Gen Con 101

Secure Your Lodgings

How to Book a Hotel Room Through Our Housing Portal

New to Gen Con, or just need a refresher on the housing process? No problem! Read on for a handy guide on how to snag a hotel room for Gen Con 2020!

The Gen Con housing block offers discounted hotel reservations for attendees

The Basics

Through our partner company Q-Rooms, we work with hotels across Indianapolis to reserve rooms that are then made available at a discounted rate to our attendees. These reserved rooms are referred to collectively as the housing block. You can browse and book these rooms through the housing portal on starting on February 9, 2020. 

To book your room, you’ll need a couple basic things: 

  • To have purchased a Gen Con 2020 badge (Note: You must be the purchaser of the badge to access the housing portal. If a badge is bought for you, you are not eligible to request a room assignment through your account). Any badge type (4-Day, Saturday, etc.) will get you access to the portal, but minimum-stay restrictions apply to all reservations.
  • A valid credit card with an expiration date later than the convention end-date (8/2/20)

Initial Housing Queue

Most folks are interested in booking their room as soon as the housing portal opens on February 9 to get their first choice for a room. However, housing registration is open until July 13. If you don’t get your first choice on opening day, continue to check back until the end of housing registration. Plenty of people’s plans change and rooms open up. 

Because most people sign in on opening day to book a room, we’ve implemented a randomized scheduled access time queue to accommodate the server demand (avoiding time-outs/crashes), colloquially referred to as the “housing lottery.” In order to participate in the initial housing queue, you will need to have purchased a badge by Friday, February 7 at 11 pm (ET) / 8 pm (PT). You will receive an email with your access time on Saturday morning. Your access time will also be displayed under the “My Housing” section on after you’ve signed in. 

On Sunday, sign in on about five minutes before your scheduled access time, and head over to the My Housing section of your account (located in a drop-down under your name on the top right of the page). There will be a countdown timer, and once it reaches zero, a link will appear to access the portal. If the link doesn’t automatically appear, feel free to refresh the page, but please don’t mash that refresh button.

After clicking the link, you’ll be taken to the housing portal, where you’ll browse room search results in real-time. Note that other users may be browsing and selecting at the same time as you, so being expedient about your choices is advised. Once you’ve selected a room and have begun the checkout process, you have 10 minutes to complete before that room is returned to available inventory.

This slideshow from Q-Rooms offers a step-by-step guide to using the housing portal. Click here to view it full-screen.

Clearing up some things you may or may not have heard: 

  • Refreshing the My Housing page will not reset your countdown timer
  • The day and time your badge was purchased has no effect on your access time to the portal (provided you’ve purchased your badge prior to the February 7 cutoff)
  • Requesting an Accessible room in the housing block has no bearing on hotel location – All hotels have rooms that meet ADA accessibility requirements (attn able-bodied folks: let’s not request Accessible rooms to try and get closer to the convention center.)
  • Room assignments cannot be transferred or traded among Gen Con accounts
  • Re-entering the housing queue to look at available hotel rooms after you’ve made your initial booking will not automatically cancel your current booking — browse away! Your prior reservation will only be changed if you complete a different booking.

Housing After the Initial Queue

You can browse hotel openings through the housing portal at any time after February 9. Folks change their plans all the time (seriously) so it’s worth checking back to see if a room that is more desirable to you has become available. 

If you’ve bought your badge later on in the year, registering for a hotel room is pretty much the same as outlined above, except you won’t get a queue time. Just head over to the My Housing section after you’ve purchased your badge and click the housing portal link to browse available rooms.

For detailed information on housing registration, I can’t recommend the Attendee Guide to Housing Registration on our website enough. It’s about a 5-10 minute read, and includes contact information for Q-Rooms should you have further questions. 

Kristen Jensen
Kristen Jensen

Marketing Manager at Gen Con