Fatigue becomes a way of life by the fourth day of most conventions and Origins is no different. Generally speaking, Saturday is the crescendo of the convention, with the Origins Awards and many tournaments having their finals. It’s also the day that the weekend crowds invade in force, which can really compound the fatigue for those who’ve been hearer since the beginning. That said, it’s also the day that many get in serious gaming, leaving the shopping and events to the newcomers, which really helps in terms of minimizing the “crowded” feeling.
We’ll be posting the full details of the Origins Awards later tonight (if you were following us on Twitter, you would already know!), but the real story for Saturday is how robust the full con feels. Origins is absolutely packed this year, but it doesn’t feel so crowded that you can’t breathe. Most events are full and open gaming is going on everywhere (I counted no fewer than three pick-up games of Dresden Files during my trip back to my room last night).
Over the next few days, we’ll be providing you with a number of in-depth interviews, news (and a few items that I guarantee you haven’t heard) and even the full video of the Origins Awards, so be sure to check back!
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I was at Origins all four days, and have attended for the past seven years or so (I live here in Columbus, just a few miles up High Street from the convention center). However, I am very bad at estimating crowds, so I’m glad to hear you say that you believed attendance was up this year after last year’s economy-driven nosedive.
I did notice that they rearranged many rooms, moving events such as the Board Room and the Big Experiment to the first floor; I assume they did this to reduce the footprint of the overall con and to bump up the density to add a livelier feel. So attendance may have been significantly up compared to last year (which I hope is true), but the management of the real estate may have had some impact too.
Anyway, no slights of Origins are intended — I had a great time!
I don’t have official numbers yet, but the show staff is unofficially indicating a 20% increase over last year. Soon as we have official numbers, we’ll post them!
A 20% increase would be great — if my math and memory are right, it would make up for last year’s drop.
You are correct – attendance last year was down 18% (though that does mean that a 20% increase from 2009 would not actually bring them back to 2008 levels, but it would be close). What’s interesting is the movement from show passes to day passes. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about how that move impacts the economics of the convention.
I’m still fuzzy on what the day-pass folks could and couldn’t do. For instance, can you combine a day pass with a Board Room ribbon, and then just buy a new day pass each day and pop it into the badge holder with the Board Room ribbon stuck to it?