First-Timer Guide

Welcome to Coulee Con! This page is meant as a guide for people who are joining us for the first time. Our convention is focused on building a supportive and inclusive community that brings gamers together. We feature a variety of gaming genres including board games, collectible card games, role-playing games, miniatures, live action role playing, video games, and puzzles. Our first show was held at the UW-La Crosse Cartwright Center in 2015 with an attendance of 250. We moved to the La Crosse Center in 2016 and have since grown to an attendance of over 700. Whether you're a seasoned gaming veteran or are just learning what this whole tabletop thing is all about, we hope you find something to enjoy at our convention!

If you don't see an answer to your question on this page, you can search the rest of couleecon.com, ask in the Coulee Con Community Facebook Group, the Coulee Con Discord Server, or email coordinator@couleecon.com.

Playing Games

Scheduled Sessions and Tournaments

Coulee Con is all about sharing games with one another, and the majority of that happens via scheduled events. There are one-off board games, role playing sessions, miniatures, collectible card games, special events, and a variety of different tournaments. You can find everything that is currently planned on the events calendar. Search and filter to find the type of event you are most interested in, then reserve a ticket for the event so that the host knows to save you a seat!

This year we also have several large special events happening over the weekend:

Open Gaming

If you don't see a scheduled event that catches your eye, or you just want to relax with some friends and try out a new game or an old favorite, we have Open Gaming tables available on a first-come-first-served basis. There are LFG ("Looking For Group") flags for groups who want more players. These flags are an invitation to come play, so if you have an empty seat, grab a flag to let people know they're welcome. And if you see a table with a flag on it, feel free to approach and make some new friends!

Running Games

Have a game that you really want to share? Great! We encourage all attendees to host events. If you'd like to share a game, RPG system, etc. that you love with others, just submit the event to our online system. Once approved, your event will be added to the schedule! Perks for running a game include extra daily drawing tickets, convention swag, and a complimentary weekend badge if you run at least 12–16 hours of approved individual events.

Non-Game Info

Badges

Badges can be purchased online or on-site. Purchasing a badge in advance allows you to reserve a seat for games in the schedule (click on get a ticket). Badges purchased online will be ready at registration for you when you arrive.

The Venue

Coulee Con takes place at the La Crosse Center, a great venue on the riverfront in downtown La Crosse. Click here for directions to the location.

Con Hours of Operation:

Rules and Policies

All Coulee Con attendees are required to follow the convention rules. These policies essentially boil down to "treat others with respect", but it's important to know the specifics as well. Please click here and read through the rules before attending, to ensure everyone has a safe and fun weekend.

Table Vendor Area

Table vending area hours are Friday 2-9pm, Saturday 10am-7:30pm, and Sunday 10am-4pm.

Parking

There are three options for public parking near the La Crosse Center:

Locations and more info available here: www.lacrossedowntown.com/parking-and-maps

Lodging

There are a number of hotels in both downtown La Crosse and the larger La Crosse area. We do not have a hotel block reserved.

Food

While we will not be serving food inside Coulee Con itself, there will be food trucks parked immediately outside the convention center for lunch and snacks. There are also soda vending machines inside.

Since Coulee Con is located right downtown La Crosse, there is also a wide variety of great restaurants within easy walking distance. Ask around for recommendations, or check out this list of options.

La Crosse

If you have an extra day or two, or want to take a break from gaming, La Crosse offers a lot of other things to do and see. Coulee Con is part of the River of Festivals, a celebration of many of the events happening in town. For more information about the town and surrounding areas, check out the visitor's guide.

Miscellaneous

Vendor Area

Besides playing games, one of the most fun things to do at Coulee Con is shop! We'll have a wide variety of vendors in our Vendor Area, selling things from games and gaming supplies to books and artwork. See the full list of exhibitors and vendors here.

Daily Drawings

Each evening of the con, there is a daily drawing for free prizes. Look near the registration table to find all of the prizes for the day. You can place tickets in the bucket for any prize you want to try to win. You receive tickets along with registration, and there are chances to get more throughout the con! The drawings happen in the evening all three days of the con.

Play-to-Win Game Library

Publishers from all over have sent us brand new games to play! Moreover, every game in our Play-to-Win library will be given away during the weekend. To participate, just visit the Play-to-Win area, pick out a game, play it, and then return the game with a completed record sheet. Every person who played the game will be entered to win it. You can even play a game multiple times for more chances to win!

Silent Auction

Look for the Silent Auction table near the bottom of the escalators. Several lots of games will be available for bidding each day of the con with winners announced in the evening. There are always some treasures in the silent auction, so be sure to check it out!

Art Gallery

Calling all artists, crafters, and makers! We have an art gallery at Coulee Con right next to the vendor area. This is a space to show off the cool things that you're interested in and also see what others are doing. Any attendee is free to bring and display something they have made. Just let us know and we'll save some space!

Have Fun!

We're excited welcome you to Coulee Con, and we hope you have a great time! Please reach out to coordinator@couleecon.com if you have further questions not answered here or the rest of our website.