Independent experiential marketing firm Instigator has announced that it has been selected as the marketing and sales agent charged with securing non-endemic sponsorships for Gen Con 2018, the largest and longest running tabletop gaming
convention in North America. In pursuit of this effort, the Minneapolis based agency will work in tandem with Bonfire Agency, a pop culture focused advertising and marketing consultancy based in New York.
A Top 10 trend on Facebook and Twitter, last year’s Gen Con saw the debut of 500 new games with more than 600 members of the press in attendance.
Instigator will concentrate its efforts on bringing relevant consumer package goods and services companies into play. They may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bonfire will focus its efforts more on activations from the entertainment and media universes and may be reached at email@example.com. Sponsorship and activation opportunities will be made available throughout the exhibit halls of the Indiana Convention Center, as well as on the field level of Lucas Oil Stadium and at an outdoor presence on Georgia and South Streets.
The Indiana Convention Center’s exhibit hall will feature more than 500 exhibiting companies and Gen Con expects to host more than 15,000 ticketed events in 2018. According to last year’s estimates by Visit Indy, Gen Con has an annual economic impact in excess of $70 million to the local Indianapolis economy.
Gen Con is taking part in Indianapolis‘ “It’s My City” campaign and is attempting to set an example for other conventions to follow when it comes to cutting waste, use less disposable products, and “upcycle” existing materials.
The convention has announced they they will reduce their annual paper usage by more than three million pages in 2018. That’s more than 130 trees! That savings will come from removing the event charts from the program book which can now easily be found by attendees using their smart phones, tablets, and desktop computer. A new search functionality will be added to make its use even easier and a downloadable version will be available as well.
That decision was partially made due to feedback from attendees who said they were using that part of the event book less. Even when printed, that event portion of the book featured only a portion of the ticketed events available. The digital catalog will be released April 22.
The convention will also move towards electronic ticketing in 2018. This first year will be done as a test for a handful of events. Ease of use will be measured to see if it can be further implemented. Most events for 2018 will continue to use paper tickets while this test is performed. Electronic ticketed events will have a special notation in their event listing. Attendees who go to these events will have their electronic ticket tied to their badge which can be scanned to keep track.
The company will also have “unboxing” stations in 2018. Attendees will be able to recycle unwanted packaging including cellophane wrap and interior components you may not want.
Gen Con is also partnering with People for Urban Progress (PUP) to test “upcycling” of the convention banners from Gen Con 50. The street banners have been converted into collectible bags and wallets. They also use material from Indy’s RCA Dome as well, creating a unique bag and collectible. A limited number will be available soon.
Gen Con has announced their Charity Partners for Gen Con 2018! Last year for Gen Con 50, they partnered with Child Advocates and helped raise more than $40,000 to help kids in need in Indianapolis! This year, they’re asking for help again. This year’s convention is officially partnering with The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund AND Second Helpings. That’s right – they’re partnering with two charities this year, so there are two ways to make a big difference in the local and gamer communities.
Gen Con, along with Event Organizers, host events during the show to raise funds for the selected charity. Some of those events include …
- Ace of Aces Auction
- Balloon Sculpture “Slay the Creature”
- Charity Auction
- Nerd Night for Charity
- Silent Auction
The list will continue to grow as we get closer to the show.
The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund was started in April 2011, in memory of Jack Vasel, son of Tom Vasel. Tom is an influential voice in the board gaming hobby, and the community rallied around him in his time of need. Amazed by this generosity and kindness, Tom was determined to help others who might undergo similar tragedies. The fund was formed to collect and distribute financial assistance to members of the public who are part of the gaming community and who have suffered personal hardship.
Second Helpings, Inc. accepts donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults every day, and distributes them free of charge through local social service agencies in Greater Indianapolis. Second Helpings also trains unemployed and underemployed adults for meaningful careers in the culinary industry.
Gen Con has renewed its contract with True Dungeon for an additional five years, with a guarantee that new content will debut at the show each year. True Dungeon premiered at Gen Con in 2003 with its first interactive, live-action story (dubbed “adventure”). Since then, they have debuted new content every year. True Dungeon offers players a chance to participate in a fantasy-based guided adventure over the course of two hours, with a constructed set, puzzles to solve, treasure, and actors to complete the experience. Players participate in storylines that are either puzzle-based or combat-based.
In 2017, True Dungeon celebrated its 15th anniversary by teaming with New York Times Bestselling Author Patrick Rothfuss to create adventures based on his books.
True Dungeon adventures have resided in Lucas Oil Stadium for the last two years, and will continue to take place in Lucas Oil Stadium through the remainder of their contract.
