Gen Con 2018 - America's best 4 days of tabletop gaming convention

"Gen Con" was first held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin from 1972 to 1984 and moved to its new location in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2003.

This annual 4 day event attracts more than 60,000 visitors each year showcasing different gaming events and exhibitions at the Indiana Convention Center including its hotel partners and Lucas Oil Stadium. The Best Four Days in Gaming™ is from August 2-5, 2018.

Since am a newbie to attend this event. I'm going to share some pointers you need to know when attending Gen Con :)

I flew from Chicago to Indianapolis on Thursday morning (August 2) since my sister arrived on Wednesday and booked a hotel room at Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. I took an Uber from Indianapolis airport to the hotel and my 4 day adventure begins. I'll be posting more of personal experiences on my blog -

Lucky that I got a TSA PreCheck so that means am not going to remove my shoes in the security checking machine!

Welcome to Indiana!!!

Ordering Tickets and Badges
The single day pass is $60 each day Thursday or Friday, $70 Saturday and $15 Sunday. You must purchase in advance if you want to buy the 4 day pass for $110. Children under 10 can go with a free wristband.

Register to Gen Con website to be able to purchase the badges. There were also activities/events that require tickets with purchase so you have to check the schedule calendar to reserve your spots.

Official Gen Con Website -

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Claiming your badges
There are two ways to receive your badges: mail additional $10 shipping/delivery fee (for advance purchases) and pick up at Will Call which starts on the day of the event (they're open 24 hours so make sure to schedule an extra hours for pick up as line gets crazy during the day).

Hotel Check Ins
Indiana Convention Center is accessible to partner hotels like Marriott, Embassy Suites, Westin, Crowne Plaza, Hyatt Regency and a lot more hotels nearby. The event venue has a Skywalk bridge wherein you can walk from convention center to hotels, establishments and Mall without going out to the streets. It is very convenient and we just walked around to check out gaming activities on each hotels.

Exhibit Hall, Exclusive Gaming Rooms and Schedule of Events
Gen Con is really huge! The exhibit hall opens from 10 am to 6pm Thursday to Saturday and ends on 4pm on Sunday (last day). See the exhibit hall layout here

You must have a plan on which event you're going and you can check the schedule on your dashboard or use the Gen Con event finder or grab a copy of the Gen Con magazine for venue layout and programming.

Where to eat?
There were food stalls inside the convention center. But if you want to eat outside, there are food trucks at the back of the Indiana Convention Center (Georgia St). Or, dine at any of the restaurants outside. Circle Centre Mall has a food court if you have free hours, you can drop by and relax.

Games! Games! and more Games!
There were schedule games and demo games you can borrow. Make sure to ask permission first or register on the booth before you grab the games and seat on their table. There were free demonstrations and ticketed (paid) games, so better select which games you are interested to play.

Gen Con Exhibit Halls - you can play games here when you purchase the games or ask for the next schedule for gaming in the library (with fee).

My sister, her husband and their friends are inside this hall playing Pathfinder. This is a purchased ticket gaming.
Some photos inside the exhibit hall. 
The hall is crowded so I didn't take more photos inside the selling area.

Kids building a bridge (forgot the title of the game)

Super Robo Rally

Taking Photos
There were cosplayers on every corner of the convention center. Make sure to ask their permission first before taking photos. There were performers too! Make sure to bring your digital cameras with you or have some space on your phone memory so you won't miss the opportunity!

Not a gamer? You are still welcome!
You can still attend Gen Con because there are several activities they offer to non gamers like crafting, dancing, baking decorations, sword fighting, make up, watching movies, meditation and relaxation.

You can register in advance (some with purchase ticket) and enroll at those classes!

Gen Con Official Souvenirs
There were booths that sell official Gen Con merchandise from shirts, shot glass, tumblers, baseball caps and jackets prices ranging from $7 to $40. I took home a Gen Con shot glass!

The shirt on the ride side sold out at the very moment they released the shirt! 

Gen Con Hauls
I'm flying back home on Sunday afternoon so I won't be able to buy huge boxes of games so instead I bought something really handy! While waiting for my flight back to Chicago, my Mom texted me that some board games were at 50% discount few minutes before closing at 4pm (next time, I'll choose an evening flight to be able to score goodies!)

Overall, I must say that this is the biggest convention I've attended! I may purchase a 4 day pass next year and make another exclusive blog post with top game picks and new launches.

A post shared by Mitch Coladilla (@daomisyel) on
See you next year!

From Windy City Chicago with Love

More Events Photos from the Official Facebook Page