Setting up complete LAN centers inside of conventions was never in our wildest business plan ideas. Anyone that has built a LAN center knows that it takes months of planning, purchasing, construction, assembly and testing to open your doors for customers. However with a convention set-up we have a total of 2 days to do the same thing.
Just like any other project the more times you go through the process the better you get for the next time. This year was not our first rodeo for Gen Con 2015 and the only way we pulled off what we did was because of our previous experience building LAN centers at conventions and our fantastic staff and volunteers.
Monday, July 27th we loaded our 24 foot enclosed trailer and our 26 foot rented Uhaul with equipment at our Terre Haute location and drove to our Indianapolis store. At that store we finished loading all of the remaining equipment we needed and then drove downtown Indianapolis to stay the night near the convention center. The next morning, Tuesday, we began unloading everything around 9 AM.
Through Tuesday until around 10 PM and then again starting at 8 AM on Wednesday morning we built the eBash Game Zone in just about 6000 square feet of space. The final layout had over 100 PCs, 8 Xbox One, 8 PS4, 4 Wii U and 8 racing simulators to give us enough seating for just over 150 simultaneous players.
Surely enough playing room for 150 players at one time would be enough room right? Wrong.
We opened our room Thursday morning at 8 AM about 2 hours before the Exhibit hall opened right next door. We were extremely busy all day but we survived. I remember then looking at the trends from 2014 at Gen Con for our room and realizing that Thursday was the slowest day of the four days for us. That is when I started to realize we would be blowing away any kind of old attendance records.
Friday was insane. I am not sure at what point during the day we were informed that our room was over capacity, but I feel like the entire day no one could hardly move. While we had 60-70 players all of the time in the hourly area, we were packing in hundreds more for our tournaments. My biggest mistake this year was scheduling a Hearthstone tournament at the exact same time as a Heroes of the Storm tournament.
Looking back I still have no idea how we pulled everything off. There were nearly 100 players in just those two tournaments, while there were 48 players in a Smash tournament, 40+ players waiting for League of Legends Randoms and 20+ players in a Call of Duty tournament. Top that off with hundreds more wanting to just watch the tournaments on our giant 50 foot projectors on the walls.
With Saturday being the busiest day of the four we had no choice but to have people posted at each doorway and only allowed players that were participating in the events into the room. We had thousands of people turned away at the door that just wanted to walk through the room and check it out. I felt bad for our partners in the zone such as Visions of Zosimos and Extra Life, but they were both always busy the entire time and couldn’t handle much more traffic either.
Gen Con is still processing all of our tickets and the final sales numbers are not calculated but we know that we nearly doubled our sales from 2014 and that was a really GOOD show. Our estimate is that over 15,000 people came through our room and we had over 5,000 people play in our events. We gave out over 150 trophies, over 200 medals and saw over 7500 hours played in just 4 days.
Our Extra Life Indy guild signed up over 150 new members in 4 days in the zone. They were invaluable helping us at the front desk with hourly players, at the door answering questions and helping administrate tournaments. The Visions of Zosimos team were fantastic and they told me that they had more new downloads during Gen Con weekend than the entire total of downloads in the first year of their alpha!
So what does the future hold for eBash at conventions like Gen Con? In 2014 we set-up at two conventions. This year in 2015 we set-up at three conventions. Next year in 2016 we are going to look for 6-8 conventions to set-up. Our potential partner and sponsor list has been growing from outside inquiries. It seems like in the next few years we will be known throughout the Midwest as the premier video game event organization and perhaps even throughout the entire US.
8 thoughts on “eBash Video Game Zone @ Gen Con 2015 Recap”
I am interested in opening a Lancenter I am trying to get my expense together I would like to know what its going to cost me per console and p c games and who will bem y contact looking for at least 6 x box and 6 play station an maybe 12 p c and I am also interested in some arcade games also if you can help me out I would really appreciate your help thanks again for everything You can do for me you also can reach me at 813-340-2780 or my email address thanks👍
Michael – Starting with only 6 Xbox and 6 PS4 is not a good idea. After 11 years in this business I have a lot of experience and opinions on opening a center. There is a lot more than just replying to this comment or emailing you. I offer 3 hours of unlimited answers to questions and advice for $100. I get so many people asking for advice so this way I can find out who is really serious and who is not because $33.33 per hour for talking to me is extremely cheap for what I can save you in time, money and headaches. If you are interested then send me an email and we can set-up a time to talk.
Yes I am really interested in starting a land cente wasn’t sur I thought 6 PlayStation 6 Xbox 12 ps3 will be good enough I want to get bi I’m really interested I’m looking for a place n to open it u wants to know how much Mike senses ar I’ll do whatever it takes to get one open I am really intereste can afford to pay to talk to yo so willing to talk to you
Are you the one that I will be purchasing these games fro I wouldn’t mind paying you but if you’re another business owne not interested I’ll find out my negative on my own I prefer to talk to someone who is going to allow me to purchase these council I have more involved than you think I want to do more with thi I want to do more with this gamin I have a lot in my mind to offer in this gamin you can call me at 813 340 278 and if you are someone to purchase this game why are you want to have someone paid to talk to yo reall I’m more interested than you thin like I said I’m looking for a plac to open my busines I am really intereste thank you have a good day
So Mr Zack are you the one that I will be purchasing these console from. that is who I would like to talk to I am a big time gamer I see a need for it I have a great idea that’s why I want to start with 6 Xbox1& 6 p s 4 and12 p c and would like also some acarde games also so can you help me out and if Not can you please give me the email address or a phone number please thanks again for everything you do will be well appreciated and if you think I need more so be it I work for the same company for 29 years I am ready and if you are another owner I think you should be more willing to help with out a fee sorry that’s just me like I said thanks for everything you do will be well appreciated
I sent you an email about wanting to start a LAN cente just curious if you have gotten my email 18 Xbox 1 6 PlayStation PlayStation 4 12 PCwanting it open up and land center can you help me ou thank you
So I gess your not going to help out
I honestly cannot hardly follow all of the replies you typed already. My honest opinion is that I think you might be over your head a bit wanting to open a LAN center. We do not sell anything to help anyone open a center. I have centers for 11 years now and I offer consulting at $100 for three hours of time on the phone to answer any questions you might have. But looking through your comments above I think you would be better off saving your money. It takes $100,000+ to open a LAN center, it is not just about buying a few Xbox systems and TVs.