Known as the host of the world’s “greatest spectacle in racing,” Indianapolis has another special event to brag about — Gen Con, or “the best four days in gaming.”
In 2006, just three years after Indianapolis became the home of the national gaming convention, Tom Anders of Fishers decided to turn his gaming hobby into a business called Impact! Miniatures.
“I started it as a hobby business—just something to do on the weekend because it was an area of interest for me to make some extra money,” Anders said. “Six years ago, my company laid off my entire department and I looked at my hobby business and went, ‘Well, I can go back and try to start all over in my career or I can try to do this full time.’ It started just as a hobby thing that I did for the weekends, but now this is my full-time income.”
Impact! Miniatures features a variety of specialty dice and miniature figurines, sold exclusively online and at the Gen Con booth.
Anders said his main customer base consists of men and women, usually between 20 and 40. He said the four days of Gen Con generate the most business he sees all year.
“There are a lot of people that come here who buy from us during the year, but come to see stuff in person and talk to me about some of the products,” Anders said. “I will normally sell as much in one day at Gen Con as I will in an entire month at my online store.”
For the 10 years that Anders has attended Gen Con, he said nothing is better than meeting his online customers and having face-to-face interaction with those who share a similar passion.
“Since I run an online shop, I don’t get to see the people, and so being able to see the people and interact with them, I love meeting my customers,” Anders said. “And a lot of times, I make new business ventures. At almost every Gen Con, I get someone who comes up and we figure out a way to maybe work together to do something. Those are the two elements I love at Gen Con.”
Nearly 61,000 people are expected to attend this year's four-day gaming convention, making it the largest Gen Con yet.