In addition to many other tradeshows, Every year I make the pilgrimage to Indianapolis to attend the annual gathering of gamers known as GenCon. In these years I have learned a few things that will make your experience better.

– Lyft is your friend.

If you are flying in use Lyft or any preferred ride share company. Taxis are expensive, Lyft will save you money. Be sure to tip as well.

– Use your ‘Do not disturb’ Sign.

If you don’t want people in your room, hang your do not disturb sign on your door and leave it there even when you are away. This will help prevent unwanted people going through your stuff as they clean. It’s not cool proof but it helps.

– Bring Emergan-c and sanitizer.

Con-crud is a thing. It will get you sick if you don’t take precautions. Every card you touch and every die you throw has been touched by thousands of other people. Be prepared.

– Don’t stop in the middle of an aisle at the show!

If you need to consult your pocket Oracle (your phone) don’t stop in an aisle or intersection at the show. This is bad form and only makes others frustrated. Stop on the side near a booth or, better yet, out of the main hall. Be polite and remember you are not alone.

– If you see something you want to buy, don’t hesitate, it may be home the next time you go by.

Typically Sunday (the last day of a Con) is ‘firesale’ day at conventions. This year GenCon sold out. That meant that more people were there and that means less available for everyone attending. If a show sells out, don’t wait to buy that game or item you wanted. It will likely be gone when you go back.

– make time for sleep.
Pace yourself. If you are there the entire week spend the first few nights going to bed at a normal hour. Friday and Saturday night are the nights with the most happening. Keep your energy for those night.

– Find A home base.

When travelling with a group designate a home base if you get seperated. This will help make sure you always find each other and texting ‘homebase’ is easier than searching for a booth number. The home base can be anything from a central booth to a specific entryway.


Seriously. Don’t forget personal hygiene. There were 75,000 people in one big room. It gets hot and that causes sweat. Do the math. Your nose will thank you.

– Eat. Drink. Stay hydrated.

This should go without saying but your body needs fuel. Feed it. You will be burning calories like never before with all the walking you will do. Fuel up!

– Play Games.

This show is about gaming. There are demos everywhere so jump on one. If you see a free table then go for it. Even if it’s not a genre you would normally play, you will be surprised by what you discover.

– Have Fun and meet people

There is so much to see and do at a show like this. Remember to have fun. It’s easy to get swept into your comfort zones but this is a place to meet new people who are of a like mind. Everyone at the show is there to have a good time. You should as well.

Late To The Game 8/21/17

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