Programming Submissions

Programming FAQ

I am a (writer, artist, podcaster, scientist, game developer, fan, etc.) and I would like to bring my experience/expertise to GeekGirlCon. How can I get involved?

Our Programming Submissions are open February 1 through April 30 and allow you to submit your ideas for consideration at GeekGirlCon. Head over to the Programming Submission page to learn more about ways you can get involved.

What kinds of content are you looking for this year?

The simple answer is that we’re looking for content that will interest and excite our community. The more specific answer is that we look for content that is, first and foremost, geeky. This doesn’t just mean comics and video games, though of course those topics are welcome—it means science, technology, fandom, new media, and much more. That’s one “filter” we run our content submissions through in order to determine which are a good fit.

Another “filter” is whether the content celebrates the contributions of women and girls, either through talking about female characters and creators, representing the voices of women and girls onstage, or both.

A third “filter” is intersectionality and representation: does the content cover a variety of characters and creators with a wide range of identities and experiences? More importantly, are the people presenting the content diverse?

Finally, we also take into account things like timeliness (content about a movie from this year will likely be more popular than content about a movie from five years ago) and fun.

Don’t worry if your submission doesn’t “check all of the boxes” on this list—it’s more of a litmus test than a hard-and-fast ruleset, and there’s no harm in submitting if you’re unsure.

What is the difference between a panel, a workshop, an event, or a performance? Which submission form should I use for my content?

At GeekGirlCon:

  • A panel is content that is non-interactive, except for a Q&A portion. This can be a round-table discussion, a moderated Q&A session, a presentation, or a podcast recording. The primary purpose is typically discussion, critique and/or celebration, and education.
  • A workshop is interactive content, where audience members participate and get hands-on experience. A workshop is akin to a class or instructional session, and attendees should walk away having worked on or practiced something. The primary purpose is education and skill-building.
  • A performance is typically non-interactive (though not always, as some performances like improv have audience interaction) and is planned and practiced in advance. Examples include musical performances, comedy shows, and stage plays. The primary purpose is typically entertainment.
  • An event is typically interactive and is not generally practiced/rehearsed. Examples include parties and game shows. The primary purpose is typically entertainment and community engagement.

The submission form you should use depends on what you have in mind for both the format and the audience takeaway. Review the above categories and the information on the Programming Submission page, and if you’re still unsure which form would be most appropriate, email programming@geekgirlcon.com.

Note that if you accidentally submit the wrong form, we will send your submission to the appropriate team for consideration and review.

How do you pick the panels that will be accepted for the convention?

The panel selection process is something we take pretty seriously at GeekGirlCon, and it goes through several stages. This is generally what it looks like:

  • Once panel submissions close, the Panel Program Manager takes the title and description for each panel and makes a survey that allows for each panel to be rated in terms of mission-alignment, timeliness, relevance, and fun/interest.
  • This survey is sent to the GeekGirlCon staff and board, a group of about 60 people, to review.
  • Once the survey closes, the Panel Program Manager takes the survey responses and creates a slideshow of the results, ordering the panels from highest rated to lowest.
  • This slideshow is shared with the Panel Selection Committee, a group of six staff members consisting of the Panel Program Manager, Director of Programming, and four more who alternate year-to-year.
  • The Panel Selection Committee meets in-person to discuss each panel and make recommendations as to which should accepted, waitlisted, and declined.
    • During this period, the Panel Coordinators also examine the qualifications and social media presence of panelists to ensure that not only can they speak knowledgeably on the topic they submitted but also that they haven’t behaved in ways that contradict our Mission and Values to the point that we would feel uncomfortable providing a public platform for them at the convention.Next, the Panel Program Manager takes the survey results and the notes and recommendations from the discussion and makes the final selection.
    • This selection is submitted to the Director of Programming for final review and approval.
  • Once the selection is approved, panel notifications are sent out to panel organizers. Panel organizers are given a timeframe within which to confirm their panel. The panels that are not confirmed within that timeframe are replaced with panels from the waitlist.

Sometimes circumstances arise which require us to replace additional panels with those from the waitlist, resulting in changes to the final panel selection.

We also reserve a certain number of panel hours for curated content. Curated content is put together by Programming staff members and community partners and is necessary for a few reasons:

  • It allows us to fill holes in the panels that are submitted; for instance, if we don’t get a good panel submitted about comics, it gives us an opportunity to create something for our comic-loving attendees.
  • It is necessary in order to have panels and Q&As with Featured Contributors.
  • It allows us to accommodate emergent topics. Because panel submissions take place at the beginning of the year and the convention takes place at the end, we prefer to have flexibility to fit in content about major updates that take place in between the submission window and the convention itself.

