Gen Con LLC released attendance numbers for Gen Con 2014, revealing that this year’s gaming convention is not only the largest of any convention held in Indianapolis, but it has also grown to be the largest (non-electronic) gaming event in the world.

In 2014, Gen Con’s turnstile attendance grew to 184,699 with 56,614 unique attendees. Internationale Speiltage SPIEL (often referred to as “The Essen Game Fair” or “Essen”) had 156,000 turnstile attendance in 2013, which was the trade show’s highest-attended year. Gen Con surpassed this mark that year with a turnstile attendance of 159,364.

Gen Con 2014’s unique attendance numbers are slightly higher than the Future Farmers of America’s last convention in Indianapolis. With FFA’s 2012 convention’s 56,176 attendees, Gen Con had just over 400 more unique attendees. FFA’s 2013 convention, held in Louisville, KY, had 62,998 unique attendees. In 2012, the Future Farmers of America’s last appearance in Indianapolis, they added $38 million into the local economy, compared to Gen Con 2013’s $47 million. The next largest convention in terms of economic impact to the city in 2013 was the FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference), with $35 million.

While the actual economic impact of Gen Con 2014 will not be known until later this year, the increase of 14% in growth may reach past the $50 million mark.


This article was edited to clarify that Gen Con has grown to be the largest non-electronic gaming convention. 

panel_title-c0791275b63779eaf508f5e26415a52dEven with expanding the exhibition space by 14%, Gen Con Indy 2014 has sold out of Exhibit Hall space even faster than the prior year. The 2013 Exhibit Hall sold out of space in mid-February, the earliest the convention had done so. The current waiting list for the 2014 Exhibit Hall is more than 30 companies.

Gen Con Indy 2013 had an approximate 20% increase in convention attendees and a 12% increase in number of exhibitors over 2012. “Gen Con’s back-to-back years of record breaking attendance propelled them into generating $36 million in direct and indirect spending, and $47 million when including ‘induced’ spending,” said Lisa Wallace of Visit Indy, Indianapolis’ convention and tourism agency. Compared to other conventions in Indianapolis, Gen Con Indy has the largest economic impact to the city. While FFA (Future Farmers of America) remains the largest convention in terms of attendees with 55,000 people attending, it will be in Louisville, KY, until returning to Indianapolis in 2016. FFA 2012 added $38 million to the local economy compared to Gen Con Indy 2013’s $47 million. In 2013, the FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference) generated an economic impact of $35 million.

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