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Meet Kristen Simon of GeekChic Promotions in Greater LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Simon.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kristen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Three years ago, I was working for Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, managing their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) programs, when a co-worker approached me with an idea to partner up and provide pop-culture themed event planning services. My background before working at GSGLA was that I was a comic book editor and I had strong ties to that community, as well as entertainment companies from my work within the Girl Scouts. I agreed, initally just as a part-time side job, and we brought in an additional partner, who had experience with hosting, lighting and bartending, as well as connections in entertainment and pop culture. Over the course of 2015, we started to move away from wedding and baby showers, and focus more on comic convention pre- and after-parties, movie screenings, launches and activations. My original partner opted to continue on the path of themed showers, so we amicably parted ways and now, it’s just two of us, myself and RuthAnn Thompson. RuthAnn and I currently provide the panel programming for several conventions across the US, as well as put together their after parties, secure branding partnerships, and create activations as well as handling guest services, such as booking and negotiating celebrity appearances. We also offer consulting services, not only for events but for creating and publishing comics.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has not been smooth! As you can imagine, starting a business requires a lot of time, effort and money. We still had full-time jobs to pay the bills and were working 12-15 hour days with no days off for quite a long time. One of the biggest struggles was in late 2016 when GeekChic was hired by an event management company to create the programming and secure sponsorships for roughly 6 conventions across the U.S. We quit our day jobs, and everything was going great, but by early January 2017, everyone else at the company had been let go. Additional duties were requested of us to make up for lost staff and we were eager to please. GeekChic was just an independent contractor with a 1-year contract, and as such, we were allowed to take on other clients as long as contractual obligations were fulfilled. RuthAnn took on another smaller client for GeekChic, but because our company logo was featured in their program guide, the current client claimed a conflict of interest and prematurely terminated our contract in May. It was flimsy, and we knew they just couldn’t afford us any longer. So, we had quit our day jobs 6 months earlier and wound up scrambling. It was definitely a lesson learned to not just jump at any opportunity. Now, we are very selective with our clients.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with GeekChic Promotions – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
GeekChic Promotions specializes in branding, both behind the scenes and in front! We have transformed comic book stores into nightclubs, thrown classy cocktail parties that were so subtley themed that guests gasped with delight when they figured out what was happening. We’ve put together cosplay fashion shows, hosted themed “Drink and Draws” and curated themed VIP parties for entertainment companies. In our spare time, we have a GeekChic Tumblr that shares our favorite recipe tips for events and we host a live stream every Saturday called Nerd Rage, on Facebook and YouTube. We also participate in Nerd Rage panels at comic conventions with high profile guests. The goal is for people to get to know us, see our authenticity and remember the GeekChic name.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Yes, we have plans! RuthAnn and I would love to bring our talents to one location. Our goal is to eventually open our own event space and go nuts theming it to whatever pop culture phenomenon is happening at the time. The possibilities would be endless and our creativity would have a consistent outlet!

Pricing:

  • GCP’s fee is roughly averaged out to 20% of the budget and includes securing preferred vendors and managing vendors on site.
  • Negotiations can include the possibility of flat-rate pricing in terms of service has been reached, in addition to working with preferred vendors. Cost is approximately $1500 for every 50 people attending.
  • For creating convention programming, GCP charges a flat rate starting at $2,000 for a 2-day show.
  • To facilitate programming on-site, GCP charges a flat rate starting $500 per person, per day and requires hotel and travel expenses covered for out of town shows.
  • For booth sales and branding partnerships/sponsorships, GCP charges 15%.
  • GCP offers the option of paying a flat $1000 to source an artist (or penciler/inker), colorist and letterer for a full-length OGN.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

RuthAnn Thompson, Kristen Simon, Eric Carrasco, Emily Morris, Matt Hawkins, Steve Ellis, David Gallaher, Russell Nohelty, Joe Illidge, Dean Haspiel. Mark Waid, Travis Hanson, Marcus Perry, Heidi MacDonald, Brandon Montclare

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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