Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions

Subject: Attending GenCon for the first time rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Randy Lanquist
United States
St Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have decided to attend GenCon in Indianapolis this summer from Aug 14-17. I have my badge and now need to make reservations for lodging. I plan to arrive by Amtrak.

Since I am new to GenCon and am totally unfamiliar with Indianapolis, I would like to solicit some help/advice from those of you who are veterans of GenCon, or those of you who are familiar with Indianapolis.

I would like to save some money on lodging if possible, since I may or may not have travelling companions to share the expenses. I am partial to public transportation, and notice that Indianapolis does have a public bus system (but no subway, I am told).

I am thinking one possibility would be to look for lodging outside of the downtown area but near the public bus routes and rely on public transit to get me to and from the GenCon convention. Do the buses run round the clock? What areas of Indianapolis should I seek lodging in (in terms of amenities available nearby, proximity to public transportation and relative safety) and what sections of the city should I avoid?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Speaking as an Indianapolis native who would LOVE to use public transportation herself, I really can't advise the Indy bus system for the most part. It doesn't go to very many parts of town, and the parts it goes to, are for the most part not very safe, or else are not any cheaper than what you'd find downtown next to the Convention Center. Sorry

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Irving
United States
Salinas
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For any convention it usually best to stay at the convention hotel or a one within walking distance if you can't get in:

Reasons you will care:
- After a long, late night of gaming, it is better to stagger back to your room than face driving (or bus system in your case) while tired. (Probably the best reason--you will stay later than you expect.)
- The hosting hotels will have other gamers, often playing open games in the hotel lounge.
- Handy place to store all the games you end up purchasing, instead of lugging them around the con.
- The convention hotel usually has a discount rate for the congoers. You really don't save much money going to a remote motel.

Reason you may not care, but the organizers of the convention do:
The convention's rates for the convention center may be based on a aforementioned certain block of hotel rooms being sold. Hotel meeting rooms aren't cheap--and most cons can only afford them if they promise hotel an amount of rooms booked, food purchased at the hotel's restaurant, snacks bought at snack bar, etc.

Probably doesn't matter for GenCon, but for smaller cons this can be important in making sure it comes back next year.
1 
 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
There are several hotels downtown - a number of which are connected to the convention center by tunnels and others are within a short (5-10 min) walk. Those are by far the best option - and everybody knows that, so you need to get a room quick. Could be pricey too - downtown rooms go for around $135+ per night. I've seen them get as high as $300 per night. Find a room mate to split the bill and you'd be better off.

Anything outside downtown - you have a wide range of choices. But the bus system doesn't run everywhere, so ask the hotel. I know the northside is better for bus travel - there's one that runs every day from the far northside and lots of business people take it. But the northside hotels are probably not much cheaper. Best bet is to find a good price for a hotel and then ask about transportation. Southside is also pretty nice. East/West sides - not as good - further out from downtown really.

I'm not sure where Amtrak would disembark. Could be downtown at Union Station. If so, you're downtown right away - and just a minute from the convention center.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nomadic Gamer
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A useful
GENCON survival guide.

http://php.iupui.edu/~wrporter/
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Gallagher
United States
Torrance
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Some general rules regarding public transportation:

It's likely that you can find a Web site that has route and schedule information. Note that in many large cities, some bus lines may not run all night. Those that do generally run every 30-60 minutes between 9 PM and 5 AM; thus make sure you have the schedule available to avoid long waits, especially when the streets are deserted (regardless of what part of town you're in). It goes without saying that you should choose accomodations that are close to a bus running directly downtown.

Given the hassle of riding buses, consider spending the extra $20-$40 a night to stay downtown. Especially at a convention as large as GenCon, you should be able to find a compatible roommate (make sure you get to know them first).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Stubbs
United States
Florence
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Also, just be aware that GenCon has filed for bankruptcy and a lot of the previous year's exhibitors are a bit skittish and many may not even be there. There are even rumors that WotC will not be there due to their corporate policy of not having business dealings with companies in bankruptcy.

Just show up for gaming and not for the exhibit hall and events and you should be fine.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Richard
United States
Avon
US
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm an Indy resident, and a moderator on the Gen Con Community forums, and we have tons of information regarding lodging, restaurants, game events, and other Gen Con information. Feel free to check us out at http://community.gencon.com. My screen name there is "The Science".

I have to agree with the posts regarding Indy's bus system - not the greatest. Finding a room in a close hotel (within walking distance of the ICC) would probably be the way to go.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Lanquist
United States
St Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I have no fear of public transportation - been using it in many cities all my life. Thanks for the tips on where to look for rooms. I may have two travelling companions, I might be travelling solo - my friends won't know for sure until later this summer. At any rate, I'm attending regardless. If I go solo, I'm pursuing the frugal route.

I gotta admit I'm a novice regarding GenCon (or any other games con). I'm most interested in making contacts in the gaming industry, perhaps getting some hints and tips from game publishers and self-publishers. I want to see what's out there and what's popular.

I'm a gamer to be sure, I own more than 150 board games and expect to load up on more at the Con. But I don't burn the midnight oil like I used to, and after a day at the Con, I'd probably knock off before too late, kick back and get a good nights sleep.

I keep bumping into the "events" fees etc. What is meant by "True Dungeon"? What events that are esoteric to GenCon do you feel that I should look into?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You should know that the far Northside commuter routes AdamW referred to are Monday to Friday only, and very limited times - like the latest morning departures is either 8AM or 8:30AM depending on whether you are coming from Carmel or Fishers. So don't rely on those to get you to Gencon unless you have alternate transport for Saturday and Sunday and don't mind conforming to commuter hours for getting down there and getting back home.

True Dungeon is kind of a LARP experience - it's pretty neat if you have a group, not so much solo. Google it to find out more.

I'm not afraid of public transport either, I go to DC regularly and LOVE the Metro there, and have taken public transport in many cities, but IndyGo is not nearly as safe as public transport in other cities. If you decide to go that route, please be extra careful of your belongings.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren Hron
United States
Huntingdon
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
I love Games
badge
I like playing games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ryokowerx wrote:
Also, just be aware that GenCon has filed for bankruptcy and a lot of the previous year's exhibitors are a bit skittish and many may not even be there. There are even rumors that WotC will not be there due to their corporate policy of not having business dealings with companies in bankruptcy.

Just show up for gaming and not for the exhibit hall and events and you should be fine.



My understanding was that GenCon (Indy convention) is *NOT* in bankruptcy, but rather all the "other" GenCons (the subsidiary company that did cons in Australia, California, and where ever else they did cons) group was. As in they are two different companies owned by the same parent. or something. One not really related to the other in any way.

I thought they were explicitly making sure the public knew they were different.

And with last years con (admittedly first) seemed VERY VERY strong and well attended.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Lanquist
United States
St Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Still looking into IndyGo as a possiblity for transportation, especially since the nearby hotels appear to be filled. With my housing code I logged onto the GenCom site try look for hotels and accommodations, and the nearest one that came up was 6 miles from the convention center. So regardless, I will be resorting to public transportation.

I've printed out the IndyGo System Map and picked several routes as possibilities. The routes I am presently reviewing are:

37 Park 100
25 West 16th Street
31 Greenwood
28 St Vincent

My plan is to attend GenCon on Thursday - Saturday, from morning - early evening. I leave the possibility open for taking a taxi back to the lodging if I decide to stay later.

Does anyone have any experience/knowledge/advice about these routes?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.