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Planning to head to Gen Con, the largest gaming convention in the U.S.? Wondering what you should know before attending? Then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve attended Gen Con for the last three years and these are my best tips and tricks that make sure I have a great time each year!
- Sitting? Never heard of it. You will be on your feet a lot. Please, please, please wear shoes with great support your back with thank you. As someone who is 6ft 4, with worn down shoes trust me on this one, my back hurt for days. DAYS I TELL YOU!
- As soon as they go on sale buy your badge. Without a badge you cannot sign up for events which you also need to sign up for ASAP, the classes and events fill up fast. Over the last 3 years I’ve missed out on a bunch of classes I would have enjoyed simply because I waited a day or 2 too long to sign up. Plus, the pass is cheaper if you buy in advance.
- If you do miss out on signing up for events you can buy things called generic tickets. These can be used in the place of actual tickets but only if whatever you want to do has open space, more times than not they do, but I still strongly recommend buying real tickets if you can. Also be careful with how many generic tickets you buy. They will refund them at the end of the week but they will not give you cash back, instead they put a credit on your gen con account to be used in the following years.
- Must haves for your back pack – snacks, hand sanitizer, phone charger, battery pack (if you have one), hand sanitizer (yeah, it’s on the list twice, it’s a must not forget!), breath mints/gum, notebook/pen (there is so much going on its easy to forget what you saw and where you saw it)
- Budget. This one is extremely important and one my friends also say they wish they did but never do, which is why they spend overspend and I do not. My system has been decide how much money I’m willing to spend on the trip before I go and then divide that up into a few categories. I usually do gas, hotel, food, spending, and back up. Back up can be anything: emergency funds, more food, night on the town, or even more games if you swing it right.
- Don’t miss the food trucks, they are right out front of the convention hall every year. Lots of great food plus a beer tent!
- If you like cosplay be sure to catch he parade on Saturday afternoon.
- Book your hotel NOW!
- Be sure to grab your cheese wheel. The cheese wheel is a punch card that encourages you to visit different vendors/booths. Once you visit them and usually demo a game they will punch your card. Once all the holes are punched turn your card in for a chance to win amazing prizes including board games and a badge for next years Con.
- Arrive early to find nearby parking. There is parking behind the stadium for cheap with a shuttle bus if you don’t mind a bit of a transfer. Also, free street parking on Sunday if you go early enough to secure a spot.
Learn more about Gen Con here.