Pop Up GenCon – News

Pop Up GenCon - News 1
This past weekend GenCon occurred. GenCon is one of the largest gaming conventions in the world. It’s certainly the largest in the United States. People come from all over and attend four days of gaming in Indianapolis Indiana. New games are released, upcoming games are announced, tournaments, roleplay game events, card games, miniatures games, cosplay, panels, celebrities, and live performances of extremely popular web shows. It is referred to as the best four days in gaming.

I have attended many times in the past. This weekend, I and around two dozen others descended on Epic Loot in Centerville Ohio to attend GenCon. To be more specific, we attended one of the Pop Up GenCon’s.

Pop Up GenCon is a pilot program that was being tested this year. It is my understanding that one store was chosen in every state. That store received a box of games that were being released at GenCon. They sold badges to the Con through the GenCon website. This was all done to see how successful it would be.

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The event I attended went from 1 to 6. They had four games to play: Terror Below, Bargain Quest, Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates, and Hadara. In addition to running demos of the games they had raffles for a few other games that were at the con. You got one ticket for entering the con and an additional ticket for each game you played in. They capped the day with a play to win for all of the different games.

 In addition to this they also had a table running the Pathfinder Society that was well under way when I arrived. One person showed up in cosplay which was a great bit of fun. The staff running the event were all nice, polite, and well-practiced on the games they ran. The entire event was well run and everyone was having gun.

It might seem like a bit of a small number to only have around twenty four people attend the event but there are some mitigating factors. Epic Loot advertised the event; a lot. However, most of that advertising escaped the greater area unless you were paying attention to Epic Loot’s social media feeds. I don’t think I saw any information about this tweeted by GenCon proper. It’s possible I just missed it though. There’s a lot of GenCon appearing in my social media feeds leading up to the first weekend in August this year.

The other thing to think about is we’re only ninety minutes from GenCon; two hours if the traffic is bad. Most of the people in my area just go to GenCon. It was for these reasons the numbers were a bit low.

All of that said, I think the event was a success. I don’t know how it went at any of the other sites. I’m anxious to hear. I’m hoping this was everything that GenCon wanted out of the event and more. This year was an experiment. I’m hoping they try again next year with a bit of refinement. It won’t replace going to Indy, but for those who can’t make it because of money, distance, family, work, or whatever. 

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There’s an FAQ about Pop Up GenCon. It talks about what they hope to do next year. It seems like they have some pretty good plans. I’m hopeful for the future of the event and can’t wait to see what they do next.

I do want to take one final moment to thank the staff at Epic Loot Centerville. The people working the event were knowledgeable, friendly, welcoming, and warm. To Lisa and Greg Johnson and Spencer Albert, thank you for taking your time to let folks experience this.

What did you think? Did you get to attend a Pop Up GenCon? Would you attend one in the future? Let me know in the comments down below.

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