4 miles away. Do people do this? Is it a MUST to stay near the convention center? I booked it with a cancellation option.


I stayed at the Crowne Pointe by the airport when I went to Gen Con in 2015. I had an absolute blast and a great experience with the hotel. I frequently left around 9am and didn't return until 1 or 2 in the morning. It's definitely doable and you won't be the only one that's off campus, so to speak.

WittyreaderLI wrote:
2) I love to walk. I walk on average 8 miles a day. Is it possible to walk the 4 miles from my hotel to the convention center in the morning? Is it safe? (I would not do this in the evening).


Depending on where you're staying because some of the hotels, such as those by the airport aren't really walkable due to part of the route being on the highway. If you're staying in the city though, it shouldn't be an issue. When I went in 2015 I would frequently be on the streets late at night and never had an issue. There will be so many other attendees out playing games into the wee hours and such a heavy police presence that you shouldn't have an issue even at night. That said, it's probably still best to take a cab to your hotel at night.

WittyreaderLI wrote:
3) Do you guys recommend bringing a large suitcase that I check or a smaller carry on bag that I can put a duffel bag in and check that on the way home?


I brought a small sports duffel bag and stuffed a large military duffel bag into it that I loaded with games for the plane ride home.


WittyreaderLI wrote:
4) I'm going alone and will know no one. What's the best way to meet people at the con?


Don't be shy. When I went in 2015 it was my first large scale convention and I went alone. It was definitely overwhelming but all of the people I met were really friendly. My recommendation is to be polite and friendly and just be very forward. Don't be afraid to just jump into a booth and ask questions. Obviously don't forget your manners and interrupt people's conversations, but don't be afraid to join them either if the topic is something you're curious about. If you're interested in a game be sure to ask the people running the booth about it and if they have a demo you could test.


WittyreaderLI wrote:
5) Do you guys set a budget/limit of how many games you take home? Do you take them on the plane or do you ship them home if you're flying, as I am..?


My budget was based on what I could fit in my bags and also I had to stay within a certain monetary limit. I took my games home on the plane. Unless you're unable to fit the games into your luggage, I'd recommend flying them home on the plane with you. I used to work for UPS loading and unloading packages, believe me, you're games are no safe being shipped via UPS/FedEx/USPS than they are being loaded onto your flight. At least if they're on your flight you can get them as soon as you touch down again.

WittyreaderLI wrote:
6) I don't mind eating meals at weird times. I have lunch at home sometimes at 11 AM and dinner at 4/4:30. Are the places less crowded at these times?


I found that going to Gen Con alone I never really had an issue getting space in the restaurants regardless of the time of day. I ate most of my dinners at The Ram and just sat at the bar. What's nice about that is, a lot of other people at the bar aren't in a defined group so they're much easier to start up conversation with.

Overall, my solo Gen Con experience back in 2015 was highly enjoyable and I think you'll have an absolute blast. Just be sure to keep your schedule flexible and your mind open to trying new things.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
baker mouse
United States
brownsburg
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WittyreaderLI wrote:
Hey all,

I'm excited to go to my first large scale convention EVER! I'm going to GenCon this year from Tuesday evening to Sunday. I've never been to Indianapolis nor a big convention so I have a lot of questions. I've started doing some research and reading some threads on here, but I know you guys are helpful and love answering questions (albeit, repeated ones) so I figured i'd ask.

1) I booked a hotel that is not super close. There were a small handful of hotels left as of today and the ones that were close to the convention center were about 500+ a night, which I cannot see myself paying. Therefore I have stayed at a very cheap hotel that's about 4 miles away. Do people do this? Is it a MUST to stay near the convention center? I booked it with a cancellation option.

It certainly makes it easier.

2) I love to walk. I walk on average 8 miles a day. Is it possible to walk the 4 miles from my hotel to the convention center in the morning? Is it safe? (I would not do this in the evening).

I agree with others, it depends. I am local if you want to PM me the hotel name I can tell you if its sketchy.

3) Do you guys recommend bringing a large suitcase that I check or a smaller carry on bag that I can put a duffel bag in and check that on the way home?

How worried are you about buying a large game box? Are you worried about boxes being damaged in transit? A larger rigid suitcase would protect the games better than a duffle (whether you check it or not) but a duffle to put clothes in on the way home would be fine. Something to keep in mind if you will be opening any of your purchases you might also want to pack along some ziplock to contain bits and pieces should the boxes open for some reason.


4) I'm going alone and will know no one. What's the best way to meet people at the con?

Sit down at a game and say hi!
My favorite rooms are:
The game room run by RioGrande- Free, has coffee and snacks,they teach the games (NO READING RULES!), and they will find you people who want to play (or sit you down where there is a free space)

IELLO room- last year they skipped this but I am hoping they will bring it back. You did pay a fee, but its the same as Riogrande- lots of games, will teach, and sweet prizes.

Board Game Geek Demo Room- first time for them last year and I had a blast. Not as many teaching the games but they did have publishers there highlighting new games (way less crowded that the dealer hall made it a much better experience).

I think Mayfair has a room also....