Gen Con has reached an agreement with Fantasy Flight Games to co-sponsor the convention’s 2018 event, held August 2-5 in Indianapolis. Fantasy Flight Games will have a dedicated gaming space inside the Indiana Convention Center as part of their co-sponsorship package. 2018 marks the first year that Fantasy Flight Games has participated in the highest level of sponsorship.
As part of the Co-Sponsorship, Fantasy Flight Games will also receive pre-show promotion, on-site graphics, and added marketing opportunities provided by Gen Con.
Fantasy Flight Games publishes a wide range of board and hobby games. Some of their most popular titles are based on licenses such as Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Their celebrated proprietary titles include Legend of the Five Rings, Android, and Rune Bound.
Gen Con, the largest and longest running tabletop gaming convention in North America, is reporting a 6% year-over-year increase in its attendee badge sales to date, and as a result, expects its second consecutive year of selling out of attendee badges. Convention badge sales, which opened on January 14, 2018, have reached record numbers and the convention again plans to cease badge sales in the early summer if sales trends continue. Last year’s convention sold out of 4-Day attendee badges in early July and all single-day badges the week prior to the show, marking the first year the convention sold out of those badge types. Initial 2018 sales are trending towards a sell-out of all attendee badge types in July 2018.
Gen Con LLC has announced an agreement with the city of Indianapolis to extend its commitment through 2022. Gen Con will return to Indy on August 2-5 in 2018, August 1-4 in 2019, July 30-August 2 in 2020, August 5-8 in 2021, and August 4-7 in 2022.
For the second consecutive year, Gen Con will offer programming on the field level and in the exhibit halls of Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as throughout the Indiana Convention Center, at an outdoor presence on Georgia and South Streets, and through hundreds of ticketed events at numerous hotels.
The convention’s exhibit hall will feature more than 500 exhibiting companies and Gen Con expects to host more than 15,000 ticketed events in 2018. According to last year’s estimates by Visit Indy, Gen Con has an annual economic impact in excess of $70 million to the local Indianapolis economy.
Things are really getting going for Gen Con 2018 and here’s the key dates for his year’s convention!
Event Submission Opens January 7
Planning on submitting an event for Gen Con 2018? Event submission opens on Sunday, January 7. By submitting early, we can better accommodate your event’s needs and ensure that your event has more opportunity for promotion. If you’ve never hosted an event before, the process is as simple as filling out an online form! For more information on creating and hosting an event, head over to the Host page on the Gen Con website.
Gen Con 2018 Badges On Sale January 14
We hope that you’re as excited for Gen Con 2018 as we are! Badge registration opens at noon (Eastern) on January 14 at www.gencon.com. Gen Con badges sold out last year, so you may consider picking up your badges for Gen Con 2018 sooner rather than later.
Film Festival Submission Opens January 19
Gen Con’s 2018 Film Festival will once again feature films and web series from a variety of gaming and gaming related genres from countries around the world. Film submissions will once again use FilmFreeway and Withoutabox; links to submit your film will be available at www.gencon.com when submission goes live.
Housing Registration Opens Early February
On February 11 at noon (Eastern), housing registration will open to those who have purchased a Gen Con 2018 badge. The housing block is a dedicated allotment of discounted hotel rooms for Gen Con attendees. These rooms typically sell out fairly quickly, so the sooner you can hop online to reserve your room(s), the better! More information is available on the Housing and Travel page.
The comic publisher Oni Press is branching out with the launch of Oni Games, a new gaming imprint dedicated to bringing Oni Press titles to the growing tabletop market.
The focus of the Oni Games imprint will be on partnering with both new and veteran game designers and established game publishers to bring the unique characters and vibrant worlds of their original creator-owned comics to the world of games.
We got a chance to talk to Charlie Chu about this new imprint at Gen Con 50.
At Gen Con 50 Paizo Publishing released it’s highly anticipated sci-fi roleplaying game Starfinder. It was a hit of the show becoming one of the must haves of the convention.
We got to talk to developer Jason Keeley about the game that allows gamers to head to the stars.
Gaming industry veteran Cory Jones has announced the creation of tabletop gaming subscription service QST and the launch of the QST Kickstarter campaign. Pronounced “Quest,” the service offers a brand-new, small form factor tabletop game directly to subscribers every other month. Each game is a collaboration between three creative visionaries from different fields who work together to deliver the different elements of the game: concept, design, and art.
We got a chance to talk to Jones at Gen Con 50 about this new venture and bringing together so many different creators to such a product.