In this June/July update we’re going to cover some recent news, results from our recent survey, and our current health and safety plan for Gen Con Indy 2021.
As many of you know, COVID-19 case rates have been falling dramatically over the last months as vaccination levels have picked up around the country. According to the New York Times, new cases are emerging at their lowest levels since testing became widely available. This is true in the central Midwest, Indiana, and Indianapolis itself, and as of July 1 all health and safety restrictions have been lifted in Indiana. We are heartened and encouraged by all the positive progress that has been made.
At the same time, we’ve been surveying you, our most loyal fans, about masks, sanitizing, vaccination and other matters. I’m happy to report that based on our most recent results a whopping 87% of you report being fully vaccinated and another 5% of you plan to be vaccinated by convention time. Bravo Gen Con attendees! Having at least 90% of attendees vaccinated is great news and attests to the wisdom and spirit of our community!
That said, given ongoing uncertainty, an event as large, diverse, and lengthy as Gen Con is better for everyone with some level of precaution in place. Like you, we want to feel safe while we all move about and do all of our favorite things and see all our favorite people at Gen Con.
Taking all of these factors into account we have come up with the following plan for 2021:
- Mask-wearing at Gen Con will be strongly recommended at all times indoors or in crowded areas for all Gen Con attendees.
- Mask wearing will be required at all times for all unvaccinated persons.
- If you are vaccinated and prefer not to wear a mask you may present your proof of vaccination and ID at one of our health check-in stations and receive a wrist bracelet indicating that you are vaccinated. If you are wearing a valid bracelet you are not required to wear a mask at Gen Con for the duration of the convention.
- If you have a documented medical reason that prevents you from wearing a mask or receiving a vaccination, you may present the medical documentation at a health check-in station to receive a bracelet.
- If someone has medical reasons that keep them from both wearing a mask and receiving a vaccine, they will need to go to the Special Services desk to get their wristband. Those are the only people authorized to give out wristbands for medical exemptions.
This will be added to with our other related health and safety adjustments:
- Reduced capacity at approximately 60% of normal size
- Increased spacing for all gaming tables
- Nightly closure of the convention center for cleaning and sanitizing
- More outdoor activations
Note that given the above we have decided not to implement timed entry to the Exhibit Hall. Given the reduced number of attendees for Gen Con 2021 and our requirement that all attendees over the age of 2 either be masked or show proof of vaccination, we feel that we can safely resume normal operations for entering the Exhibit Hall. We will have six entrances for our guests to choose from (4 in Hoosier Concourse, 1 in Capitol Concourse, and 1 from inside the Event Hall) as well as dedicated walkway space in Hoosier Concourse. Keep in mind that there are no limited exclusives this year with our Exhibit Hall partners; we encourage you to not crowd the halls, come later in the morning, or choose another entrance to avoid crowding. Most of all, we ask that you act responsibly and be kind to each other. Please give yourselves space and be mindful that this is likely the first time many of us have been in a crowd and it might feel quite different. We’re also revising the opening ceremony and other opening activities this year so you’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the beginning of Gen Con in a different way if you’d like to avoid the rush.
With all of the above in place we’re hopeful that our attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff will both feel safe and be safe at Gen Con 2021; not just from COVID-19, but even from the infamous “con crud” and other bugs that often show up at gaming conventions. And we’ll be counting on you to do your part in this effort, too: Get vaccinated, wear a mask if you can or want to, wash your hands, bring sanitizer.
Thank you for all that you do to keep our convention and our community safe. Gen Con is back, and this year more than ever we’re all in it together!