GeekGirlCon ‘12 is a wrap, and the exhaustion is setting in. But we want to be sure to take a few moments to say thank you.
Darth Makenna stole the show at GeekGirlCon ’12
Thank you to the incredible panelists and guests, who helped us discuss incredibly important topics; geek out about comics, video games, science, technology, and pop culture; and discover how we could jumpstart our futures.
Thank you to our individual and corporate sponsors for helping us expand and grow. Without your support, none of this would have been possible.
Thank you to the amazing professionals who spent time in our GeekGirlConnections room and gave advice to attendees on how to jumpstart their careers.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers, who worked hours upon hours to keep the convention running smoothly — always with a smile on their face. You were so professional, thoughtful, helpful, and sincere. Our GeekGirlCon Agents are the best!
Thank you to the families, who came out in droves. The Zelda Family, the Darth Vader Princess (Darth Makenna), the little Wonder Woman, the robot, and every other outfit that left us “ooo”-ing and “aww”-ing. These young children are truly our future, so thank you for encouraging them to ask questions, think critically, and believe in themselves.
Last, but certainly not least, thank you to all of our attendees. You were willing to brave the traffic, you got up early to ensure you could attend every panel, you asked amazing questions, and you wanted to discuss uncomfortable yet important topics. More than 3,000 people walked through our convention doors each day.
If you were one of these 3,000+, you got to see the world premiere of Season 2 of Husbands, the webseries created by GeekGirlCon ‘12 guest Jane Espenson. Nobody else has seen this yet! You talked about sexism in geek culture in standing-room-only rooms. You connected with women from NASA, some who even had the opportunity to work on the project that successfully retrieved images from Mars. Mars, people!
She-Ra, Princess of Power!
You also sat on panels that addressed issues of diversity — in comics, pop culture, and the broader geek world. You got to hear from some of your favorite creators, leaders, activists, and entrepreneurs. And you got to enjoy our special events, including a nerdy comedy improv, a GeekGirlCONcert, a “Once More, With Feeling” sing-along, and a screening of Wonder Women! The Untold History of American Superheroines during our closing celebration.
On the gaming floor, you entered gaming tournaments and designed new games through the Mystery Box Game Design Challenge. You learned how to create a superhero mask. You learned how to play new games you hadn’t even heard of.
And, likely, you purchased a lot of adorable, beautiful, awesome stuff at our Exhibitor Hall. From math as art, to board games, to books, to socks, to jewelry, our exhibitors and artists offered a range of amazing accessories for geeks of any type.
You came in amazing cosplay, proudly representing your favorite characters. We had crossplay Avengers, a few different versions of Carmen Sandiego, and characters from Zelda, The X-Files, Buffy, The Hunger Games, Scooby Doo, and so much more.
Because of you, GeekGirlCon is gaining attention, from a CNN and Reuters article that quickly spread across the Internet, to local stories from KING 5, KIRO, KOMO, The Seattle Times, GeekWire, The Stranger, and so much more.
Because of you, we are continuing these conversations on social media, where you told us you left feeling inspired. You left feeling a part of a community, one where women support other women. You were excited to put together your own panels next year. And you were motivated to take action — whether big or small — to make an impact in the world.
Because of you, we will be able to make adjustments to ensure GeekGirlCon ‘13 is even better. Your feedback is incredibly important to us. So we encourage you to take the time to fill out our post-con survey, which you can find here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NPZCL5R. Tell us what programming and events you loved, and what you want to see more of next year.
Thank you, once again, for being a part of GeekGirlCon ‘12. For those who were unable to attend, thank you for being a part of our online conversations and for continuing to support GeekGirlCon.
Keep that fire — still burning from this weekend — alive. Don’t let it dwindle, as we’ll be back for GeekGirlCon ‘13 (date TBA). And please be sure to keep an eye on our website, as we will be hosting a number of special events in the greater Seattle area that you won’t want to miss.
Hey everyone. We are in Room 204 for Tech Jobs You Never Knew You Wanted. Here is the description for this panel.
