The Fourth and the First
GeekGirlCon ‘14 was spectacular! This was my fourth year attending GeekGirlCon. I was a volunteer at the first convention, a special agent (one of our volunteers who works the entire weekend) at the second convention, and have been on staff for the third and fourth conventions. I go through GeekGirlCon with an eye to the inner workings.
This year, my friend Jenni came into town to attend GeekGirlCon. Not only was this her first GeekGirlCon, it was her first con ever! It gave me a chance to see GeekGirlCon through the eyes of a new attendee. I don’t know how many attendees were new this year. I’ll have to wait for the results of our post-con survey. (Psst, go take it now!) However, since we raised the number of passes available from last year and once again we sold out, I would guess we had a lot of new attendees to GeekGirlCon this year. To long-time attendees and first-time attendees alike, we thank you!
How was GeekGirlCon ‘14? Jenni and I coordinated our schedules as much as possible so that she could see what she wanted to see and do, and I could do my staff con job (attend panels and write them up for our blog).
Friday before con was set-up, Jenni and I helped out. And we managed to get the first selfie at the photo booth.
Doors opened at 9 a.m. or so each day. Staff and Saturday morning shift volunteers must be there no later than 8:30, so Jenni and I arrived early. Unfortunately, she couldn’t come in with me as an attendee, but she enjoyed a bit of Seattle coffee at a local coffee shop and then waited in line, which had many friendly attendees she said. Inside The Conference Center, we could hear a cheer go up when doors opened. There was much excitement about all there was to see and do.
Both of us had tons of panels we wanted to attend. When Jenni showed me her list, I wondered if she had a time-turner she’d been keeping secret. First up for both of us was the Notable Women in Science panel, for which I was the contributor. Despite excellent programming all occurring at the same time, the room was comfortably full. We split up to attend different panels after that, but met up again to attend the Feminist Community Building 101, which had lots of great advice. Watch this space for a write-up from a fellow Copy Writer. Afterwards, Jenni went to the gaming floor and painted a miniature at the Take and Paint Miniatures workshop.
We found time to hit the Exhibitor floor and both purchased some headgear.
After more panels all afternoon, we headed off site to get some dinner, but we returned for more panels. Unfortunately, we missed the costume contest and the concert.
Sunday, we were up bright and early again. We both had cosplay to don. I am always so impressed by attendees’ cosplay. This was Jenni’s first cosplay – Death in Sandman by Neil Gaiman. She was a little worried about it, that no one would recognize her, that it wasn’t good enough. However, she needn’t worry. The barista at Cafe Lladro recognized her right away, and once The Conference Center doors opened, she had several compliments within the first few minutes. Note to new cosplayers – just give it a go and don’t worry about your XP level.
I had the panel, Diversity in Young Adult Literature, to cover at 10 a.m. for a blog post in the coming months. Jenni wandered down to the gaming floor and got in on a game of Pathfinder. She was really impressed that as she started talking to the game runner, two couples also came up and they all sat down to play.
It is a tradition of mine to buy birthday and holiday gifts for my nephlings (as I call them) at GeekGirlCon. Artist Alley was fruitful, as was the Exhibitor Hall. I also purchased the pair of Phosphorus earrings from Optimystical Studios I had wanted to get for myself last year. Plus, I managed to get ahold of Chip and get my “Social Justice Rogue” button from her button sets that created such a buzz.
Before long, my husband, kids, and visiting family arrived because my daughter and I had a panel with another friend of ours and the GeekGirlCon Director of Marketing, Sheila Sadeghi on Cosplay, Parenting, and the Word Appropriate. It was my daughter’s first panel, which she was nervous about. After doing a panel, there’s always discussion that continues outside the room.
My family went off to explore the con. There were a number of things in the Exhibitor’s Hall that my family was keen on. (No surprise there!) They also went through the GeekGirlConnections hall, and spent a lot of time with the Robotics folks and ArenaNet. My kids are teenagers, and this gave them great opportunity to learn about career paths and how to get to where they want to be.
After my family left, Jenni and I headed down to the gaming floor again to play a game.
We each went to different panels for the 4 p.m. panel of the day, but regrouped for the Closing Celebration. Retired astronaut Wendy Lawrence gave an amazing talk that got a standing ovation from the audience. And the slam poetry by Elisa and Rebecca was incredible. The last poem brought many attendees to tears.
It’s always a little sad when GeekGirlCon is over. But we are already starting to plan for next year! Passes are on sale now for October 10 and 11, 2015 at The Conference Center in Seattle.
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