1,683 kilometers (or 1,052 miles for those south of the Canadian border) later and there are no regrets. Despite the 9-hour road trip (one-way), getting lost in Detroit, and the severe storm we hit on the way back, GenCon 2015 was well worth it all.
The Exhibit Hall was crazy most of the time, but I was able to demo several games, so I never really felt that the crowds impeded my enjoyment. The prices were a bit disappointing as I was expecting, as a visitor from Canada, deals would be significant. They weren't, in fact with the Canadian dollar down to almost .75 cents US, it really crushed my spending.
The Writer's Symposium was also a lot of fun and I learned quite a bit. It was great that the seminars were so closely located in one dedicated area. The roster of writers was impressive and quite diverse.
A few suggestions though. More networking opportunities, especially for introverted writer-types. I saw several of the same people in those sessions, but didn't get up the nerve to chat with them about their writing. Maybe an informal session where writers can meets other writers at a similar level and connect. Or perhaps a dinner or a meet-up at a local bar might do the trick. I'd also like to see more workshops and critiquing sessions. One other suggestion, particularly towards the comic writing track, is to set up a speed-dating event for comic creators, trying to match up writers with artists.
Gen Con 2015 set an attendance record with 61,423 unique attendees and a turnstile attendance of 197,695. It was also nice to see that Gen Con raised more than $38,500 for the show official 2015 Charity, The Julian Center.
Gen Con 2016 returns to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis on Aug. 4-7th, 2016 and I'll do my best to be there!