Gen Con 2009 attendance almost holds steady

The Gen Con Indy 2009 wrap-up press release (also pasted below) provided this year’s head count, reported as “over 27,900 unique attendees”. This means Gen Con was down less than 2.5% from last year’s total of 28,600 visitors. Gen Con’s long-established status as an annual gamer pilgrimage seems to have helped it weather the rough economic times better than Origins ’09 or GTS ’09, which each experienced 18% attendance drop-off. Of course, current economic optimism may have helped Gen Con a bit, too…

Additionally, Gen Con raised $12,000 in charity funds, and no one refused the gaming-tainted cash (unlike last year). So no righteous indignation for you, Joe Gamer.

Gen Con LLC press release follows:

Gen Con Indy Wrap-Up

SEATTLE (August 26, 2009) – Gen Con Indy, the nation’s largest annual consumer fantasy, electronic, sci-fi and adventure game convention wraps up its 42nd year! This year, Gen Con Indy 2009 was attended by over 27,900 unique attendees, all of who converged on Indianapolis to make this year’s Gen Con a very successful event for gaming enthusiasts.

“Attendees came out to Indianapolis this year with an eagerness that was contagious; this despite what has been a tough year for just about everyone. We are incredibly grateful that Gen Con can give our attendees the gaming experience and sense of community they are looking for each and every year,” said Adrian Swartout, CEO of Gen Con. “We so appreciate the support from all our attendees, sponsors and exhibitors who make Gen Con such a great event, we are already looking forward to 2010.”

Over the course of the four days, attendees participated in over 7,000 events held throughout the downtown area. Events such as Wizards of the Coast celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dragonlance® and Upper Decks’ World of Warcraft TCG did not go unnoticed. Other highlights included: the eGame Arena, the Gen Con Dance, True Dungeon, TerrorWerks, Anime Avenue, Family Fun Pavilion, Trade Day, SPA, Miniature Hobby Events, LARPing, Art Show, Authors Avenue, the Gen Con Auction, board gaming tournaments, seminars, workshops and many more.

Family Fun & Sunday Attendance
The 2009 Family Fun Initiative was a great success, with 9 exhibitors, over 20 events and family fun badges more than doubling on Sunday compared to the previous years! Between family fun and regular Sunday badges over 2,000 people showed up and registered onsite Sunday – setting a new record for Sunday attendance.

Over the years, Gen Con has sustained its efforts in helping children and benefiting educational programs through its charity events. This year to keep up the tradition, Gen Con chose Indiana Math and Science Academy (IMSA) as the recipient of the charity fundraising. In total over $12,000 was raised. 100% of the proceeds from the following charity events were donated: Ace of Aces VIII– Charity Speed Paint and Auction, Cardhalla XI, Charity Auction, Fandom United Jail-n-Bail and Tower of Gygax.

Future Gen Con Indy Show Dates
Gen Con has been in Indianapolis since 2003 and has signed a five-year extension with the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) for 2011-2015. Below are the upcoming show dates.

* August 05-08, 2010
* August 04-07, 2011
* August 16-19, 2012
* August 15-18, 2013
* August 14-17, 2014
* July 30 – August 2, 2015

About Gen Con
Gen Con, LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, sci-fi and adventure game convention in North America. Its operations include Gen Con Indy and licensees for European and Asia Pacific Gen Con shows. It was acquired in 2002 by former CEO and founder of Wizards of the Coast Peter Adkison, who owns the company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Gen Con is a consumer and trade experience dedicated to gaming culture and community. For more information visit the website at

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