Author Topic: Gen Con - Budgeting  (Read 9267 times)

Wooberman

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Gen Con - Budgeting
« on: September 18, 2012, 06:40:24 AM »
Sorry guys for bringing such a crushingly realistic subject to the front but I just wanted to ask you all for your opinion/experience.

What kind of expenditure do you usually budget for when going to Gen Con?
This is pretty much referring to meals, hotel and "pocket money".

Since Gen Con 2013 being 11 months away, I just want to know how much I need to save etc.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Gen Con - Budgeting
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 11:30:14 AM »
A basic break down isn't too difficult:

Close hotels are about 190 dollars a night with a 15% hotel tax. If you stay 4 nights (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday) and leave on Sunday then that's 4 full nights: about $875.00

Food is wide open. There are plenty of good places to eat with a meal running between 10 and 30 dollars for a single person. Assuming 2 meals a day with snacking that's between 80 and 200 dollars. Let's average that on the high end and say $120.00 for food and snacks.

And, of course, there's products. This will be limited by your ability to transport but I generally purchase four to six new books or other small gaming products at an average cost of 30 dollars each. I budget $200.00 or more for products.

Your badge is $80.00 and who knows what travel will cost.

So, about $1275.00 plus whatever it costs to get to the convention itself.

You can cut hotel prices in half by staying at a distant hotel and using a shuttle to get to and from the convention (I did my first year but I'm not doing that again, being on site is too easy and fun) and by getting roommates.

Wooberman

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Re: Gen Con - Budgeting
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 05:08:34 PM »
Thanks Tad, you are a Gentleman and a Scholar.

clockworkjoe

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Re: Gen Con - Budgeting
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 05:38:39 PM »
I would def. recommend getting a roommate or three to help cut down on room costs - you can either try here or the Gencon forums http://community.gencon.com/forums/

There's also plenty of advice out there like this thread http://community.gencon.com/forums/t/30081.aspx

You can also get your badge cost waived if you run games for a company (like Arc Dream) or if you have a gaming blog or podcast.

Given that books and games can be heavy, you might not want to bring them back via plane - there's an onsite place to mail things back home but that costs extra obviously.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Gen Con - Budgeting
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 06:07:02 PM »
There's also a 24 hour postal drop box about 1 block away from the convention hall on the southeast side. My brother used it to return mail his costume after the contest this year. Most of the hotels can also hold and send out packages for you.

Ross is totally right about the roommates, by the way. In most of the hotels the fee for another occupant is usually $10 with another 10-20 for a roll away bed but if your room costs $875 for the weekend, getting even 1 roommate saves you over 400 dollars.

A small way to save money is to plan ahead on the small stuff. Drinks, snacks, and other small consumables can run into noticable expenses pretty quickly if you aren't paying attention but if you don't snack you'll likely end up paying for an 'extra' meal. The area around the convention center is filled with resturants and service stores but little in the way of convinence goods. However, if you can endure the streets for a few blocks there is a CVS Pharmacy with a small grocery about 4 blocks north of the eastern corner of the convention hall; about two blocks north from the Embassy Suites. You can get most of the way there by going through the skywalks, farther if you stay at the Conrad and gain access to their tunnels with your room key. If you go there Wednesday you can grab enough to keep you good for the convention.

Make sure to carry some small bills with you. You can use them in vending machines, avoid charges for using cards on small purchases, and make short public transit trips if needed.

If you are flying then the Green Line is the best way to get to and from the airport. It runs from midmorning to evening and runs between the airport and all the hotels downtown. There's one roughly every 20 minutes so even with a big crowd you probably won't have to wait too long. However the "line" on the airport side is a mod (no rope, no painted lines, not clear sign to line up at) so you'd better be good with elbowing people at least a little or you'll have to wait for a few passes.

In the event you GM, make sure to take advantage of any special offers. I made about fifty dollars in store credit for running games for ArcDream publishing last time.

clockworkjoe

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Re: Gen Con - Budgeting
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 06:22:05 PM »
Keep in mind Gencon is HUGE and if you don't have a gameplan before you hit the floor, you could get overwhelmed and lose a lot of time wandering around.

Figure out what you HAVE to do, what you want to do, and what you might want to do and plot out a schedule ahead of time. The events are posted months in advance so take advantage of that.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Gen Con - Budgeting
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 06:53:07 PM »
If at all possible you'll want to meet up with some people who've been there before so they can give you a better idea of what is where. However, things often move. Out of the three times I've been there almost no events have been in the same locations from year to year and learning the abbreviations the guidebook uses can be tricky.

Basically I'm saying you have to come to the RPPR Meet Up.

Wooberman

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Re: Gen Con - Budgeting
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 07:18:46 PM »
I love you guys. Thank you.
There is a group of us Brits that are all gearing up for turning up to Gen Con 2014 (yes 14) giving us ample time to save etc.

Basically I'm saying you have to come to the RPPR Meet Up.


You couldn't keep me away.