GenCon 2022 Draws Over 50,000 Attendees

Gen Con reports that it attracted over 50,000 attendees this year. While that's not quite back to pre-pandemic figures (2018 saw over 60,000 attendees, and 2019 had 'nearly 70K'), it's a big step back towards it.

By comparison, UK Games Expo had just over 23K attendees, while Origins Game Fair reported just under 12K this year.

attracting a unique attendance of over 50,000 gaming fans to the Indiana Convention Center (ICC) and Lucas Oil Stadium

Not just attendees had a large turnout.

The convention’s exhibit hall featured more than 530 game publishers and vendors. Publishers released more than 500 new game titles during the convention. More than 15,000 ticketed events were held over the four days, ranging from board games, card games, roleplaying games, comedy, music, seminars, the Costume Contest, Film Festival, and more.

“This year’s Gen Con was even better for us than 2019,” said Stephanie Shossow, Event Manager for The Op. “Gamers came ready to bring fun to the table!”

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I didn’t make it this year… but I am starting to feel like it’s just too big of a con for me anymore. Anyone have a favourite “big little con” (smaller con that still feels like it has features of a larger one) they would recommend?
What are the features of a bigger con that you care about?

For me, I just want a good choice of games to select from. I don't care about panel discussions. It might be fun to go to a live play sessions of Acq. Inc., Critical Role, or Glass Cannon, etc., but not really something I would decide whether I go to a con or not.

Con of the North is about right for me. Easy to get rooms, not too expensive, not too hard to get games you want to play, even if you don't sign up ASAP.
 


Emrico

Adventurer
I used to go when it was still in Milwaukee, but it was around the corner of Lake Michigan from me (they later built a car ferry between my hometown and Mke which would've made it even easier....) It was nice to go to because, not only were big games getting dropped primarily at that con, but the sheer amount of cool random games from small publishers was amazing. Live Action Chess will always be a favorite of mine.
The sheer amount of stuff I got for being a volunteer for Five Rings Publishing was insane - a veritable loot box of games, posters, knick knacks. Ahh, the good old days

I haven't been since it was in Milwaukee either. Went 3 times when it was there between 87 and 92. It just wouldn't be the same without being able to go to The Safehouse.

It was great for loot. I wasn't a volunteer for GW or anything but ran 3 games of Warhammer Fantasy Battle in 88 and some of the Gw guys came by the game during one of the sessions and told me to come by their booth later. When I did they loaded me up with about $300 worth of minis and paints just for being a good ambassador by running their game at GenCon. GW would never do that now, BTW. 🤣

I think I'll just mostly stick with GaryCon and local cons in the future but I would like to get to Gamehole Con sometime too. GenCon is just too many people for me these days.
 

Speaking of huge conventions, I hate to see what happens with DragonCon next month, since it is in a state (Georgia) with very loose, if any, Covid restrictions. It is a lot closer to me than Gencon, but looking at the site, they are not even requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to be let in. So nope.
 

pogre

Legend
I just dropped into GenCon on Thursday and walked the exhibit hall and bought some stuff. I did not game and only had a one-day pass. Went out for a nice meal Wednesday night and hit the Con the next day. I think that is how I will "do" GenCon in the near future.

It was a good move for me. I was concerned about Covid, and for me, not running games this year was a good decision. Plus, I don't want to run games with a mask on, but I am not ready to play games with strangers without a mask.

I wore a kn95 mask for my time in the con and I seem to have gotten away without picking up the virus.
 


MGibster

Legend
This guy went to his first GenCon at the age of 53. Along with my daughter, who was the driving force to attend. It was overwhelming in a good way.
I'm glad you two had a good time. If I had a kid who wanted to go, I'd probably be more inclined to go as well. Part of my problem is that my wife wouldn't have any fun at Gen-Con. It's not like she's going to stop me from going or something, but I'd feel a little bad spending all that money and traveling for just me.
 

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