Tech Jobs You Never Knew You Wanted – RM204
As professional women in technology, many of us are in positions we never knew existed when we
started working. Bridging the gap can be difficult if you don’t know where to start or where to go. Panelists
include engineers and a database administrator from Twitter, a network engineer from Wikimedia, CEO
and founder at Interface Guru, and a technical project manager at Arizona State University. Presented by Lisa Phillips, Dana Contreras, Henna Kermani, Leslie Carr, Cia Romano, Nicole Phillips
The room is packed!
Lisa Phillips is introducing the panel: let’s talk about the technology jobs you do not often hear about in the media. The women on the panel have about 40 years in combined experience. One thing that unites these women: they all love their jobs. Lisa’s handle is @lisaphillips on Twitter.
Dana (@danadanger): Working as a programmer at Twitter, working on the infrastructure (the behind-the-scenes stuff). “We are like the Postal Service for your tweets.” <– Cute! Dana doesn’t have any formal training for tech at all; she is entirely self taught.
Henna: Software engineer at Twitter in international engineering (things that make Twitter work in other languages. Henna is the only one at this table with a computer science degree.
Leslie: Works for Wikimedia, the foundation for Wikipedia. She has also worked for Craigslist and Google.
Nicole: Went to Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in design studies. After graduating, Nicole started working in sales and technical support at GoDaddy. Moved up the ladder over four years, and now works as a business analyst at Arizona State.
QUESTION: Why computer and technology jobs? Why should women work in technology?
Leslie – I get to have pink hair, and nobody bats an eye when I interview. One of the great things about tech jobs is that you get a lot of flexibility to work from home, or work ANYWHERE. “I can work a few days from Europe if I’m on vacation.” (That sounds like magic!).
Dana – Because technology companies are always working on leading-edge stuff and people are trying to come up with new ways to think about things, that applies to business environments as well and how businesses treat employees. At Twitter, we have an open vacation policy (Susie’s note: I know Netflix does this as well).
Lisa – I have worked for a San Francisco-based company for many years (I think I heard 12 years), but have only had to work in San Francisco for two of those years. Women aren’t having to choose between children and their jobs.
Leslie – Because Wikimedia is a nonprofit, we don’t feel pressure to work insane hours. If I say I have to get something done, I get it done … but my boss never pressures me to work until midnight. “I keep fixing things, so fewer things go wrong. And then when something does go wrong, it is a challenge and I find it exciting.” <– I paraphrased, but great quote.
QUESTION: Where do you learn to do the coding / technology skills on your own?
Lisa – In the U.S. right now, only a few states allow computer science to count toward your graduation requirements in high school.
Henna – I had done no coding until college. I have always been interested in computers, but I was always more of a book nerd. I was always interested in learning what was going on behind the scenes with computers, and that’s why I chose a computer science program. I felt like I was competing with boys who had been coding since they were 4. But I found that other boys in my classes felt that way also, as some of these boys hadn’t been coding since birth.
Lisa – A network of smart people is key. People who excel in tech are able to be okay being around people who are smarter than them. I started at an ISP (several on the panel has ISP backgrounds). There, I was given the opportunity to learn from my peers and took advantage of every opportunity. Take on projects you didn’t think you could take on. Be okay with making mistakes.
Nicole – A study found that women tend to be over-mentored. It is important to draw distinction between someone who is a mentor for you, and someone who is an advocate. A mentor is focused on giving you advice; an advocate is someone who is going to go to bat for you at a particular organization.
Leslie – Tech support is a great place to start. You get to talk to a lot of parts of your organization. This gives you the opportunity to ask people if you can learn about their jobs. You learn, and then those people no longer have to do X task. A great tip!
Another great tip from Lisa: Don’t worry about not having the qualifications that match the job skill postings 100 percent. You do not have to match the requirements exactly. Don’t be scared by that! Send your resume in for jobs if you really want to work for the company. Highlight where your experience matches their company and the job posting.
(2:00 p.m. – This blogger has to run, but hope everyone enjoys the rest of the panel)
Almost every geek girl I run into loves Buffy. I know I do. That’s why I’m so excited for this 4:00 pm. panel: Buffy: The Making of a Slayer. Stay tuned to this blog for updates from the panel, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live tweets from other panels.
Here’s the description for this afternoon’s panel.
