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Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

Last post 05-13-2014 6:33 AM by marimacc. 450 replies.
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  • 08-09-2013 3:11 PM

    Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    This might already have been done, if so please link and I'll delete!

    I'm writing this in anticipation of Gencon 2013! However in all the excitement, a few things get dropped, some on our end and some on Gencon's End. (NOT BLAMING GENCON!!!!!!) They got a lot of stuff going on, and can't fix/make everything!!!!) So this forum is being formed to be a list of ideas, both for Gamers, (please not "for noobs" it's been done!!!) and for organizers, to help them out. These are usually ways to make the con better, like the 24 registration change we saw last year! This was a great help for the crazy morning that is the start of AWESOME!

    So feel free, as the con is coming up, as it is here and you are enjoying the best 4 days of gaming, or post these days and you are suffering from Con-withdraw.

    I will go ahead and post a few of my ideas below, but I hope to see some/many of yours!
  • 08-09-2013 4:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    Have an event watch list. In preparation of this years event, I have been watching a few events, I WILL get into no problem, but don't want to spend money on, if I find myself busy somewhere else, so I'll have a fist full of generics! I also think this would be handy in the event of you don't want to commit to an event but there are limited seats. So as seats fill up I can grab a ticket if I decide I have to go, or my schedule is free! It would be nice if with my event listing online, I could also see an events I'm watching.
  • 08-09-2013 5:31 PM In reply to

    • Zaphod
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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     Here is my list:

     

    1.)  Provide some sort of space for open gaming on Wed evening.  The parties are great, the scheduled events are fine, but what is really necessary is space for people to sit down and play games with each other.  The restaurants and hotel lobbies don't cut it.  Especially given the shear number of people arriving Wed night.

    2.)  Develop a good mobile app.  This year was a huge step backward.

    3.)  Don't charge companies to give away items.  Instead, provide incentives.  This is a way to ensure your loyal customers get good items in the coupon book (or swag bag if it ever exists again).

    4.)  Find a way to get more downtown rooms in the housing block.  The hotels have been charging 400/night for weeks now, taking advantage of all the leftover rooms they have.

    Gen Con has made some really good improvements the last few years (like the pick-up play area) and 24 hour registration.  But there are still some huge issues, most notably the lack of space on Wed.

  • 08-09-2013 6:17 PM In reply to

    • Derek Guder
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    If anyone has any event-specific feedback, either as a player or GM, try to stop by the our feedback session on Saturday morning so you can chat with me in person about your experiences & ideas.

    Zaphod:
    1.)  Provide some sort of space for open gaming on Wed evening.  The parties are great, the scheduled events are fine, but what is really necessary is space for people to sit down and play games with each other.  The restaurants and hotel lobbies don't cut it.  Especially given the shear number of people arriving Wed night.

    Zaphod, we have an entire build dedicated just to free, open events on Wednesday. If anyone wants to set up a pick-up game there, they are more than welcome to. I haven't gotten any other reports of tons of attendees showing up looking for something to do and no space to accommodate them. Before we can justify working with another hotel to get any significant amount of space, we will need some real evidence that 1. there are way more people than will fit into the Union Station and 2. willy-nilly open gaming is a better solution than a skeleton of scheduled gaming with whatever pick-up games happen fleshing the night out.

    If you want more Wednesday night events, please take notes this year on your experience and drop me a line after the show to go over them and talk about scheduled events vs. open gaming.

    Derek Guder - Event Programming Manager
    derek.guder@gencon.com | 857.559.2420

    Have questions about event submission? Gimme a call, send me an email or stop by the GM forum

    Please do not send me a forum PM - feel free to email or call me directly.
  • 08-10-2013 5:05 PM In reply to

    • Braewe
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    I was going to mention the Union Station thing(Derek beat me to it) but it seems a very common theme--people don't know about it. Will there be another email blast before the show?

