If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my first post about a few of the highlights of GeekGirlCon ’14, and if you haven’t checked out my two pre-con posts, you can see those here and here. In my last GGC post, I talked about 5 highlights from the con. In this post, I’m going to talk about what I learned after my first convention as a member of the press.
1. The Red-Eye Flight
GGC was in Seattle, so I had to fly to get there, which was fine. However, I didn’t leave myself a bunch of free time in Seattle before and after the con. I flew into Seattle super late the day before the con, and super early the morning after the con. I’m a bit of a night owl, so I had no trouble with the late night. Plus, going to the airport late in the evening does have its perks. Namely? No lines at security:
Going to the airport in the unholy hours of the morning, however? Not quite as special. First off, there are significantly more people taking an early morning flight. Still not as many as more reasonable times of the day, but they are still there. And a great deal of them are morning people.
Secondly, if you are like me and you didn’t rent a car, that means you must take a shuttle to get to the airport from your hotel, as it is cheaper than a cab. So that means the shuttle will pick you up at 3:45 in the morning to ensure you make your red-eye flight on time. And, of course, since the airport is about an hour and a half drive from your home, by the time you finally arrive at your house?
2. Cons are Crazy
Part of the reason I was so spent when I got home, and why a red-eye flight was a bad idea is because I was busy all weekend. It was a great busy, and a super fun busy, but that entire weekend, this was me:
Since I had a press pass, I wanted to attend as much of the convention as I could. Minus a migraine that came on in the afternoon on Saturday, I spent all day either at the convention center or asleep. I felt like everything was a bit chaotic while I was there because though I had a rough idea of what panels I wanted to attend, my schedule was pretty murky. Which leads me to point number three…
As far as I know, every single convention releases their schedule early. GeekGirlCon not only had a schedule up online, but it also had the schedule up on GuideBook. Instead of thinking about my schedule ahead of time, I kind of noted all the panels that sounded cool to me (which, of course, all overlapped). Once I got to the convention center, instead of taking a second to plan out my day, I continued flying by the seat of my pants (ex: like I said in my previous GGC ’14 post, I was pleasantly caught off guard by Anita Sarkeesian’s presence at the con, as well as Marissa Meyer’s). Con planning is a consistent problem with me. If you remember my Denver Comic Con ’14 post, I mention how I had plans to meet up with friends–a thought that never came to fruition because nothing was actually planned. So press or not, I need to get better at making a game plan for cons.
4. Packing Well
Part of the pre-con pre-gaming is planning out the packing situation a bit better. I attempted to pack light, but things just got a bit out of control. I’d love to say that in the future I’ll pack on the essentials and I’ll have a highly organized packing system in my luggage, but I know that will never happen.
However, once I arrive at my hotel, setting my stuff in a more orderly fashion will help me find things quickly, especially when I have to pop back in the room for something between panels. The other thing that would have been helpful was having a better organization system for all my stuff while I was actually at the con. I only had my giant purse, and that got cumbersome and annoying after a while. I scoffed at the Nerdist/Her Universe con hoodie when it first came out, but now it kinda makes a lot of sense.
5. Connecting with Others
I’m an introvert, and I can be shy, especially in situations where I don’t know anyone. So attending a convention alone in a brand new city was a bit…intimidating. I can get really quiet and awkward when I’m uncomfortable, which is not a great way to make connections with others.
The great thing about GGC was that everyone was incredibly friendly and super welcoming. For instance, when I attended the press and panel mixer at the Raygun Lounge, I ordered a drink, and immediately had one of the other bloggers there tell me to pull a chair up to her table. So while I should definitely work on being more outgoing at future cons, GeekGirlCon is awesome in that it makes even the most awkward and shy among us feel welcome.
GeekGirlCon ’14 was a truly amazing con, and attending was so fun experience and a great learning experience. If you’re interested in learning more about GeekGirlCon, head to their website. Everyone who works for the con is a volunteer, and they rely largely on donations. If you’re interested in donating to the con (they even have prizes if you donate certain amounts), you can do that here.