by Rob Balder
Gen Con Indy 2011
August 4–7, 2011
Gen Con was booming this year. No shortage of attendees here, and all the game companies were going big. This is (and might always be) the event for tabletop gaming in North America.
The organizers did almost everything very well, despite the entire area around the convention center being under massive street construction. The City of Indianapolis screwed us all, but that was certainly not Gen Con’s fault.
One thing I really have to compliment them on was the way they handled artists and authors. The cheapest tables in the Exhibitor Hall were not shoved off into the corner (although the musicians’ tables were). They were right in the center. Way to treat the indie pros right.
But the one thing that I have to dock them major points for is the lack of a freebie table. This has to be the most fan-unfriendly decision they could make, considering that they use other events to promote Gen Con. Other major events like SDCC and Dragon*Con recognize this as a fan need and as the event’s responsibility to the community of people who actually travel to events. They actually tried to confiscate our flyers. Bad move, Gen Con. Just put out some damn folding tables. (Nth Degree has actually run into this in the past. I once spent an odd afternoon on the phone with Gen Con staff unsuccessfully trying to explain that I wanted to send them FREE magazines to give away if they just had a place to put them. –ed.)
Impression: This is the big one, don’t miss it. Wonderfully huge and exhausting.