Buffy: The Making of a Slayer – RM303
becker&mayer! produces extraordinary books for a worldwide roster of clients, on such geeky topics asStar Trek, Transformers, Star Wars, and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer! Join editor Kjersti Egerdahl and designer Katie Benezra, together with Nancy Holder, The New York Times bestselling author and multiple Bram Stoker Award winner. They will discuss the new becker&mayer! book, Buffy: The Making of a Slayer, containing new interviews and photos. Kjersti and Katie will also talk about b&m!’s many other “geek-friendly” projects. Presented by Nancy Holder, Kjersti Egerdahl, Katie Benezra, Amelia Riedler
Nancy Holder, Kjersti Egerdahl, and Amelia Riedler are introducing us to the book, Buffy: The Making of a Slayer. Why are we releasing this book now? Holy smokes, people — it’s the 15-year anniversary for the airing of the show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which first started running in 1997.
Amelia Riedler: Confession, I was not first a Buffy fan. I was a David Boreanaz fan first. It started with Bones, and then Angel, and then I fell in love with Buffy. Amelia is known as the resident “geek girl” at becker&mayer!, and she originally proposed the idea of doing a Buffy book.
From Amelia: Once we had the book idea approved, we needed to find an author. I started doing research, and Nancy’s name came up over and over and over. We are so grateful that she was as excited as we were to do the book. It was so amazing to have FOX on board, also.
Nancy’s Buffy experience: My co-author and I found out about Buffy coming on air, and we were incredibly excited. We loved the “Buffy talk,” now referred to as “Slayer speak.” Nancy and her co-author started writing analysis and other stuff about Buffy, and then she was offered to write the first companion guide for the show. She got to go on set!
“We got to talk to Joss a lot, and that was very, very cool.” – Nancy Holder
Nancy has been writing about Buffy for 15 years. (Dream job)
The Buffy book originally sold to the UK. Amazon now offering it in the U.S.
Nancy: “I had to …. HAD TO … watch all episodes of Buffy.” (That was sarcasm, of course.) Nancy had a hard time visualizing the book at first, but becker&mayer! were fantastic to work with.
The panelists are now showing some previews of the book. They are showing some of the sketches originally done by artists for Buffy. Awww … they are talking about some of the photos they couldn’t include in the book. Apparently, FOX had a contract with most of the main actors where they couldn’t publish ANY of the behind-the-scenes photos of these cast members. Bummer!
So many great props are included in this book! Sketches of the demons from Hush, the demon the gives Buffy the ability to hear people’s thoughts, the Mayor, the dresses from the first Halloween episode, and so much more!
Check your swag bag, attendees! You can get $5 off the Buffy book. Also, Nancy has a new teen novel coming out, On Fire, about the “Teen Wolf” TV show. Other Nancy books: Vanquished and Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback.
Coming out soon: Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection. So many Star Wars figurines. There is a surprise at the end of the book (action figures will be involved). Nobody knew — not Hasbro, who made them, or Lucas Films — how many action figures were out there. So the author had to research. The answer? Just under 2,400.
Coming out this fall: H.P. Lovecraft: Nightmare Countries, The Master of Cosmic Horror.
Alright, this blogger has to head out. Hope you are enjoying the convention, our tweets, and our blogging!
Hey, everyone. Susie Rantz here; I’ll be live-blogging at the Making Science Fun … with NASA panel. Here’s the description for this one:
Making Science Fun (with NASA)! – RM204
The Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Education and Public Outreach at NASA wants kids to be more engaged in science. This group of experienced NASA staff will give you tips from their educational programs to improve interest and science literacy in children of all backgrounds. And you will have the opportunity to ask them about what might work in your school or community. Presented by Martha Wawro, Wendy Van Norden, Dawn Myers, Holly Csiga, Alice Enevoldsen
As a space geek, I’m really excited about this one. Lots of kids here. So awesome. Be sure to check out NASA at the GeekGirlConnections Room (101).
Holly Csiga, runs live performances at the Pacific Science Center, introducing herself: Born and raised in Alaska.
My favorite quote from her intro: “Science — when informally mixed with arts — can take you anywhere.”
Alice Enevoldsen, planetarium supervisor at the Pacific Science Center (who else loves the Science Center?). Alice started working at the planetarium in high school – wow!