All of these places I got to talk to people and make friends! The dealer hall just dose not allow you to do that (Dealer hall is more like fast food than fine dining) Not to say the dealer hall isn't fun in it's own way!

5) Do you guys set a budget/limit of how many games you take home? Do you take them on the plane or do you ship them home if you're flying, as I am..?

No budget here (but I don't go all hog wild either). I am local so no help there, other than to say the convention center does have a fed ex shipping center inside.

6) I don't mind eating meals at weird times. I have lunch at home sometimes at 11 AM and dinner at 4/4:30. Are the places less crowded at these times?

Yes they are less crowded. Agree with others avoid the convention center food (way overpriced) , food trucks can be good/or really bad (again I am local so if anyone needs advice on these!) Since you said you like walking go about 1-2 blocks out and you can find some good restuaunts with no wait.

That's all I have for now!

Thanks in advance everyone! And if anyone wants to meet up when I'm there, feel free to message me!


Brian
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Schwartz
United States
Holbrook
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you all for the good advice! It seems that the hotel I am staying in is not in the best of areas but I've been scouring the nets and it seems like this is the "best of the worst," unless I want to pay an extra 200-500 dollars on top of what I paid. I will just make sure I Uber it and stay near the hotel.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Lam I Am
United States
Highland
UT
flag msg tools
To play is human; to win, divine.
badge
There is no shame in losing, if you remain unafraid to play again. -Losers
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WittyreaderLI wrote:
Is it a MUST to stay near the convention center?


No. Uber is your friend.

WittyreaderLI wrote:
I love to walk.... (I would not do this in the evening).


Good, because I'm assuming you don't enjoy walking while carrying 40 lbs of games.

WittyreaderLI wrote:
Do you guys recommend bringing a large suitcase that I check or a smaller carry on bag that I can put a duffel bag in and check that on the way home?


Depends on how many games you'll bring home and how much you care about keeping your new games uncrushed. I went to a thrift store and bought an old-school hard shell suitcase to take with me to Gen Con. Packed my games in there with some cardboard and crumpled paper for additional protection. You can also fit a few games into a carry-on.

If you fly Southwest, you get TWO FREE bags. (Can you tell I'm a cheapskate yet?)

WittyreaderLI wrote:
I'm going alone


An extrovert will have no problem meeting people. I'm an introvert and still met plenty of nice people. I also signed up for events so I knew I'd have something to do.

WittyreaderLI wrote:
Do you guys set a budget/limit of how many games you take home? Do you take them on the plane or do you ship them home if you're flying, as I am..?


Gotta know your space and weight limits packing for the plane if you are going solo. Of course, you can always do more if you are willing to spend more money on shipping or extra bags.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike

Charlotte
North Carolina
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1) I booked a hotel that is not super close. There were a small handful of hotels left as of today and the ones that were close to the convention center were about 500+ a night, which I cannot see myself paying. Therefore I have stayed at a very cheap hotel that's about 4 miles away. Do people do this? Is it a MUST to stay near the convention center? I booked it with a cancellation option.

- Not a problem to commute in. Though I will say most things within 4 miles of the convention center may not be in the best area. You may be better staying slightly further away.


2) I love to walk. I walk on average 8 miles a day. Is it possible to walk the 4 miles from my hotel to the convention center in the morning? Is it safe? (I would not do this in the evening).

-No for the reason above. It is probably not in a great area.


3) Do you guys recommend bringing a large suitcase that I check or a smaller carry on bag that I can put a duffel bag in and check that on the way home?

- Suitcase otherwise your boxes will get smashed.

4) I'm going alone and will know no one. What's the best way to meet people at the con?

- Sign up for Events

5) Do you guys set a budget/limit of how many games you take home? Do you take them on the plane or do you ship them home if you're flying, as I am..?

- I hardly buy anything at the Con. I might pick up a few promos and maybe one game. 95% of what is available at Gencon is cheaper online. For example everything at Coolstuff is usually MSRP at Gencon.

6) I don't mind eating meals at weird times. I have lunch at home sometimes at 11 AM and dinner at 4/4:30. Are the places less crowded at these times?

- Eating is not nearly as difficult as people make it sound. I recommend packing a lunch daily to eat. It is cheaper and you don't need to leave time in the middle of the day when registering for events.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
Costa Rica
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
enjoy the shit out of it is the best advice I got, he he. Sign up for your favorite game if you can, or a really long game you love that is hard to get friends to play. The library really really rocks if you are there solo, it will let you meet a lot of people. At a lot of conventions and GC I have wound up playing a few more games with people I hit it off with while playing a game in the game library or open gaming area.
A lot of good advice.

Bring pen and paper to write down stuff ( like what new games you played, and with who, or stuff that interests you and will need some investigation later on ).

Water bottle and snacks are a big one for me, I am good snacking most of the day and eating one main meal, and then of course late night drunk food.

I like having some Generic tickets at $2 a pop, like $20 worth, so I can jump in any game that is about to start and I stumble on it at the right time to jump in. You can sell them back on the last day. Some of my favorite games have small tournaments all day long on the hour or so, so the generic tickets rock for this. My games give out free promos for the games that usually are really cool.


