Have you ever gone to an event where you either dressed to formally or informally, didn’t show up at the right place or time, or felt like you weren’t prepared for what you signed up for? It feels uncomfortable and can sometimes keep you from going back to that event.
Gen Con may be intimidating to those who aren’t familiar with the event or are planning on going solo. I compiled a list of tips from veteran attendees that any first-time attender should be aware of.
If you’ve been downtown during the convention, you’ve probably seen people leaving the convention center wearing costumes to go grab food or take a break outside. Are there any rules for dressing up on what you can and can’t wear?
According to the Gen Con Forums, costume rules are fairly lax but center around common sense. Anything that resembles a weapon is prohibited. Categories include anime, steampunk, game/media characters, sci-fi/superhero, fantasy/historical, and kids (anything under 13). Catch everyone in a costume parade starting 3pm on Saturday, August 18, followed by a stage contest at 4pm.
With so much to see and play, how can you possibly sleep? The convention is four days, and Marian McBrine offers the 5-2-1 tip which is general to all conventions. “Get at least 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals a day and 1 shower. That’s MINIMUM.” Prepare in advance by looking up events and writing down what you want to do in chronological order for each day.
New this year is having 20 food trucks parked on Georgia Street – they’re fast, affordable and hand-held foods that allow you to get back to the fun, quick. Scotty’s Brewhouse will also offer extended hours of 10am-3am and a Troll Lord Games Themed Menu.
For those of you planning on playing games, I highly suggest reading this forum from an 8-year veteran. He also offers reminders on being courteous to others and remembering to have fun and keep it cool. Tony Troxell concurred by saying “it’s like the Super Bowl Village. Be patient, take your time and be kind to your fellow Gen Con attendees.”
Don’t forget, Gen Con is family friendly! John Kaufeld gave me some great tips on how to provide a great experience that kids and adults can enjoy.
“If you want a taste of what the convention offers (but aren’t sure you’re up for a full serving quite yet), get a “Family Fun badge” on Sunday (August 19). For $30, a family of four can see the show and walk the exhibit hall all day Sunday. For the more adventuresome, buy the $40 family fun package, which includes eight generic tokens so you can play in a few scheduled events. If you go on Family Fun day, go early. The exhibit hall opens at 10am, but you have to buy your tickets on site (you can’t pre-order family fun passes). To get the most for your money, get to the convention center by 9am, buy your badges, then explore the gaming halls or read the convention program guide. When the exhibit hall opens at 10am, dive in.”
If you’re still unconvinced, stay tuned for my own schedule of where I’ll be throughout the weekend and what events you don’t want to miss, including the special tapping of Sun King Brewing Company’s Ale of Destiny!