My favorite quote from the intro: “Scientists are multi-faceted; they don’t just sit in a lab doing science all the time. Science is everywhere.”
Dawn Myers: Works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Does outreach to children about science and also helps run Solar Observing satellite. Cool!
Martha Wawro is the education and outreach lead with NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Martha has been to Seattle three times in the last year for work; she also went to India to work at a space festival, and Alaska in June. Who wants her job?! 🙂
My favorite quote: “Our goal is to change people’s behaviors and ideas about science.”
Think Like a Scientist (tips for parents)
Encourage your kids to take notes. Any event that has multiple potential outcomes are great learning opportunities for your kids. Give kids the opportunity to think through a problem in multiple ways.
Now we are doing an activity that makes us think like a scientist. We are first being asked to OBSERVE what’s on the screen, not INFER. We are looking at footprints at the moment. Now we are being asked to INFER what happened to the footprints based on the observations. The point of this activity – we all came up with dozens of different scenarios. We don’t know for sure which scenario was right. The next step would be to do more research. The thought process with your kids is the most important process.
NASA just introduced Camilla, their rubber chicken mascot, who HAS been to space.
In Q&A – someone asks how we can get people more excited about math. The answer? We need to keep separating math from everyone else, including science. We need to incorporate it into everyday life. There’s even a Space Math @ NASA website!
We are now talking about how to incorporate math and science into princess talk. Those cone-hats that princesses wear? That’s geometry. Making a princess dress requires measurement. We can measure the circumference of a tiara! Also, along with your bedtime stories, you can do bedtime math with your kids! Check out their website: http://bedtimemathproblem.org.
Welcome to GeekGirlCon ’12! I’m blown away that we’re opening the doors on our second annual convention. I can’t believe it’s been less than a year since the first ever GeekGirlCon.
GeekGirlCon ’11 was a smashing success and sold out both days. Around 2,000 people came out each day to attend panels, workshops, a burlesque show, a Labyrinth sing-along, impromptu courtyard concerts, epic gaming sessions, fantastic geeky shopping, and artist/author signing sessions. Amazing.
Jedi girls at GeekGirlCon ’11. Photo from Carrie Goldman.
Some awesome changes for GeekGirlCon ’12 – we’re in a bigger venue, The Conference Center, in downtown Seattle; we expect around 3,500 people per day; and there’s lots more programming, panels, workshops, and gaming (tabletop and console), as well as great performance events such as a nerdy comedy improv show, a geeky concert, and a fabulous evening masquerade.
Even with our phenomenal growth, we hold true to our mission statement of supporting and celebrating geeky women. We’re still created by geeky women for geeky women; still no “geek cred” required. Be you a Trek fanatic, an amazing LARPer, an FX artist, a scientist (mad or otherwise), a librarian, a hardcore gamer, a fanfic writer, a genre reader (or writer), or any kind of geek you want to be – you are welcome.
Enjoy GeekGirlCon ’12, and thank you for making this event awesome! See you again in 2013.
Live Long and Prosper,
Are you bringing your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew to GeekGirlCon ‘12 — or are you considering it?
We highly recommend you do. Last year, around 20 percent of all attendees were children under the age of 10. We are an extremely family-friend convention.
Unless specified, GeekGirlCon programming can be enjoyed by all ages (at parental discretion of course). However, some of our programming and events are particularly geared towards geeklings (or geekling-adjacent), their parental-types, and kids of all ages. And we wanted to be sure to call them out for you in one location — so check out some of these kid-focused panels and workshops below. Saturday
11:30 a.m – 12:20 p.m.
Making Science Fun (with NASA)! (RM204)
12:30 – 1:20 p.m.
From Jedi Princess to Sith Witch: An Exploration of Female Characters in Star Wars (RM204)
12:30 – 1:50 p.m.
Girls Leading the Robot Uprising: FIRST Robotics (RM303)
1:30 – 2:50 p.m.
Customizing My Little Ponies: Tips, Tricks, and a Basic How-To (RM202)
2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
A Family that Games Together… (RM205)
2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Sporty Geek: How Roller Derby and Quidditch Are Changing the Game for Women (RM204)
It is the moment you have all been waiting for, one of our last big reveals for GeekGirlCon ‘12: our exclusive GeekGirlCon merch!
