Lewis Pulsipher @ Gamasutra: "Some people might be interested in the contrasts between video game conferences and non-electronic game conferences. In this case I'm drawing primarily from Origins Game Fair (Columbus, OH) and Triangle Game Conference (TGC) (Raleigh, NC).
TGC is a relatively small, new conference, somewhere over 700 attending this inaugural year, but almost all of those people are either industry professionals or students who want to be in the industry. There is virtually no game playing at the conference.
Among the 10,000-15,000 at Origins, most are consumers, gamers, although there are plenty of industry professionals. (The variance in attendance reflects the effects of the recession: 15,000 two years ago, 10,000 this year.) Playing games is a big reason for people to attend."