The months of May and June passed in a blur, bringing our young heroes at Geekify to the moment of truth in public presentation: the Boulder Creek Festival and the Denver Comic Con. What products would grab the eye? Who would take heed, or give pause to peruse our wares? Would anyone even notice us, tucked away as we were? We’ve been so lucky to have the support of the geek community all over the globe, and our exposure at the conventions showed us just how great our support really is at the local level. We had so much great feedback, so many people stop to chat us up, finger the covers of our nostalgia-ridden wares and gaze longingly at them, and ask us all kinds of questions that it was hard to keep up against the constant stream of people. And we met so many awesome and incredible individuals. Cosplayers strode by in amazing costumes – we saw Halo armor suits, Khaleesis, members of the Imperial Navy, errant storm troopers, and even a very svelte David Bowie wandered by at one point. Engineers, comic book artists, writers, prop makers, animation studios, and countless others, from all walks of life. A few customers even stopped by just to say hello and check us out in person, since we’re almost entirely a web presence, and they wanted to put faces to the company and give their regards. And we convinced a few of the more daring to pose with our products, to complete their ensembles.
We also had about a dozen bottles of ferrofluid and some high power magnets on display for the people passing by to play with. Surprisingly, maybe one person in a hundred had ever seen ferrofluid before. It’s ridiculously fun stuff to play with, but we couldn’t for the life of us convince people to just pick up a bottle and some magnets and mess around with it on their own. We posted signs, kept it in our hands constantly, and in general tried to show it off. Ferrofluid has about a five second learning curve for any age group to figure out what it does, and after that they’re be hooked for half an hour or more (remember, the first hit is always free). One couple stayed for an hour and a half playing with it, mesmerized by its witchy ways. But to first grab their attention, we took to the time honored practice of crowd-heckling, singling out passersby, offering them the experience of a lifetime, and a chance to behold undreamt of wonders. Many people would keep walking, but then they’d stop and gawk when they saw what it could do with a magnet behind it. And then they’d turn around to come play with it. The problem was helped when we set up our electromagnetic grid pulling it in all directions and making it dance via Arduino interface; now that sure gathered crowds. Nick got to talking about how ferrofluid works with some engineers walking by, discussing some of the finer points of electromagnetism and its subtle magics.
It’s important for us to connect (and stay connected!) with the our fan base. The things we make get featured on blogs, on Pinterest, on social networking sites, and it’s always flattering to see our hit counts go through the roof when we front page somewhere prominent. It’s a completely different connection when you meet someone in person, and they start gushing about how glad they are that geeks are out there making stuff for geeks, and give us all kinds of ideas and feedback on what we should do next. It really makes the creation process more rewarding and adds a whole new dimension to the interaction. It brings in new business, grows our reputation and capacity for nerdy infamy, and makes us feel like we’re doing right by the world.
New projects are our lifeblood, and we love finding out what matters to people most so we can make it a reality. They can see first-hand how fired up we are about what we do, and how passionate we are about making the world a geekier place, and it’s a great way to build a rapport with individuals. One young man gravitated towards our booth, having an incredible Iron Man costume he’d made himself, and stopped by to ask if we were hiring so we could help build his arsenal of already formidable skills. Someone came by just to show us pictures of the perfectly attired Childlike Empress roaming the convention with our jewelry and books. It’s great to see so much talent and creativity out in the world, and to connect with our kindred spirits and collaborate together.
I’ve always said that we’re a company by geeks and for geeks, but it’s truly a great time when we actually get to *meet* geeks, at the places and venues where geeks go to be with their (our!) own kind. As a company, as individuals, and as a culture, we’re not out to make a quick buck – we’re here to figure out what’s needed and how to set about *making* the world a more awesome place, and what better way than to socialize with the people who appreciate our work and make it possible? This summer we were able to do just that, and in doing so, we got the chance to show Colorado just what we’ve been up to, and to give the community sneak previews of what we’re cooking up next. Thanks for a great convention season, CO – we’ll see you again soon!