We know you’ll be busy catching panels, checking out games, and networking at the GeekGirlConnections room. But don’t forget to stop by the Exhibitor Hall on the third floor! You won’t regret it. In fact, you’ll likely empty your pockets after you see what the amazing exhibitors and artists have on display.
Find exclusive GeekGirlCon merchandise at Booth 300!
Preview some of the nerdtastic and geekarific products we’ll have available for purchase this year. These are exclusive and custom-designed items, folks! T-shirts, tote bags, and buttons – OH MY! We’ll also have limited (only 20!) dice bags and limited (only 50!) six-sided die, as well as a whole stack of severely awesome GeekGirlCon bumper stickers.
Here’s the pricing for our merch: • T-shirt: $17 • Tote Bag: $12 •Dice Bag: $7 •Dice: $2 •Bumper Sticker: $2 •Buttons: 2 for $1 (We have 12 awesome designs!)
Be sure to stop by Booth 300 to get some Fresh Merch! You know you want some of that geeky goodness!
What else are you hoping to snag at GeekGirlCon ‘12?
Earlier today, as a way to share our excitement for GeekGirlCon ‘12, we shared the workshops, events, and games that GeekGirlCon staff members wanted to catch on the Gaming floor.
We couldn’t bundle all our joy in one post, however. So we are following up with some staff responses to a question about what cosplay they would love to see at our convention. Will you be cosplaying as one of these characters?
L.B. Chambers, Special Events Coordinator: I’m always excited to see group cosplay of any kind, but maybe a Mass Effect party cosplay? That would be amazing! Also, any kids cosplay is always super adorable and impressive; I hope to see some great kids costumes! Maybe a little Buffy or a little Edward Scissorhands? I can only hope! 🙂
Jessica (Jex) Ballard, Volunteer Director: I would love to see some great old school gaming icons like Zelda, Link, Samus … ooo, Bowser would be great! Or Megaman! OMG I want it all!
Alyssa Jones, Gameroom Coordinator: I would really love to see some awesome female video game characters! Zelda, Samus, Lillith from Borderlands, Lady Bowser (ok, I may of made that last one up, but someone should totally do it!)
Erica McGillivray, President and Marketing Director: I’m super excited for the Masquerade. Cosplay is one of my favorite expressions of fannish joy, and I’m so excited to see what amazing costumes our talented attendees come up with this year!
Julia Santo, Programming Operations Director: I’d like to see some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cosplay, because that would rock.
Jennifer K. Stuller, Programming Creative Director: I loved all the imaginative cosplay at GeekGirlCon ’11, from tiny Princess Leias (Moon of Endor Leia! Princess Gown & Cinnamon Bun-Hair Leia! Hoth Leia!) to the Golden Age Red Tornado to the fabulously subversive gender-bent crossplay.
This year, I’d love to see a Wonder Family: Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and Wonder Tot! Wouldn’t that be lovely and amazing?!? I’m hoping performers, Lady Laycock, and her partner, Al Lykya, revisit their Buffybot and Spike costumes from the inaugural GeekGirlCon at Seattle Center and am looking forward to seeing all the Buffy-themed costumes at the “Once More With Feeling” sing-along. I’ll be wearing my yummy sushi pajamas and terrifying bunny slippers in homage!
Adrienne Fox, Copywriter: Cosplay is one of the best things about cons. I’m hoping to see more Dana Scully and Abby Scuito costumes this year. And, I’d love to see more adaptations of costumes into everyday wear, similar to these great designs.
Anna Daniell, Facebook Administrator: I love crossplay or clever combinations of characters in one costume. I hope to see some costumes ideas that I’ve never seen before. Also, child and baby costumes just melt my heart so I hope to see some more of those. The little Leias last year were adorable!
Tammy Vince Cruz, Vice President and Design Manager: Honestly, where’s that adorable little gal dressed as Voltron at? I’d love to see more mecha cosplay at GeekGirlCon ‘12 for sure.
Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator:Avengers Crossplay would be totally made of WIN!
