Tips If Your Attending Gen Con 50

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This week marks the 50th annual Gen Con, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. What was a small gathering of friends at Gary Gygax’s house in 1967 has grown to become the biggest tabletop gaming convention in the U.S., attracting more than 60,000 people and hundreds of new games every year. For the uninitiated it can be pretty overwhelming, so here are our tips for having fun at “the best four days in gaming.”


  1. As soon as you get to town and check into your hotel, head over to pick up your badge and event tickets if you didn’t have it mailed. The line is going to be very, very long, Like miles long. But it moves quickly.


  1. You’re going to be walking, A LOT. Like miles a day. Unless you were lucky enough to get a hotel connected to the convention center, you will have a walk to get there, you will be walking to events, and just walking the exhibit hall is quite the trek. As it’s more than a half million square feet! So make sure you have comfortable shoes that fit. I would not suggest buying a new pair and then “breaking them in”  BEFORE  your 4 or 5 days in Indy. Also, this might sound odd, but make sure you have a good pair of socks, with no holes etc, your feet will thank you at the end of the day. Another thing takes some breaks, sit and relax your feet. Even if it’s just for a few minutes.

2a. This one if would be for next year, but as I said above, you are going to be walking a lot, so why not start working at that BEFORE Gen Con. Start walking a few months before, the more time you walk, the more “In shape” you will be and you’re used to hitting the pavement.


  1. Water, you will need to drink lots of it. Hydrate! Let me say that again Hyrdate! This goes with #2 a bit, but you will need to make sure you keep yourself Hydrated with all the walking and the weather, for those that are not from the Midwest, my home state of Indiana tends to be hot and humid during August, we don’t have any of that “Dry Heat” they have in other parts of the US, when it’s hot, you feel it, you will sweat just walking outside. The forecast they are calling for so far is not as bad as it has been, but it’s still going to be hot! So Hydration is going to be your friend, bring a water bottle with you, there are plenty of water stations around the convention center, and all of the hotels have them in their lobbies as well, so there are plenty of places you can refill that, my tip is refilled it drink it, then refill it as you’re leaving for your next event.


  1. I know there are tons to do, and you don’t want to miss anything, but your body needs sleep, remember when I said you would be walking a lot, your body needs to rest, you need rest. So do everyone a favor and sleep. Try and get at least 5 hours. More would be better, but let’s face it some events and pick up games can run late into the night, so just do you want you to feel is enough for you.


  1. Eat, This sound dumb to say but don’t forget to eat! You will be playing games, walking around seeing all the booths and events, but take some time to eat. Again, your body needs this, you will need to get some carbs to have the fuel to keep your going! My pro tip is DO NOT, I will repeat DO NOT eat inside the convention center, yes it might be easy, but IMHO it’s overpriced and not that great of food. Just walk right outside the doors to Georgia street and there will be plenty of Food Trucks to pick from, you will have to time this right though, as the lines can get crazy, and with Gen Con being a sell out this year, will be worse than There is also a TON of great restaurants all within walking distance of the Convention Center, Circle Center Mall is a very easy walk. They have a food court, variety, better prices, and it’s completely amazing to watch the locals interact with the convention attendees. The best year was when the Colts had a pre season game, talk about cultures clashing. Downtown Indy is foodie paradise, so many choices. Some of the hotels will offer you’re a free breakfast, so take advantage of that for that meal, throw some snacks in your bag you carry with you, just something to help if you get hungry and you’re in a game before you can get food.


  1. Shower, ok I should not have to say this, but please for the love of God and all your fellow geeks, please take a shower. Also, put on some deodorant. It sounds silly, but trust me there is always one person that seems to forget this, and I end up next them on an elevator or at a game table. Just shower, brush your teeth, use deodorant daily. All of us at the convention thank you for that.


Some general con tips

  1. Cosplay, there will be a lot of this, you will see plenty of things and it’s cool to take a pic of someone you see in an amazing customer, BUT please keep mind a few things
  2. ASK FRIST, just don’t start snapping pictures, a polite “May I take your picture” or something, most people will be very gracious and let you, some might say no, but normally they are nice about and say “I’m on my way to an event or something like that” respect them, if you see them again, ask again. The Golden rule is BE NICE and POLITE. It will go along way
  3. This goes along with #1, Cosplay is NOT Consent don’t touch. It’s just wrong and rude. Again, just be nice.
  4. Please don’t be the person that is blocking the hallways or worse yet the aisle in the exhibitor If you want to stop and talk to your friend, or take a picture of a cos player, step to the side, this will be super important this year as Gen Con is on its way to a full sell out, so there is going to be TONS of people there. Also to go along with this please don’t bring a huge stroller in the exhibitor hall, it takes up too much room and blocks aisle ways and such, It’s cool your bringing you kids to Gen Con! Geek them up when they are young, but please try to figure out a way to do it without a huge stroller, another tip don’t bring a rolling suitcase in there either, you would be shocked at the people that do this instead of carrying a backpack.
  5. Take a second to thank all the Gen Con Volunteers and workers, with out them you would not having fun. They work hard to make this one of the best conventions, Just say thanks. I’m sure it will brighten their crazy day.
  6. Speaking of thanking people, when you’re out and about around Indy, say thanks and be polite to all the wait staff, hotel workers, etc. That you will meet, Remember your reflecting Gen Con as a whole, when you’re out there, don’t make all look bad. Indy has already been on the record that they love Gen Con. It brings a boat load of money into the local economy of Indy, so just say thanks! Or I loved the food, restaurant service, you get the point. Just be nice always.
  7. Con-Crud – prepare for it. Use hand sanitizer (Something you should pack and have with you at all times) I mean, let’s face you’re going to be touching things, thousands of other people have touched. Hand sanitizer is your friend. And this goes without saying as well, but wash your hands often.


See Ya In Indy! For the best four days in gaming!


One comment

  1. Thank you for this! I’m leaving for Indy tomorrow night, can’t wait! 😀

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