After a half decade of torrid growth, Gen Con took a breath this year, attracting 1% fewer unique attendees who attended more frequently, pushing turnstile attendance (the sum of daily attendees) up 2%.  The show drew 60,819 unique attendees in 2016, down from the 61,423 attendees in 2015 (see "Gen Con Up 9%").  Turnstile attendance was 201,852, up from 197,695 in 2015 (or up an average of 1,000 attendees a day).

"The Gen Con team was very happy with 2016 attendance, and feedback from the show, from exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees, has been outstanding," Gen Con Senior Marketing Manager Jake Theis told ICv2.  "We were once again happy to sell out of Trade Day passes, and are excited to see continued expansion in multi-day attendance."

Gen Con Trade Day was once again maxed out with 500 attendees.

The convention did not respond directly to the question of whether the marketing spend used to attract attendees changed, but pointed to the change in badge pricing that promoted longer attendance.  Four day badge sales were up 4%, Theis said.

The big jump was in the number of exhibitors, which grew 26%.  The show added 20% more exhibit space this year, by "adding Lucas Oil Stadium space and changing configurations," Theis explained.  The show began using space in the Stadium in 2016 (see "Gen Con Takes Over More of Downtown Indianapolis").

Gen Con attendance has more than doubled since 2009, when around 27,900 attended the show (see "Gen Con Attendance Down a Hair").