Official word from last week’s Gen Con SoCal is in, and apparently attendance was up a bit. According to Peter cost of cialis Adkison, CEO of Gen Con LLC, “Unique attendance was about 6,300, an increase of 12% from 2004.” So more of us gamers came to the show, which is good. If a few more of the problems holding the show back could be sorted out (schedule book errors, convention hall union issues, the “Best Four Days of Gaming” being closer to three this time, to name a few), Gen Con SoCal just might be around for years to come. We’ll talk more about this in our next audio report, but despite the attendance increase, the jury still seems to be out on California’s Gen Con spin-off.
Also worth mentioning is that turnstile attendance was up 16% (which counts each someone who comes on multiple days as multiple hits). Apparently, the numbers suggest more people came, and stayed longer this year as well.
Do we know if the 500 school kids brought in to see the show were counted as attendees? That would really add to that 12% if that were the case…
re: the school kids. I asked Peter this at the show and he said that they counted everyone, the school kids included, in the total attendence.
Actually Chris, that’s a good question. A 12% increase on last years figures to a new total of 6300 works out to about 675 additional folks this year.
What was the approx. size of the shool kids brought in, and did they do so last year?
If 500+ kids were brought in this year, and this was not a program they did last year, then about 75% of the growth this year is attributable to the new program of bringing in school kids.
I simply cannot remember who told me this, but SoCal 2004 had 90 high school students, and this year was 500. Thats a significant number of that 12%.
If so, the high school program account for approx. 60% of the overall 12% increase.
I give GenCon a standing ovation for exposing kids to the hobby by bringing them to the show…at the same time, I cry cheese for using those kids to bring their numbers up. 😉
Chris, that was me that told you the school kids numbers, and I got them directly from Peter at the show. I didn’t ask if those factored into overall attendance numbers differently though, so I’m glad someone did. Thanks for clarifying that, Nikchick.
Now I’m wondering what the *exhibitor* attendance was compared to previous years. There were several big companies that just didn’t bother showing up (Rakham, Reaper, and WizKids among them), which was rather annoying at a “big” show.
Allan, thanks. I thought that was you, but wasn’t sure.
When ACD made their weekly sales call, we called them to task for not showing up to represent Rackham at the show. (Remember, ACD has a “relationship with them after all.) They said it was flat out too expensive to hit that show, with very little chance of making the money back.
If SoCal is ever going to grow, it really has to stop “feeling” small. I have now talked to 4 customers now who attended, and won’t be next year due to a feeling of “letdown”.
GenCon SoCal’s booth fees are identical to the Origins booth fees, and SoCal drayage is an extra killer ($400 for union guys to drop three UPS boxes and our booth display, just to give an example. I shudder to think what the AEG-or Wizkids-sized guys get hit for.) and attendence is about half that of Origins.
Since Origins is frequently complained about at the exhibitor level, with at least half of exhibitors feeling the show was a bust any given year (despite the attendence numbers), I think GenCon SoCal has a hard road ahead in becoming a “real” show. It’s a great regional convention, and over 6,000 attendees within three years is quite an accomplishment but the concensus seems to be that it has more growing to do.
Nikchick, who are you with? I am just curious so I can vizualize your booth, and try to think exactly what that $400 got you…
I assume that’s Nikchick from Green Ronin, and can thusly be assumed that she knows *exactly* what she’s talking about. 😉
GR was at the far upper right hand spot, entering the dealer’s room. They had a full rack of their stuff, including the shiny new M&M.
Unfortunately, I pretty much own everything on the rack, and so was unable to find anything to buy.
Oh, and Allan … if you’re saying “the “Best Four Days of Gaming” being closer to three this time”, then you didn’t spend nearly enough time talking to Chris at the Con.
The idea what reg didn’t open until late Thursday night, that the Con billed itself as “the Best Four Days of Gaming” while handing out 3 Day badges really got some, uh, colorful commentary.
Three days. Four days. Whichever. They could have least coordinated their marketing stuff, and opened the Registration significantly earlier.
I liked the GR booth, but $400 for something that size is outragious. Sigh….
Sorry, missed the follow-up Chris. I’m with Green Ronin. We had a booth on the corner of the farthest right-hand row (as you face the exhibit area). We had a backdrop and a single table with two racks of books on it.
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