Gen Con is the largest and longest-running annual table top gaming conference in North America. It began in 1968 and continues today, each year in Indianapolis in the summer. Those attending Gen Con do a variety of things including demoing games. , shopping, and much more. As I’ve written before, there are hundreds of companies exhibiting products and there are thousands of gaming (role playing, board games, card games, etc.) and attending seminars and more.
This year, the gamers were back post-pandemic as Gen Con had over 70,000 unique attendees at the Indianapolis event that was held August 3-6 at the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium, and the surrounding hotels. It was stated that beyond breaking attendance records, Gen Con also generated nearly $75 million in economic impact for restaurants, hotels, and other local businesses.
While the convention felt like it was breaking at the seams this year, downtown continues to expand with a new hotel coming and additional conference center space. Marking the 20th anniversary in Indianapolis, Gen Con announced it has officially extended its contract with the city of Indianapolis through 2030.
“The Gen Con attendee experience is continually at the forefront of our decision-making,” said David Hoppe, president of Gen Con. “We are excited to announce that Gen Con will be extending its stay in Indianapolis through 2030. I am eager to see the continued growth and success that will come from our partnership with a city that has supported us over the last 20 years.”
“Twenty years ago, when Gen Con first came to Indy, they were a 20,000-person hobby gaming show,” said Leonard Hoops, president & CEO of Visit Indy. “Today, it is a 70,000-person cultural phenomenon. Indy and Gen Con have grown together, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to do so in the future. Keeping this global event in Indy has been a team effort and the Pan Am convention center and hotel project has been an indispensable part of that. We greatly value our decades-long partnership with Gen Con.”
If you’ve not attended a Gen Con or walked into the Indiana Convention Center during a Gen Con, then it is hard to imagine the scale of the show. There were more than 570 game publishers and vendors, and attendees took part in over 20,000 ticketed events ranging from board games, card games, roleplaying games, comedy shows, live musical performances, seminars, the annual Costume Contest, Film Festival, Writers Symposium, and more.
One of my favorite aspects of Gen Con is that every year they partner with charities to raise funds and spotlight remarkable non-profit organizations. This year, attendees helped raise nearly $35,000 for Indy Reads and Game Pathways. Gen Con has raised over $425,000 for charity since 2003.
Look for Gen Con to return to Indianapolis August 1-4, 2024.
# # #
This article also contains information provided by Gen Con