A guide to Gen Con in Indianapolis

The best four days in gaming returns to Indianapolis and we’re sharing everything you need to know so you don’t miss one of the biggest conventions the city hosts.

Gen Con attendees walk around Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis

Last year, the convention held a block party on Georgia Street.

Photo by Gen Con LLC

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Gamers, grab your cloaks + ready your cosplay, because the best four days in gaming are less than a month away. Gen Con 2023 is Thursday, Aug. 3-Sun., Aug. 6 at the Indianapolis Convention Center (ICC) and Lucas Oil Stadium.

Here’s what you need to know to make your time at Gen Con poggers (that’s gamer speak for exciting).

🧙‍♂️ What is Gen Con?

Gen Con was born in Lake Geneva, WI + the current name is a shortened version of the original title: The “Lake Geneva Wargames Convention.” Since then, Gen Con has become the largest tabletop gaming convention in North America — this year, it will have 14,000+ events.

Gen Con made its move to the Circle City in 2003, where it has remained since. Last year, the convention drew 50,000+ people and brought in $57 million to Indy’s tourism, entertainment, and food industries.

People gathered around a table at the convention

25th Century Games’ booth in the exhibition hall at Gen Con 2021. | Photo by @25thcenturygames

🔮 Convention highlights

Trade Day | Wednesday, Aug. 2 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | JW Mariott Hotel, White River Ballroom E | This event held prior to the start of the convention offers 70+ events for attendees and is designed to provide hands-on training, share research, B2B and network opportunities, and professional development opportunities.

Film Festival | Thurs., Aug. 3 | 7 p.m. | ICC | Short films made by gaming aficionados from across the world will be screening on-site throughout the day + winners will be announced that evening.

37th Annual Costume Contest | Saturday, Aug. 5 | 4 p.m. | ICC, Main Stage in the 500 Ballroom | A costume parade will march through the halls followed by the contest — you can dress up as your favorite character or watch from the audience.

Auction & Consignment Store | Duration of convention | Various times | ICC | Bid on your favorite action figures and peruse thousands of items.

Exhibition Hall | Duration of convention | Various times | ICC | Thousands of gamemakers, publishers + outfitters will be there to show you what’s new.

Art Show | Duration of convention | Various times | ICC | Meet industry legends + up-and-coming artists, find the perfect gift for the art enthusiast in your life, or just explore and immerse yourself in the world of art.

🧩 How to attend

People gathered around a table at the convention

25th Century Games’ booth in the exhibition hall at Gen Con 2021.

  1. Get your badge. Badges get you into Gen Con + the primary attractions, like the auction or the exhibition hall.
  2. Get your tickets. Tickets will reserve your seat for a particular event in advance for a small fee.
  3. Check out the map. With so much happening, you’re going to want to plan in advance where you need to be at what time.