Just some con tips before Gen Con

Well it is 21 days to Gen Con Indy. If you are like me, you are getting your things in order so that you can have a great con without rushing last minute. If not, then you should think about getting things started so that when it comes time you can just grab and go.

For those of you who are new to the convention scene, especially Gen Con, (and even some who have been a few times) we have a few tips that you may not have thought of when coming to the con.

First, a lot of people think that loading up on Vitamin C beforehand and keeping a stock of hand sanitizer is a good tip. Well, the benefits of vitamin C are debated… what isn’t debated is that if you don’t prepare for it, you will get sick during or after the show. Wash your hands and use sanitizer, and it will help the mid con crud stay away.

Start exercising now. You will regret not walking every day from now to the con when it comes time and your beat the first day. It isn’t impossible for the highly mobile gamer to walk 14 miles a day at the convention… if you are moving from event to event all day long and walking downtown to dinner at night/day, this could happen really easy, especially with Lucas Oil being added to the con events. If you want to last all week, start early.

Wear comfortable, broken in shoes. Do not try to break in new shoes at Gen Con. You will end up with very sore feet…

When packing, remember that it may be hot outside. It is August in Indiana. But remember that the air conditioning will/may be on in some of the rooms. So dress for the weather but pack for ac. Also, if you have a room, you can pack all your stuff for the room but don’t carry it with you during the con. You will be buying all sorts of new items and gaining all sorts of loot and you don’t want to be bogged down by a heavy bag.

Always have a backpack… but pack light. We suggest you pack snacks, dice, pens/pencils and paper, pain reliever, and remember to bring water/Gatorade ect. You need to stay hydrated and fed. You don’t want to fall out because you over looked the little things. Make sure that the backpack you are bringing fits and isn’t going to cause issues the more it holds… cause if you come to get games, it could get loaded fast. And have an unpacking strategy. If you have a hotel room, and are shopping heavy, make plans to go back and empty for the next round. If you drove, remember to hit the car a couple of times to keep enough pack space for that one of a kind item you never knew existed but want really bad. This keeps things unbroken as you through the con.
Chances are you already have bought event tickets, if so cool, if not it isn’t the end of the world. Events are selling out; some are already gone. You can still have an opportunity to get in them with generic tickets. You may need to wait to see which ones have seats open. Remember Semper Gumby… always flexible. So even if you have all your events planned, still a good practice to have a few generic tickets anyway, just in case.
Take time to check out the Gen Con Film Festival. There is a lot of films being show every year, and people put a lot of work in to it. You may find your next must have film, or find a group of people doing something you think is cool. Many of the filmmakers attend this con, and it is a cool chance to meet some of them.

When at the con, you have to check out the Gen Con Auction and the Consignment shop. I personally spend a lot of time there during the RPG sales, but there are tons of miniatures, board games, collectors’ items, ect. You can get some cool stuff for inexpensive.
Hit the ATMs at the hotels, because, by noon the ATMs at the ICC will more than likely be out of money. You don’t want to get stuck without when you find that one item you have been looking for all con. And not everyone takes cards… it is getting better, but remember cash is king.

Try to be early, if you can. That goes for the con itself. If you can be there Wednesday to get the lay of the land, get your will calls, ect. It is good practice to know where everything is in advance.
Plan on spending time in the vendor hall. It is an awesome place, full of all those wonderful games we are playing at the events… but understand it will be packed. Crowds will happen. So keep your stuff tight to your body, and please don’t bring rolling bags to the vendor hall. It causes more backups and traffic problems than it helps.

Remember you can’t do everything you may want to. There isn’t enough time in the day to get to all the events you want. Just note what you liked and what you didn’t, and what you want to try next year. New things come up, but for the most part you can find another event the next year if you missed it this year.

Take the time to learn some new games. Even if you are not really interested in them from first glance. Sometimes you can surprise yourself and have fun with something you thought was cheesy, silly, or boring. Be up for new experiences, you will not be sorry.
Finally, please, for your sake and everyone else’s… remember the 5,3,1 rule. Try to get at least 5 hours of sleep, eat three meals, and take at least 1 shower a day. Everyone needs sleep, in fact I need 8 or more because I am old and have health issues, but everyone should try to get at least 5 to keep the spirits high. With all the good food around the con, in the food trucks and all the wonderful eateries around the downtown area, take time to get some good food. I am a stickler that I eat well during the con. That is why I am a fat guy… but everyone with me has a good time, we eat good, have good beverages, enjoy the atmosphere, and play some good games. And the last… please for sake of those around you… take a shower every morning (and put on deodorant). It will help wake you up, after gaming all night, and get you energized for the day. And make it better for those of us who are around you and selling you all your gaming paraphernalia.

Just a few things to keep in mind as we come close to Gen Con Indy 2016. Have fun and have a good con. We may see you there.

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