    <edit> And I can bet why people don't schedule. When traveling, things ALWAYS come up. I know the only time I could commit to wednesday was when I actually arrived on /tuesday/. The few times I tried, instead of leaving at 9, we left at noon, etc.

  • 08-12-2013 7:25 AM In reply to

    • Glacialis
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    This will be my fourth GenCon, and this is the first I've heard about Union Station being open for gaming on Wednesday. I am someone who obsessively researches things too, and I didn't see anything about this until now. :/
  • 08-12-2013 7:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    Bring back the swag bags!!

    Bring back the app!!

  • 08-12-2013 7:34 AM In reply to

    • Libra
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    On the event registration system I would like an option to filter out generic only events, like the option to filter sold out events. I am not saying remove generic events by default, just an option to hide them.

  • 08-12-2013 8:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    Libra:

    On the event registration system I would like an option to filter out generic only events, like the option to filter sold out events. I am not saying remove generic events by default, just an option to hide them.

    I'm pretty sure Derek said that those don't exist. That is to say, generic only events aren't allowed, are they?
    Something Witty and Clever
  • 08-12-2013 8:16 AM In reply to

    • Libra
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    Harin T'eb:
    Libra:

    On the event registration system I would like an option to filter out generic only events, like the option to filter sold out events. I am not saying remove generic events by default, just an option to hide them.

    I'm pretty sure Derek said that those don't exist. That is to say, generic only events aren't allowed, are they?

    I just did a quick search on Sunday (just beacuse) and found some. EGM1349808, TCG1351625, TCG1351550

    When looking for events to add to the shoping cart, especially during pre-reg, it becomes a bit combursome since each one has to be opened individually just to find out that I cannot add it to my cart anyway.

     

  • 08-12-2013 8:24 AM In reply to

    • Libra
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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     Along that same line of thought, there are also events that accept no tickets (generic or otherwise). Typically these are the result of a tournament or something. Cannot add them to my cart and have to open each one separately in order to find that out. A filter for those would be nice too. Basically I want an option to just see those events I can actually add to my cart right now. :)

  • 08-12-2013 8:27 AM In reply to

    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    Libra:

     Along that same line of thought, there are also events that accept no tickets (generic or otherwise). Typically these are the result of a tournament or something. Cannot add them to my cart and have to open each one separately in order to find that out. A filter for those would be nice too. Basically I want an option to just see those events I can actually add to my cart right now. :)

    Really, I'd like to see multi-round events only show up at the timeslot for the first round, the later round information can be included there.

    There's no need for a separate listing in the event guides (I recognize they may need one for room planning, etc.)

    Something Witty and Clever
  • 08-20-2013 6:08 AM In reply to

    • ChelleDG
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    In the GenCon program guide, Event Listings - for each time slot, please organize first by game type, then alphabetical. Was diificult to wade through each page to find just board games or just RPGs.
    "I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was going to BLAME you!"
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  • 08-20-2013 6:19 AM In reply to

    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    ChelleDG:
    In the GenCon program guide, Event Listings - for each time slot, please organize first by game type, then alphabetical. Was diificult to wade through each page to find just board games or just RPGs.

    While I agree that would be more convenient *for me* it would not necessarily be more convenient for *everybody*. Some people care more about the time, than about the event type, others care more about the type than the time. Realistically in a printed medium they have to pick one or the other for organizing, and this is the one they picked.

    Now, for a real recommendation... just hire one of the people who have been converting your catalog into digital form already. Enough with this in house solutions garbage, there are two *good* websites that already do it. No need to reinvent the wheel, when someone already invented it and gave it away for free.

    How difficult would it be for GenCon to reach out to the person who made the bloodbowldigital webapp and say "hey, we liked that, it worked great, can we have it?"

