We’re Hiring: Join us on the Convention Scene

One of our biggest areas of growth in the past year has been participation in the geek convention scene — we’ve gone from attending 2 or 3 gaming-specific events to almost a dozen anime, fan, and gaming conventions a year. It’s been a lot of fun to get in direct contact with so much of the community, but we’re finding ourselves stretched just a bit thin bouncing from event to event.

As a result, we’re looking to add a new member to our team, in the position of Event Coordinator. It’s a seasonal, part-time position that puts you in charge of running the sales booth at the events that we attend as our sister site, Fortress Geek. We’d love to have a friend or regular customer take on this role, as it’ll need someone with a passion for both the geek community and our company in particular. If you (or someone awesome you know) think you’d be a good fit for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to Kaja at ksadowski@starlitcitadel.com by Friday, January 17th, 2014.

Full Position Details

Are you a part of an Anime, Fan, or Gaming community? Would you like to get paid to attend conventions and sell awesome geeky toys, kitchenwares, collectibles and games to your fellow fans? If so, then this is a great opportunity for you.

This is a part-time position with a schedule based around the yearly gaming, anime, and fan convention season. Our e-commerce business attends 6 – 12 of these events per year, and needs a dedicated staff member to organize and manage customer service and sales at each event.

The Event Coordinator will be expected to attend each convention that we are booked for, and perform the following tasks: supervise inventory packing, load-in, and load-out; manage staff schedules and booth coverage; sell product to customers and manage other sales staff; keep accurate transaction records of event sales and deposit cash collected; liaise with convention organizers to handle any issues that arise on site. As the primary representative of the company at each event, the Event Coordinator is expected to present a professional and friendly attitude, and be able to quickly and knowledgeably address customer and event staff’s concerns. They will also be responsible for the appearance and layout of the sales booth.

The Event Coordinator’s schedule is tied to our convention plans. They will be informed of upcoming events at least 2 months in advance, and must be available for the entire duration of each event, including load-in and load-out times, and any necessary travel time. Upcoming events that we will be attending include: Toronto Comicon (March 7-9, 2014), FanExpo Vancouver (April 18-20, 2014), and Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (April 25-27, 2014). Travel and accommodation for out-of-town events will be covered in full, and all travel time will be paid.

We will provide training on our convention and cash-handling procedures, and the Event Coordinator will be given ample opportunity to familiarize themself with our inventory prior to their first event. If further training is needed, we will provide the necessary resources for the Event Coordinator to be able to perform their job in full.

Requirements: Availability for 3-5 consecutive days, up to 12 times per year (schedule to be provided in advance). Strong customer service and organizational skills. Experience with cash handling and basic account-keeping an asset.

Expected Start Date: February 17th, 2014

Rate: $14/hour, plus travel and accommodation costs for all events outside Vancouver.

Starlit Citadel / Fortress Geek

On Fortress Geek

I know we mentioned we aren’t going to be cross-promoting the new website, and we won’t be.  However, I figured the readers of this blog probably wanted a bit more detailed explanation than what they saw in the newsletter about why and how Fortress Geek came about.

Why Not Grow Starlit Citadel?

I’m sure that’s a thought in some people’s heads.  The time and energy we devote to the new site could potentially be pointed at Starlit Citadel after all.    Except… not really.  Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of different advertising methods and a lot of different venues.  The ROI on most of those venues / advertising methods have not been great, and we’ve slowly trimmed them out.  Sure, we could potentially do more Video Reviews – but they are such a high-level marketing tool that their returns are often months, if not years ahead.  Other marketing tactics that have been contemplated all require years of long-term investment to see a return (working with schools & teachers, setting up demo programs in communities, etc) and are a lot of work to even get started.

Furthermore, Starlit Citadel is growing.  It’s just that the rate of growth has slowed down (you can’t grow at 100% forever after all – compound effects come in after a while. Not to say we did 100% btw).  That’s not surprising – at a certain point, we will reach saturation in the gaming business and growth rates will be eked out at the margins (3 – 5%).  That’s fine, but not very exciting.  At a guess, we’re probably 3 – 4 years out before we see that, but I have to start planning for that now.

A New Business

One of the lessons I learnt while owning my own business is to make sure you are actually interested in the business you are promoting.  There’s a certain level that professionalism and drive will get you, but to make a business really successful, you need to be passionate about it.

When I first started looking for a new business idea, I wanted a business that I could actually get behind and push.  One that I had no problem seeing myself promoting for the next 3 / 4 years before it became profitable.  At the same time, I started noticing the various cool stuff we brought into Starlit Citadel never sold – necklaces, chainmail dice bags, the posters, etc.  I figured it was because it was close, but no cigar for our current crop of customers.

Being a dyed-in-the-wool geek, I figure why not expand into more Geek related businesses? After all, there seemed to be a gap in the Canadian marketplace and we already had the logistics infrastructure in-place.  Thus… Fortress Geek.  We first started building the site in September 2012 but had to put everything on-hold when Christmas came.  In addition, we needed more space – both for Starlit and for the new stock in FG.

Same- Same?

So, what makes FG different? I have a few ideas and we are working hard on making some of them come through.  Right now, the site is pretty similar to every other geek site out there – there’s nothing special to it.  No USP.  It’s one of my major concerns, and one we believe we know how to tackle.  However, to get there it’s going to take a few more months and require us learning a few new skills.  Hopefully, some of those skills will show up in Starlit too, but we shall see.