Susie Rantz, PR Manager: I would love to see Merida from Brave — someone has to be able to rock that awesome red hair! And some Jetsons cosplay would be amazing! I love bringing back some of the classics.
Shiboo Blalack, PR Content Producer: Is all of it a cliche thing to say? What I love about cosplay is it’s open up to the interpretation and self expression of the cosplayer. It’ll be really dope to see what our Con-goers come up with, regardless of who or what they’re cosplaying as!
Laurel McJannet, Web Content Producer: I am a geek with a short attention span because there are too many geek interests to just pick one! I never fit in any one geek group because I didn’t think I had the geek cred to fit in. Since joining the GeekGirlCon staff this summer, I’ve found a home for my geekiness. That said, I’m looking for to my first GeekGirlCon this year. I’m going to sit on the sidelines and take in the cosplay and probably stick my toe in the proverbial gaming waters, but I’m looking forward to the “Using UX to Make Websites Sexy,” GeekGirlConnections, and getting to know my fellow staffers better.
Okay, if you couldn’t tell, we are incredibly excited to see all of you at our convention.
What cosplay characters are you hoping to see at the convention? Who will you be cosplaying as at GeekGirlCon ‘12?
Wow, I’m not sure if you all realize, but GeekGirlCon ‘12 is only two days away! Are you excited? We sure are. We cannot wait for the amazing panels, special events, cosplay, and gaming. Most importantly, we can’t wait for the opportunity to meet and interact with all of you.
Over the past few days, we have been passing along tweets, emails, and Facebook posts to one another that express this excitement. And we figured we should bundle some of that into a blog post. So we asked our staff what workshops, events, or games they wanted to catch on the Gaming floor. Check out what they had to say:
L.B. Chambers, Special Events Coordinator:Magic: the Gathering – Learn or Play (I’m bringing a friend who I’ve tried to teach but am not the best teacher so can’t wait for her to learn!).
Terra Clarke, Street Team Coordinator: I am excited to participate in the Magic: The Gathering – Learn or Play! I recently taught my husband to play MTG, and now he is hooked too and I don’t have to coerce him into playing! It will be fun to show him that other ladies play MTG too.
Sophie Ngeth, Individual Sponsorship Coordinator: Magic: The Gathering – Learn or Play! free lessons sound rad. I’ve been meaning to learn how to play for a while now. It’s also helpful that after GeekGirlCon ’12, I can ‘borrow’ some of the gazillion Magic cards my younger brother owns to help facilitate practice.
Jessica (Jex) Ballard, Volunteer Director: I’m super excited to see Break from Reality’s Disaster Looms! because a friend of mine created it and I’ve yet to see the finished product. If I had the time, I would play in the Steve Jackson Games: Munchkin High Noon Tournament as I looooove Munchkin! Not to mention, I can’t wait to see some of the creations at the Superhero/Villain Mask Making Workshop.
Amanda Powter, Copywriter: I am really interested in the LARPing workshops. I’m reading a book called Leaving Mundania, which is about the world of live-action role playing. I’m intrigued to see what it is like. I’m so glad there’s an intro session for those new to it & then a chance to participate in two different sessions after that.
Adrienne Fox, Copywriter: I can’t wait to get in the gaming area for GeekGirlCon ’12. I haven’t played Magic:The Gathering for years and I would love to sit in on the tutorials by the Lady Planeswalker Society.
Alyssa Jones, Gameroom Coordinator: I am most looking forward to painting me some miniatures! Miniature painting has been a hobby I’ve always been curious about but never gotten around to buying the supplies.
Tammy Vince Cruz, Vice President and Design Manager: Holy biscuits, I’m super excited to try out Mangaka: The Game. It’s two of my favorite past times rolled into one; doodling AND tabletop gaming. YES!
Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator: I wish I could participate in the Buffy RPG that will happen after the “Once More, with Feeling” Sing-Along!
Shiboo Blalack, PR Content Producer: I’m stoked to make a mask at the Superhero/Villain Mask Making Workshop. I did it last year and it was a lot of fun! I’m hoping I can wear my creation the next time I’m performing!
So many great games and workshops, so little time!
Check out what our Gaming floor has to offer. And let us know what you plan to hit up in the comments below!