    Something Witty and Clever
  • 08-20-2013 6:40 AM In reply to

    • Mystykal
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    Clearly put up some sort of way to tell which hall is which inside the halls. I don't know how many times inside the hall c,d,e,f,g area I was walking around trying to find the right area/table. Also I thought demos were not to charge for tickets. I know most didn't but Steve Jackson games sure did. Learn to play events charged for tickets and in two hours we didn't even play 2 turns before they recommended we call the game.
    Father, husband, gamer, not always in that order LOL
  • 08-20-2013 9:19 AM In reply to

    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    This is a weird one but I found myself repeatedly commenting on how many events really needed specific event organizers. As in, people who make the event run smoothly. Planning it out in advance, if you will. Coordinating the small details so that the people who run the event can focus on the big picture. (an example-- Iron GM started an hour late due to getting everything organized...super awesome event as always, but could benefit from freeing up the people who run it by handing off the setting up/staging tasks to someone else). I think things like the larger events could benefit from having a dedicated administrator who handles the event minutia with authority.
  • 08-20-2013 9:23 AM In reply to

    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    My thoughts.

    1. As others have said, on the signs inside the large halls, a "You are Here" would have been great.

    2. Real Lanyards. This sounds petty, but I think it looks kinda bad to outsiders. They were super cheap. I know that Gencon has to find a sponsor for those. Could they not have had multiple smaller sponsors and mixed it up?

    3. The new attendance numbers are not out yet, but I am assuming they will be higher than last year. The vendor hall was super crowded. The long lines for booths make the small aisles already smaller. Can the vendor hall expand to the back areas?

    4. There was not a map of the hotels in reference to downtown. There were maps of the ICC and of the different hotels but not a map on where the hotels were in reference to the ICC. There has been in the past, just not this time.

    5. Many of the items in the coupon book were "All Out" everytime I went to the booth. I imagien IELLO only gave out 20 of their promos that were in the coupon book every day. I kept going back every morning and they were "out" or they "weren't in yet." There should be a level of gurantee of amounts at the con if in the coupon book.

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  • 08-20-2013 10:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    MistressChong:
    This is a weird one but I found myself repeatedly commenting on how many events really needed specific event organizers. As in, people who make the event run smoothly. Planning it out in advance, if you will. Coordinating the small details so that the people who run the event can focus on the big picture. (an example-- Iron GM started an hour late due to getting everything organized...super awesome event as always, but could benefit from freeing up the people who run it by handing off the setting up/staging tasks to someone else). I think things like the larger events could benefit from having a dedicated administrator who handles the event minutia with authority.
     

     

    I second this - especially with Paizo. We had an event and it was listed as ICCSagarmore Ballroom 1 --3:HQ  which to me looked like in ballroom 1, there would be three sections, and therefore I go to section 3. I wasn't sure what the HQ meant. When we walked around Sagamore, we noticed that there were signs outside for RPGs. The majority of signs were at ballroom 3, and we thought we would be at a sign near ballroom 1. There was no one outside of theroom except for ICC staff. We walked around to ballroom 1, checked the signs and didn't see our event. We decided to walk anyways and ask someone what we were supposed to do. They told us to check all the signs around the entire ballroom for our event, and then enter through the ballroom according to the character that was associated with the board our evnt was on.. While we dropped the ball on not looking at all the signs, we wished there were a few people from Paizo standing outside every 3-4 signs and inform people coming in for events that was what they needed to do. This was both our first time doing a Paizo RPG event so we were unaware how things were done.

    We also had a bit of confusion at our table as well. The event was only 2 hour. Our GM (who was fantasic by the way), thought it was a 4 hour, so when the two hours had passed and we were still in the adventure, I started wondering if the Gen Con schedule was wrong, and I had actually signed up for a 4 hour RPG. This didn't really affect my schedule but I was hoping to hit the dealer room before my next event, which I would not have been able to do if we had gone the four hours. Another person working in Paizo had come over and told us that they were mustering the next group, which caught our GM by surprise. I am not sure if it was just him that  was uninformed of the duration of the event, or if all the GMs were unawar, because other tables playing the same module were also still seated at the time. Due to this, we only really got half way through the adventure, but as I said, the GM was fantastic and we as a group had fun (I mean, we were goblins so all caution thrown to the wind).

