It’s so close, I can smell it — I can smell that brand-new comic book smell when I hold up our Program Guide, the one that happens right after you crack it open for the first time. I can hear the Harry Potter fans excitedly discussing which Patronus they got at the fan meetup (mine is a swan). I can see my fellow geek’s faces when they walk into our massive Exhibitor Hall and behold all of the goodies, or while they watch on as Rey and Harley Quinn strut their stuff at the Cosplay Contest. I can hear victorious screams from the Gaming Area, the shuffling of cards and well-used controllers. GeekGirlCon 2016 is so close, and we are getting excited.
Organizing something like GeekGirlCon takes a lot of work, and we are 100% volunteer-run. It takes an entire year of long hours, thousands of e-mails, and endless cups of coffee to put it all together, but we do it out of passion. Each member of our team was brought together by a shared mission, and it’s so worth it to hear, see, and experience the weekend with all of you.
In these final hours leading up to con, we’re reflecting on what it takes to put on the show. In a brief Q&A with our Interim Executive Director, Danielle Gahl, we discuss what it takes and how we do it:
Q: How much planning (would you say) goes into making GeekGirlCon happen?
GeekGirlCon’16 took a full year of planning with a little extra spice added in because we have all new leadership and decided to expand.
There are so many things that go into making a Con for 10,000 people, and add in the fact that we’re all volunteers and things get even more exciting. This year, we brought in 30 new staff volunteers, shifted marketing efforts, expanded the space, cultivated more than 150 individual sponsors, and almost doubled the number of vendors and artists.
So how much planning? A ton for the Con itself, a ton for the organizational structures to sustain the Con, and a ton to make it happen as a ‘hobby.’
It’s officially October, and do you know what that means? GeekGirlCon 2016 is less than one week away! When this post goes live, there will only be 5 more days until we all join together in glorious, geeky harmony.
Each and every year, GeekGirlCon grows bigger and better. This year, we’ve got tons of fabulous contributors, an amazing lineup of exhibitors, great panels on cosplay, gaming, and fandom, and so much more in store for the weekend. As we continue to grow, we get that much more room and opportunities to host a ton of events that are new to the convention, and we’re going to talk about those nouveau happenings today:
A Bigger, Better Con
For starters, this year’s convention is BIGGER than ever before! With the 4th floor expansion, we’ve got more space to cram in that much more awesome content. Our exhibitor hall is going to be gigantic, we’ll have tons of folks on the floor of our gaming and DIY Science sections — every nook and cranny is packed with panels, social events, and even a couple quiet spaces to sit back and relax for a minute in the midst of all that crazy fun.
GeekGirlCon 2015 at Washington State Conference Center in Seattle, Washington. October 2015. Photo by Danny Ngan
GGC After Dark
As I wrote about in a former post, we’ve got some fun in store for our 18+ attendees. GeekGirlCon After Dark is a series of panels geared towards all of the adults joining us next weekend. Featuring more scandalous subjects, these panels will explore everything from sexuality in YA novels, the science of kink, to body positivity and BDSM. With hosts of contributors from internet-savvy filmmakers and published authors, there’s fascinating content with a more mature zing.
GeekGirlCon and the Girl Scouts of Western Washington have joined forces to bring together our love of gaming and young female empowerment. Andy Munich, our own Gaming Events Coordinator, helped bring the program to life. An avid gamer himself, Andy wanted to organize activities and tours for the Girl Scouts that would teach them more about the gaming industry. So far, they’ve visited our friends at Wizards of the Coast and DigiPen, and have future tours scheduled with studios such as Bungie.
To learn more about the program, I did a Q&A with Andy to see what the GeekGirlScouts are all about:
The GeekGirlScouts posing with a dragon during their visit to Wizards of the Coast.
Q: What is GeekGirlScouts?
A: The GeekGirlScouts is an initiative that was started via a conversation between me and Tammie Treibley Thompson while we were participating in the 2014 Wizards of the Coast Dungeons and Dragons Extra Life Marathon. We both agreed that it was high time that GeekGirlCon and the Girl Scouts of Western Washington teamed up for something related to the nerdy activities we so much enjoy.
In yesterday’s post, we got to look at all of the amazing teams and organizations focused on helping women further themselves career-wise as a part of GeekGirlConnections — but that’s not all we have in store. Various non-profit organizations and community groups will also be joining us at the convention. All of these groups share similar missions and ideologies as we do here at GeekGirlCon. Just as we are passionate about celebrating the achievements and representation of women in geek culture, we thrive to nurture a community where inclusiveness, acceptance, and support are all highly upheld. In one way or another, each one of these teams works just as hard to strengthen that goal. Not only will you connect professionally, but get to know your community and learn how you can get involved at GeekGirlConnections.
ACLU of Washington ACLU provides legal assistance and advocacy for both individuals and community groups by taking on major law reform through litigation and legislative action. They are keenly attuned to civil rights issues, dedicated to defending and expanding civil liberties for all regardless of race, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. ACLU distributes pamphlets and educational material to, as well as provides speakers to various schools and communities throughout the state of Washington.
