What do you do when you recognize a lack of events for the often overlooked legions of women that love comics, gaming, science, computers and speculative fiction? Well, if you are GeekGirlCon, you take it upon yourselves to start up a non-profit organization, raise money, build a community and put on your own events! Geek girl power? Oh, hell yeah!
The catalyst for GeekGirlCon can be traced back to the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con. During the same time that a Scott Pilgrim panel was happening, there was also a panel about geeky women going on-and it was packed! Erica McGillivray, G.G.C. Board President and Marketing Director recalls “After the panel, a group of women, which included a few of our staff members, started talking about how we needed a convention celebrating geeky women. Thus, GeekGirlCon was born.”
After deciding on a direction, there was much work and continuing fundraising to be done. Putting on a convention requires capital to file legal paperwork and secure a venue in which to hold the big event, plus myriad other costs. “We raised funds pretty heavily for about 4 months to get to a place where we could start selling passes” Erica says.
So what kind of events did they sponsor to work towards their goal? Reaching out to local businesses, they have managed to make their fundraising events a win-win situation for all parties involved. One event was planned around the showing of the Grant Morrison documentary “Talking with Gods” when it came to a local theater. Another was a benefit concert at popular Seattle music venue, Sunset Tavern. A recent event was the celebration of Buffy’s 30th birthday, held not only at local comic shop Comics Dungeon here in Seattle, but in conjunction with other parties in San Francisco and L.A. The Buffy party even managed to snag a mention in the local news.
The ambitious staff for GeekGirlCon is made up of 100% volunteers. Supportive men are welcome to join the ladies as they work to see their first convention come to fruition. With the convention dates nailed down and booked for October 8th and 9th at the Seattle Center, guest announcements keep coming out and passes have started being sold in the last few weeks. Check out http://www.geekgirlcon.com for tickets and information. It is sure to be a smashing success.
The west coast parties made me ask if G.G.C. had chapters in other parts of the country. As this is the first year, the focus is really on the convention and Pacific Northwest events. However, Erica said “We’re definitely open to talking with people who are interested in doing similar work in their towns. Our staff is extremely dedicated to GeekGirlCon and making sure we’re around for a long time. What the future holds, I don’t know, but we’re always willing to listen to suggestions or give advice.”
I cannot help but feel very inspired by the story of GeekGirlCon. I love the idea of people building a community and working together to have a positive impact on their scene. They are the D.I.Y. theory put into practice. I really view their efforts as a blueprint to successfully get involved and create more events for the community as a whole. The people I have talked with while researching this story were so nice and supportive, that it has been an absolute pleasure to work on this piece. I am sure we will be seeing many good things from GeekGirlCon in the future, and I can hardly wait.
Many would agree that of all the events in the San Diego event calendar, the annual Comic-Con is one of the most-anticipated.