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GenCon, 2022, Day 1 and Day 2

11 August, 2022

Following on from Day 0:

Day 1 (Thursday, 4th August) the first real day of the Con and it was going to be a busy one.

Up early, showered and off to Starbucks for some coffee, the wait was only about five minutes but I suspect it will get longer from here on in.  Then off to the exhibit hall, wandered around and visited Baldali jewelry where I picked up a [REDECTED] as a gift for my lovely wife, the Goodman Games booth where I picked up some Dungeon Crawls Classics stuff, and checked in to see how Drew had done finishing the setup for his booth and picked up a lovely mouse pad from him too.

Finally, back to the AEG booth, which I had kept looping back to all through the above waiting for our team leaders to appear and give instructions.  We were told to report at 9am, and they arrive around 9:30ish.  But the booth was still ready when the floodgates opened

People poured in and started buying things, and things, and things, without a break for the first forty-five minutes.  We sold out of one of our recent games in the first hour and a second by mid-afternoon.  The third of the newest games . . . we only have what is out on the shelves and we are out of that too.  Many of the other games that AEG brought are in the same shape.  We only have significant backstock on one major game and a bunch of games they are using as giveaways.   And remember, Thursday is not even supposed to be that busy of a day for sales at GenCon.  Tomorrow will be interesting.

On my all-too-brief breaks during exhibitor hall hours, I visited the Catalyst Game Labs booth and picked up the new Shadowrun t-shirt.  Looked at a few other things but mostly as I passed by.

After work, Howard and I grabbed some food at J’s Lobster, one of the food trucks, where I had lobster mac n cheese which was pretty good though expensive.  Then Howard needed coffee so we stopped at Pulse Coffee again, not a positive experience this time, one member of staff was paying attention to customers, and not doing that terribly well, another was washing up, and a third what chattering away at someone they knew (who did not seem to be a customer).  Worse of all, the coffee was weak.  Just a poor experience, not going back again.

Howard then went off to meet up with Nick, one of our fellow AEG drones, to try and get in on a True Dungeon run and I went to drift through the main gaming halls in the convention center, just to see what was being played and who was playing.  Stopped at the Shadowrun room and was able to get my new t-shirt as a demo team member and some other stuff, which was fun; also was fun to see forty-plus people playing Shadowrun in one place.  On the way back, stopped to watch some magic artists doing paintings of a woman dressed as Lillianna from the Magic: the Gathering game which was interesting.  Said hello to an old friend, chatted with anther demo team worker and finally made it back to my room for a call to my wife, a much-needed shower, this writing, and then bed.  What will tomorrow bring?

Day 2 (Friday, 5th August)

You know the drill, up early, coffee, exhibit hall.

Had some time to prowl the hall before reporting in for work, saw a new self-published superhero RPG which is intriguing but not sure if I want to spend the money on what may be the superpowered version of a fantasy heartbreaker. But I admire their effort.  Picked up a bee-ish pin from Rowan, Rook and Discard and several (including Conscience Cat!) from Sam Logan.  I wore both pins on my lanyard for the rest of the Con.

Work was work, sold out of more things and while I approve of the effort not to end up with stock to ship back (which has been a problem in the past) this seems particularly absurd.  There are games we could have stocked a little more deeply, still have sold everything and had a lot more happy customers.  The failure to bring a deep stock of promos for their existing games was particularly unfortunate and made a lot of fans unhappy (“it is/will be available on the website” or “you can get it at your local gaming store” for the games they were out of stock on does not butter a lot of parsnips in this industry).

My Table, Patrick at the EndThen, of course, it was time for Big Game Night (BGN), this year held in the Lucas Oil Stadium in a area split up over two floors(!) which was tricky.  But there are not a lot of places to hold events for seven hundred plus participants with a hundred or so helpers.  It was long event, but the three sections, twelve people, I was responsible for were all good and seemed to have a good time (and I had some help from Patrick, whose last name I cannot remember, which made things so much easier).  We taught the new games: The Guild of Merchant Explorers (TiGoME) and That Old Wallpaper.  As TiGoME is a simultaneous play game, we were able to have a game where most of the participants played in one huge game, all at once!  Silly but fun.

Then, after the participants, we had to gather up all of the games used to teach, and all of the unused stock, put it all on a pallet to be transported to the exhibit hall so we would have that much-needed stock in the booth for the next day.   I made it back to the room by 1am, Howard was back by 2.   Long day for all.

Day 3 & 4 here.

Notes: It turned out to be difficult to keep up with GenCon reports while working GenCon.  Who knew?

Photo: Both by me!

 

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