How do you select other content for the convention?

It depends on what the content is. We have submissions for almost every content area, but submissions are only the primary method of sourcing content for panels.

  • Special events and performances are mostly sourced by our Special Events Team. We have a few events that we do every year (the Cosplay Contest, for example), but we try to mix up the performances we bring and the Closing Celebration content to ensure the event programming is fresh each year. Of course, there is no way we could know about every nerdy performer or come up with every cool event idea, so we have submissions for things the team might have missed.
  • Workshops are found primarily through community partners: businesses, nonprofits, and clubs that want to share their expertise with our attendees. As with Special Events, we do have submissions because we can’t possibly find all of the options ourselves!
  • Tabletop game hosts work much the same way, as game developers are invited to bring and demonstrate their games on the gaming floor. Video game content is mostly sourced through community partners and sponsors.
  • The DIY Science Zone is one of the only areas for which we do not accept submissions. There are a few reasons for this, and the main one is resources: there are innumerable awesome experiments we could do in a lab, with access to equipment, software, chemicals, and so forth. However, we are working in a convention space and have access to resources which are both available to the public (versus research institutions, schools, etc.) and are safe to use in the venue. Our DIY Science Zone Manager works with Zone volunteers and other scientists and educators to come up with a variety of experiments that work with the materials we already have or have ready access to.
  • Activities content is a combination of staff development and community partnerships, and though we don’t have a submissions form, we do sometimes consider suggestions sent via email to programming@geekgirlcon.com.

While we don’t accept submissions after the April 30 submission deadline, we do sometimes consider suggestions sent via email. It’s typically too late for the upcoming convention, but we hold onto these ideas for future conventions.

I am a panelist/tabletop host/workshop provider, etc. Will a convention pass be provided for me?

Yes, if you have been accepted as a content contributor, you will be provided with a free pass. The type of pass will depend on what sort of content you are providing, so please email programming@geekgirlcon.com if you are uncertain what type of pass you will receive.

Panelists and workshop providers, for instance, are provided with full weekend convention passes, while Fashion Show models are provided with a Saturday pass.

I am an author and I would like to sell my books and/or do a signing at the con. How can I do this?

If you would like to sell your books, you will need to apply for a table in the exhibition hall by filling out the Exhibitor Application form. You can apply on your own or with one or more fellow authors. You can then hold signings at your exhibitor space, if you would like; please take a look at the Exhibitor FAQ for more information.

I am an author and last year I was allowed to sell and do signings at the Signing Table. Why can’t I just do that?

We are changing the way that the Signing Table works this year, for a few reasons. The primary reason is that it is more consistent to have folks selling books in the exhibition hall with the other vendors. Another is that the new method streamlines the communication and coordination process for the Signing Table, making it easier on our staff and volunteers.

When will I hear back about my application?

It depends on the form you submitted.

For panels, our goal is to send out all notifications by May 26.

For workshops, events/performances, and game hosts, our teams will be in touch shortly after submissions close on April 30.

If you have submitted the Panelist and/or Moderator Application form, we will contact you only if there is an opening that fits the qualifications you provided on the application. If you do not hear back, it means that we did not have a panelist or moderator opening that suited you, per your submission information.

I want to be a Fashion Show model, Fashion Show or Cosplay Contest host, or Cosplay Contest judge. Who do I talk to about this?

Please email programming@geekgirlcon.com with some information about yourself and why you would be a good fit. Then, our Special Events team will get in touch!

I want to participate in the DIY Science Zone, either as a volunteer or by proposing an experiment. Who do I talk to about this?

Please email programming@geekgirlcon.com with some information about yourself and your science/teaching background. Then, our DIY Science Zone team will get in touch!

I am, or I represent, a public figure or celebrity and I want to be a Featured Contributor at GeekGirlCon. Who do I talk to about this?

Please email programming@geekgirlcon.com with some information about yourself/your client and why you/they would be a good fit. Then, our Talent and Hospitality Manager will get in touch!

Where do I pick up my badge?

You will be able to pick up your badge at the Registration table on the First Floor. There will be a separate line for contributors.

I am a contributor and I have a mobility impairment and/or use a wheelchair. How can I ensure there are appropriate accommodations for me?

Our accessibility policy can be found here. If you require any additional accessibility accommodations (for example, a ramp or lift to access the stage in a panel room), please email us at programming@geekgirlcon.com to let us know what your needs are. We will do our best to accommodate them, and the earlier you can let us know, the more likely we will be able to accommodate your request.

What if I have a question that wasn’t answered here?

Send us an email at programming@geekgirlcon.com!

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