Every year after any major convention I always run into a couple of people disappointed with the way they spent their time. They didn't get to demo most of the things they wanted, or it was too late to sign up for the cool events they heard about as the con approached. Nobody needs to have a bad experience though, you just need to be in the know.
Games on Demand, hosted by Indie Games Explosion, is both the saving grace of any ill-prepared con-goer and the best value for your dollar at any con where it is available.
This year at Gencon I spent every break in schedule I could find over at the Games on Demand. The games are mostly RPGs and story games, but I don't think the experience is in anyway diminished if you aren't much of a role-player.
You just need to show up, no need to sign up ahead. There will be a table that has the selection of games for the next session, probably a bunch of stuff you've never heard of, but it's not really about playing anything specific. Games on Demand is about playing something exciting with passionate people. Often this means diving into a game in a completely unfamiliar genre.
Games on Demand is about playing something exciting with passionate people.
This year I got to try a whole slew of games I may have otherwise missed. I finally gave a LARP a try, it was 100% new and 100% awesome, especially thanks to Jason Morningstar (Fiasco creator) for running it. I played Pulse and Shinobigami, both of which were recently translated into English. I even played a storytelling game, Legacy of the Slayer, that ran off of a deck of cards you write on to permanently change the game forever.
Every year, at every con where it's available, I drag people over to Games on Demand. Not once have I had a session where the person regretted it. So next time you're at a con and don't know what to do or you start building your schedule for a con, take a couple of hours, expose yourself to something crazy and experimental and awesome. Go to your next con like a pro, check out Games on Demand.