While flying home from Gen Con on Monday, the convention released its attendance numbers for the Best Four Days In Gaming. If you were there at the convention, you knew there were a lot of people there. The place was busy, there were big crowds lining up at the door each day to get in when the exhibitor's hall would open up, and sales are off the charts. Paizo sold through their run of Starfinder on the first day (by 2pm I have heard). Green Ronin sold through their daily allotment of the D&D 5E setting books made in conjunction with Geek And Sundry's Critical Role channel every day. By Saturday, Modiphius had sold through their copies of ENnies Award winning game Tales From The Loop. Everyone that I spoke with had great sales throughout the weekend, although a few did suffer from being in the hinterlands of a much larger than before exhibition hall.
The layout of the exhibition hall was different this year. The walking areas between booths was wider, but not overly wide as I have seen at some comic conventions of late, which meant that there was a better flow of traffic over the dealer room floor. According to Gen Con there were 500 exhibitors in the hall, and while a few (like dicemakers Gamescience and Chessex) had multiple booths, I don't know if those counted as one exhibitor or if they counted by booth space sold. Studio 2 had an enormous, and always busy, area shared with a number of the publishers that they work with. IGDN (the Indie Game Developers Network) had a good sized cooperative booth that serviced a number of indie game publishers.
Over the course of the four days Gen Con had 19,000 ticketed events, which includes games, panels and seminars. There were also a number of unticketed events like the Gen Con Museum and the Games Library, both out on the floor of Lucas Oil stadium. Lucas Oil was also the home to the games being run and sponsored by ConTessa. ConTessa also ran a number of seminars and panels, I got to be on a couple of them (which helped lead to my loss of voice).
The official overall numbers, from the Gen Con press release, "Gen Con celebrated its 50th convention with its ninth consecutive year of record turnstile attendance, reaching 207,979, an approximate 4% increase over 2016. The convention also sold out of all attendee badges prior to the show for the first time in its 50-year history. For the third consecutive year, Gen Con targeted an approximate attendance of 60,000 unique attendees."
Regardless of how you look at it, or what sort of gaming you enjoy, Gen Con was a huge event and a huge success for everyone involved.