At GeekGirlCon, we’re all about idolizing the achievements of women and girls in geek culture. Whether we’re talking comics, gaming, science, or tech, our goal is to highlight the accomplishments of these women while actively enforcing a productive conversation about the obstacles and challenges that they face in the field.
GeekGirlConnections, one of the many stellar components of our convention, helps give women the ability to connect with professionals on their desired career path. In fields where women are often underrepresented, GeekGirlConnections aims to inspire and encourage women and girls to pursue their passions. Located on the 4th floor of the convention in our Exhibitor Hall, we’ll have teams of these professionals ready and waiting to build connections and chat about their organizations!
Two game developers presenting their work at GCon ’15. Photo courtesy of NPR.
GCon GConwas made into being after women were barred from attending an all-male gaming convention in Saudi Arabia that was held in 2011. Co-founders Tasneem Salim and Felwa al-Swailem joined forces and curated a group of large-scale gaming companies to back them in starting their own convention, specifically geared for young Saudi women that love games! Salim, who served as our own Corporate Sponsorship Manager at the beginning of 2016, explained in an interview with NPR that videogames aren’t only for play, but can be used to help learn or further their skills in languages such as English or Japanese. Not only do they encourage girls to not be afraid to express their love of gaming, but encourage them to pursue careers in technology.
Calling all Washington State attendees! Did you know that you can grab the latest issue of Ms. Marvel and score one of our passes in the same trip?
With less than one month until GeekGirlCon 2016, passes are now being sold in a handful of local comic book and game stores scattered about the Seattle area! In-store passes are sold at our early-bird pricing and will be available for purchase while supplies last. Historically, passes have totally sold out before the weekend of the convention, so don’t miss out on this stellar deal and make sure to grab yours before they’re all gone.
Here is a list of those stores, should you feel a sudden itch to go shopping:
The Millennium Falcon? A microscope, florence flask, and a broadsword? Someone wearing a cat-robot suit? Have you ever seen a t-shirt packed with so much awesome, that you almost doubted the mere existence of such a thing? I’m excited to share that we have that shirt, and it’s everything you’ve dreamt of.
Last week, we launched our first ever fundraising tee. The fabulously nerdy shirt features art by local Seattle artist and designer Ten Hundred (Peter Robinson). All proceeds will go towards helping us host a great convention, which is barely one month away. You can purchase the shirt in both straight cut and fitted sizes online right now.
Leading up to GeekGirlCon 2016 in October, we’ve slowly started giving you small glimpses into what we have planned for another great year. We’ve released our list of exhibitors, talked about upcoming panels on various fandoms and science, and recently launched our fundraiser for the DIY Science Zone. But it’s about time we talked about something a little more scandalous. Shall we?
GeekGirlCon is family friendly, but we have plenty in store for our adult attendees. GeekGirlCon After Dark is a series of panels that cover a wide range of darker and more racy themes in geek culture. From the science behind kink to the rise of sultry YA, our clever host of professionals and speakers will lead discussions on more mature topics.
It’s that time of the year again. We’re less than two months away from October, which means that we’re less than two months away from GeekGirlCon 2016. But do you know what that also means? We’re ready to launch our Fundraiser for the DIY Science Zone!
There is only one week left to apply to be a volunteer agent for GeekGirlCon 2016. Applications will promptly close on August 1st at 10 PM PST (next Monday), so make sure to get yours submitted soon!
Photo courtesy of GeekGirlCon via Flickr.
There are only two requirements to become one of our agents. You must available to work a minimum of 2 shifts that about about 4 to 5 hours each, and you need to be at least 16 years old. Most importantly, you’ll need to bring a ton of enthusiasm, because we’ll have plenty to do and see throughout the weekend. We’ll need help making sure that every activity and panel goes off without a hitch. Agents will spend time on both the convention floor and behind the scenes helping set up equipment, handing out passes, and so much more.
The first ever GeekGirlCon was held in the fall of 2011. During that weekend, I was in Florida adjusting to college life. Five years later, I’m now working out of Seattle, breaking into the gaming industry and working with GeekGirlCon as a Copywriter. Everyday I work with GeekGirlCon, I’m taken aback by how talented everyone on the team is. Everyone is extremely motivated about putting on a great con, and we’re all major geeks that are passionate about empowering and celebrating the achievements of women in geeky culture. We’re also all volunteers. Everyone involved, from year-round organizers to our agents, volunteer their time to put together a spectacular gathering that is now an annual event.
Photo courtesy of GeekGirlCon via Flickr.
This year, our 6th GeekGirlCon will be held at Conference Center at Washington State Convention Center October 8th and 9th. We’ve got a great lineup, including a recently announced collection of artists and exhibitors, historically brilliant panels, and plenty of fun activities to leave you breathless come Sunday evening.
Make sure to submit your application no later than August 1st by 10 PM PST, and I look forward to seeing you there!