GeekGirlCon 2016 at Washington State Conference Center in Seattle, Washington. October 2016. Photo by James McDaniel.
Every year GeekGirlCon’s gaming team puts together an entire floor of wonder during our convention in downtown Seattle’s core.
But our passion for games doesn’t stop at just a weekend, and for all you tabletop lovers out there, we know the same goes for you.
GeekGirlCon partners with Girl Scouts of Western Washington throughout the year to run monthly events and. Gaming Event Coordinator Andy talked to several GeekGirlScout game masters about how you can level up roleplaying at your regular tabletop game.
So if it’s your first convention or you’re not used to maneuvering around downtown Seattle, you might need help. So here’s a few tips from the folks at GGC to maneuver your way through the downtown Seattle area.
New to Seattle?
Walking– The area around the Seattle Center is relatively flat, so for the most part your legs will do just fine.
Monorail – The Seattle Center Northwest rooms just happen to be in easy distance of the Seattle Center House. This building houses the monorail which, for a small fee, will take you directly to and from the Westlake Shopping Center.
Metro/Bus – Parking downtown is pricey and sometimes you’re lucky if you can even find it. So if you think taking a bus is an option, you should check out King County Metro and SoundTransit. If you dont’ have a pass, bring cash–and remember, drivers can’t make change.
Car – If you’re likely driving to the convention, come early. The Seattle Center tends to be a hub of activity and with a convention going on, it’s bound to be a little crazy. There are two major parking garages near the Seattle Center: One on Harrison and 5th and another on Mercer and 3rd. The Mercer Street Garage will be the closest of the two to the Northwest Rooms. Once you’ve secured a parking space, best to spend the rest of the day on foot or public transportation and leave your car until you’re ready to leave the area for the day.
The Seattle Center House – Along with monorail, the Seattle Center House has a decent food court. Need a pick-me-up? There’s a Starbucks (and free wi-fi for those of you who need to blog it up while attending the con). You’ll also find things from burgers, to Chinese, to thai food to some pretty epic fair-style hot dogs. Or maybe you just want a delicious snack–try a beignet.
Westlake Plaza – In the event you want to hop onto the monorail, you’ll be taken to the Westlake Plaza, which not only includes Westlake’s Shopping Center and food court–but will land you right in the heart of downtown Seattle’s shopping. So if you feel the need to wander off to check out shops like Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstroms–even Betsy Johnson–you now know how to get there from the convention.
The Solo Bar – The Solo bar has been more than a friend to GeekGirlCon (as we have hosted previous events there) it’s a great place to eat and grab a cocktail. So if you’re wondering what to get for dinner–this place is well worth checking out.
If you’re an out-of-towner, you probably know Seattle is notorious for rain. If you’re from Seattle, you know it’s kind of exaggerated and may even wish it rained more. The important thing to remember is that our weather, if anything, is schizophrenic. So pack your sweatshirts and sunglasses!
As a general rule, a light jacket with a hood or a hooded sweatshirt is usually your best defense this time of year.
Umbrellas – Now you may think, “Rain, okay, I’ll bring an umbrella” and while you may want to get one of those tiny collapsable ones to put in your bag as a “just in case”, for the most part, I’d advise against bringing them. Seattle rain has the tendency to fall very diagonally–meaning we get a lot of wind. Most of the time when you try to use an umbrella, it gets blown inside out and ends up being more of a hinderance than a help.
New to Conventions?
Even for convention veterans, cons can be a little hecktic and while GeekGirlCon is still starting out and on the smaller side, some planning can go a long way. Carefully look over the programming of both Saturday and Sunday and plot out what ideally you would like to see. Some decisions will have to be made, you may have to choose between two or even more panels that you want to see, but if you don’t plan, you might miss everything all together.
Make sure you also set some time aside to check out the vendors!
Always arrive early because even if you’ve pre-registered, you still need to get your badge. And there’s nothing worse than arriving a little late and having to stand in line to wait for your badge while that panel you were excited for is carrying on without you.
Cosplay, if you don’t know, is the practice of dressing up in a costume to resemble an established (I use this term loosely) character. It’s not unusual to see cosplayers running about at a convention and ours will be no different. Of course, we do want people to keep it family friendly and safe, so if you’re thinking about joining the crowd and wearing a costume, check out these guide lines. It is also important to remember that even if you’re really excited about someone’s costume, it’s not appropriate to tackle-hug them without their explicit permission.
Remember we’re all here because we all love the same things. So be polite to your fellow geeks!
It sounds silly but remember to eat and drink plenty of water! Sometimes you can get a bit overwhelmed at a convention and forget the most basic standards of keeping yourself healthy and energized.
When you get a lot of people in one location, it can get a little crowded and create what a lot of us know as “Con Funk”. To avoid “Con Funk”, make sure you and all of your party members remember to shower and equally important–don’t wear heavy colognes or perfumes.
If you’re ever confused about a procedure, lost, or just need directions, you can flag down one of our helpful volunteers who will be clearly marked (as they will be wearing bright yellow shirts that say ‘volunteer’ on the back) and they’ll point you in the right direction.
If all else fails? Visit the info booth!
If you don’t like the way something is done, or rather know of a way it could have been done better, please email us feedback. After all, this convention is for people like you so we want to do our best to accomidate.