  • 08-20-2013 3:37 PM In reply to

    • PezKat
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    The_Joltess:

    MistressChong:
    This is a weird one but I found myself repeatedly commenting on how many events really needed specific event organizers. As in, people who make the event run smoothly. Planning it out in advance, if you will. Coordinating the small details so that the people who run the event can focus on the big picture. (an example-- Iron GM started an hour late due to getting everything organized...super awesome event as always, but could benefit from freeing up the people who run it by handing off the setting up/staging tasks to someone else). I think things like the larger events could benefit from having a dedicated administrator who handles the event minutia with authority.
     

     

    I second this - especially with Paizo. We had an event and it was listed as ICCSagarmore Ballroom 1 --3:HQ  which to me looked like in ballroom 1, there would be three sections, and therefore I go to section 3. I wasn't sure what the HQ meant. When we walked around Sagamore, we noticed that there were signs outside for RPGs. The majority of signs were at ballroom 3, and we thought we would be at a sign near ballroom 1. There was no one outside of theroom except for ICC staff. We walked around to ballroom 1, checked the signs and didn't see our event. We decided to walk anyways and ask someone what we were supposed to do. They told us to check all the signs around the entire ballroom for our event, and then enter through the ballroom according to the character that was associated with the board our evnt was on.. While we dropped the ball on not looking at all the signs, we wished there were a few people from Paizo standing outside every 3-4 signs and inform people coming in for events that was what they needed to do. This was both our first time doing a Paizo RPG event so we were unaware how things were done.

    We also had a bit of confusion at our table as well. The event was only 2 hour. Our GM (who was fantasic by the way), thought it was a 4 hour, so when the two hours had passed and we were still in the adventure, I started wondering if the Gen Con schedule was wrong, and I had actually signed up for a 4 hour RPG. This didn't really affect my schedule but I was hoping to hit the dealer room before my next event, which I would not have been able to do if we had gone the four hours. Another person working in Paizo had come over and told us that they were mustering the next group, which caught our GM by surprise. I am not sure if it was just him that  was uninformed of the duration of the event, or if all the GMs were unawar, because other tables playing the same module were also still seated at the time. Due to this, we only really got half way through the adventure, but as I said, the GM was fantastic and we as a group had fun (I mean, we were goblins so all caution thrown to the wind).

     

    Wasn't the huuuuuge table at the back of the room the HQ?  That's how most companies work... with only 1 in a room it's a lot easier to find than say the 20 or more in the board gamers' hall.

     

    My five year old daughter has five imaginary zombie friends, Luc, Zuc, Zac, Crispy, and Leaky. When holding tea parties, she's always sure to have brains on hand. Should I be concerned?
    -RexCelestis

  • 08-20-2013 3:39 PM In reply to

    • PezKat
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    Re: Gencon 2014 improvements and ideas.

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    Mystykal:
    Clearly put up some sort of way to tell which hall is which inside the halls. I don't know how many times inside the hall c,d,e,f,g area I was walking around trying to find the right area/table. Also I thought demos were not to charge for tickets. I know most didn't but Steve Jackson games sure did. Learn to play events charged for tickets and in two hours we didn't even play 2 turns before they recommended we call the game.
     

    If you went in the main entrance to Hall D, like I think we were supposed to (as opposed to the side entrance thru the Play D&D area that was sometimes open, or coming in from the Dealer Hall) there was an information desk as well as a big map showing the larger companies (with a "You are Here" that fell off at some point).  I will agree that it was a bit harder to navigate than last year.

    My five year old daughter has five imaginary zombie friends, Luc, Zuc, Zac, Crispy, and Leaky. When holding tea parties, she's always sure to have brains on hand. Should I be concerned?
    -RexCelestis

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