Yea, I think you will be surprised how much walking is involved if your exploring the place and going to the dealer hall,

I would uber or find a shuttle or bus it both ways, , 4 miles is still going to add up to hours of gaming and enjoying what your paying for verses walking through a city with stuff on your back probably.

I bet there is a bus line your near that goes right down town?

What is your very favorite game, go to the biggest web page for it ( for me it is Heroscape and Heroscapers.com ) and try and pre-arrange games with other fans who will be at GC ( I just enter all the tournaments held for Heroscape that I can and still get in extra game of it ).

It is incredible how diverse all the stuff to do there is. Find something that interests you and check it out ( painting mini's, going to writers talking about the craft, True dungeon, making foam weapons and fighting, auctions, meeting game designers and having them teach you their game and of course signing the copy you buy afterwards, getting exclusive stuff for games, and oh so much more )

I have had great luck with the food trucks, but man they have long lines, a few blocks away by my hotel area few places with no real lines ( I am 2 blocks away, I love being close, but with how much Heroscape stuff I bring I have so much in the room and sometimes I need to run back to get different armies. Plus we cram 10 guys in a big corner room and get it pretty cheap that way. Of course I do not get much sleep, which is part of why I go. ).

One of the big companies ( help me out people - I want to say Mayfair ) has a big game room that is free to play all their games in and they have catered food brought in a couple of times a day, 2 years I had great luck and hit 2 meals a day there just walking by and checking if they had food at the moment. To be clear, I was also going in their those year and playing their games a lot.

That is what I got for you, I think this is my 8th in a row, I am hitting origins for the first time ever, so I am now going to 2 big conventions a year ( having to come from Costa Rica adds a bit of expense to the trip or I would do more I tell ya ).

Gone in knowing you are surrounded by like minded geeks and nerds who understand you and your love of games, fantasy, and sci-fi stuff. OK, you are going to be going back I already predict.



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Nowak
United States
Greenville
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
You have paid retail for the last time.
badge
The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. - GKC
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We stayed at the Park Place several years ago, and that was a pleasant 2 mile walk (though we were out of shape and carrying too much to enjoy it).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Boyes
United States
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
on the meeting people to share your con with:

If you have any podcasts you listen to, or people you follow you might want to look and see if any of them are coming and if they have any meetups scheduled. Last year BGG had a hot games room that was nice and chill, and had lots of BGGers in there.

You could even post here on the geek and see if anyone else is going solo and arrange to do lunch or dinner with them. I feel like those times are when you might be most likely to miss hanging out. The rest of the time you are likely to be in the overwhelming exhibitor hall, or playing games.

There is a ton of stuff to do and see. You could easily spend the whole con going booth to booth in the exhibitor hall demoing games or sitting in the auction hall. But I recommend booking at least one event per day or setting aside some time to play in open gaming. It helps to break things up, and give you some time to sit and enjoy a game.

Also! It isn't too late! you have a hotel room booked already and that is the hard part. convince one of your friends to come out with you. Ask around.
3 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A. B. West
United States
Beech Grove
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Why aren't you PLAYING a game?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WittyreaderLI wrote:

1) Can you say where it is? South? North? In general, Uber (if you're comfortable with that) is the way to go. My hotel is on Bixby Street? It's a Super 8. Does that help context it?

Yep, I know exactly where that is located. I would not recommend walking - it is a LONG walk! And keep in mind, you're basically walking *all day* at GenCon. Better idea is Uber or Lyft. There's also Blue Indy (rentals). There are stations right in the middle of downtown and over at UIndy - which isn't too far away from where you are staying? Just a suggestion.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Hopkins
United States
Rockford
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Springheeledjack wrote:
Hand Sanitizer is a great idea, along with EmergenZ, and plenty of water. You do not want to catch Con Crud or whatever bug is going around the con.

And from personal experience, avoid the food trucks. Most are dicey and my friend got food poisoning from one of them. Walk a couple of blocks and go to a reputable restaurant. Your stomach will thank you.


I have to respectfully disagree with you on the food trucks. I loved them when I attended in 2014, and I'm stoked to try them again this year!

That said, if I got food poisoning at one, I probably wouldn't try them again either
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shaun Morris
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dhopkins wrote:
Springheeledjack wrote:
Hand Sanitizer is a great idea, along with EmergenZ, and plenty of water. You do not want to catch Con Crud or whatever bug is going around the con.

And from personal experience, avoid the food trucks. Most are dicey and my friend got food poisoning from one of them. Walk a couple of blocks and go to a reputable restaurant. Your stomach will thank you.


I have to respectfully disagree with you on the food trucks. I loved them when I attended in 2014, and I'm stoked to try them again this year!

That said, if I got food poisoning at one, I probably wouldn't try them again either


You can get food poisoning anywhere, including a reputable restaurant or even at home. Obviously some people will get sick every year, but considering how many thousands eat at the trucks, the risk of food borne illness is pretty low.

I ate at food truck back in 2015 and was fine. I still prefer The RAM but the food trucks work in a pinch.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.