I will be attending GenCon later this summer. This is GenCon 48, meaning this would be my 38th GenCon and my 37th consecutive GenCon. (I have written of my earlier GenCon adventures and posted them here.) My first GenCon was the (only) one at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club in 1977, then I skipped a year going off to college, attended GenCon at the University of Wisconsin — Parkside in 1979 and attended every one since, following it to Milwaukee and now Indianapolis. As always, I do as much as I can in these four days (Wednesday afternoon through Sunday afternoon) because this is my big annual “vacation” convention and has been for over thirty years.
My planned schedule is to arrive Wednesday and stay that evening with a friend, check into the Hyatt Thursday morning for the rest of the weekend, and then leave Sunday afternoon. I live only about two hours from Indianapolis so travel costs are minimal.
Wednesday is my day for prep work and meeting people. I plan to arrive in the afternoon in time to enter items into the GenCon Auction, then chill for the rest of the afternoon exploring downtown. Although it is still being worked out, I expect to have dinner with the SFWA Table staff and the other table volunteers in the evening.
Thursday is my day for checking out what’s new in the exhibition hall, a feat I have down to a science, and meeting old friends there. That evening is the first of the two events I will be running this year.
Friday is my day for seminars and classes, depending on the schedule. It may also be the day I volunteer to staff the SFWA table. (SFWA: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the professional writers organization in the US and North America, plus elsewhere, for writers of science fiction and fantasy fiction.) GenCon has been emphasizing authors now for several years, featuring a number of prominent authors with gaming-related fiction, and this year SFWA is scheduled to have a table in the Writer’s Symposium area. As a member of SFWA, I decided to volunteer my time to help staff the table this year, which is the first time SFWA will be doing this, and Friday is looking like my best opportunity. That evening is the second event I will be running this year.
Saturday is my day for two things: the GenCon / Indianapolis Ingress First Saturday meetup and Ingress play, and the Cosplay Parade and Costume Competition. The former is something I will be doing for the first time this year, having only starting playing Ingress late last year with the purchase of my Android tablet, so we will see what all is involved. (BTW: my Ingress handle is HoosierDragon, and I am a proud member of the Enlightenment!) The latter is something I have been doing since 2003, photographing members of the parade and then watching the competition and photographing people afterward. (Photographs of previous GenCons can be found here.) For this, I carry around my regular camera, my Olympus E‑810 with flash attachment. That evening is usually when I decompress from the past few days and relax in the hot tub at the hotel, but I may find an event that evening instead this year.
Sunday is my day for picking up whatever money I get from the auction and whatever didn’t sell, then swinging through the exhibition hall and picking up whatever caught my eye the previous days. Also, saying good bye to some old friends that I only see once a year at GenCon. This year I should also check about publishing opportunities and writing for them.
And, as always, I will be carrying around my “other” camera (Sony DSC-WX150) for cosplay photographs and other events as I see them.