Gen Con News

February Health and Safety Update

Hello, Gen Con friends!

With Gen Con Indy 2022 just under six months away I wanted to update everyone with our current plans for vaccination and mask-wearing at the convention. I emphasize “current” because as we’ve all come to learn, this pandemic is ever-evolving and things can change quite quickly for the better or worse. Rest assured we will adapt our policies to match conditions if and when they change, but by sharing our current thinking we hope to help you plan and let you know what to expect. Our biggest hope, of course, is that we can all get together to celebrate 55 years of Gen Con and we’ll do whatever we can to ensure that it happens, safely.

Here at Gen Con Worldwide HQ, we consult regularly with authorities in Indianapolis as well as our peers around the world who run gaming conventions. Were you lucky enough to travel the globe to attend tabletop shows in 2021 (I think this was literally zero people!) you would have seen that everyone was following essentially the same protocols and getting similar results, meaning fun conventions with little to no spread of the virus. In a nutshell, these precautions work, and it’s great to see everyone pulling together to ensure that we can get back to doing this thing that we all love so much.

For 2022 we’ll be doing most of the same things, including sanitization, maximum HVAC air exchanges, and mask-wearing, along with some additional enhancements. For 2022 we’ll be adding a full vaccination requirement for all attendees, event organizers, and exhibitors participating in Gen Con. Currently, we expect to accept COVID-19 vaccines that are FDA-approved or on the WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL). They include Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Covidshied, and AstraZeneca. Note, however, that this list could change. Some jurisdictions are requiring that attendees at large events receive boosters or a negative COVID-19 test depending on the date of their initial vaccination. It’s impossible to predict if we will be similarly required, though Indianapolis/Marion County does not currently have a vaccine requirement.

We believe, given the nature of tabletop gaming events and all the close contact that happens there, it is essential to protect our community and team to the best extent that we can so that we can continue to Gen Con together this year and into the future. So just to be safe we recommend getting that booster as soon as you are eligible!

Most importantly, a negative COVID-19 test result will not be sufficient for entry into Gen Con Indy 2022. Based on our survey results from last year, over 90% of our attendees are already vaccinated so props to all of you. This is how we keep COVID-19 out of our convention spaces!

We’re investigating several technologies to help us with vaccine verification so that getting into the convention will be smooth and hassle-free. Based on my own experience at several large conventions and sporting events this fall, this is usually quick and painless and we expect the same at Gen Con.

As we get closer to the convention and more information becomes available we will continue to share it here and on our official policy pages. We recognize that some of you may have additional questions, but please understand that with the way this pandemic evolves and the public health measures that are subsequently put into place it is impossible for us to have 100% definitive answers this far in advance of the convention. The best way now to ensure a smooth convention experience for 2022 is to continue to practice good hygiene habits, get fully vaccinated, and take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread.

If you purchase your badge now and/or book a hotel this weekend during housing registration opening, know that you have options to change your plans should conditions change over the next few months:

  • There will be no option to roll badges forward to next year.
  • You have until June 17 to request a badge refund.
  • Hotel reservations can be canceled until June 13 for a $50 fee, or for the cost of one night after June 13.

Stay healthy and let’s all hope for a COVID-free summer. We can’t wait to see you in Indy in just a few short months!

David Hoppe
David Hoppe

President at Gen Con