Mariah, a co-founder of Diversi-Con, talks about one of the earliest conversations that led to creating Diversi-Con, and about one element of the foundation upon which the event stands: to provide a con that offers maximum fun but more comfort than anything done before.
It was back in 2019 at Wynonna Earp-specific con Earp Expo that Diversi-Con founder Tanya approached me with the idea. We’d been friends on Twitter for a while, and finally met in person at Earp Expo. On the final day of Expo we were down at the hotel bar just chatting and we got on the topic of finding the balance between both a great fan guest experience and a great celebrity guest experience–and a balance where the fans get a chance to do all the fun activities in one jam-packed weekend while also still having the time for breaks and to recuperate from events. See, at almost every convention I have attended, there’s always so much I want to do that I can’t find the time to even eat, or I find myself overstimulated but, not wanting to miss anything, I try to push through the feeling. I’m up early for someone’s autograph session or a panel and then it’s moving from one activity to another. The most I might find time for is a granola bar here and there. I know many other people feel the same way about cons–it’s basically a joke now: “What do you run on at cons?” … “Oh, coffee, granola, and the adrenaline from meeting so and so.”
Imagine, if we fans feel that way, how might some celebrity guests feel being shuffled from one location to another for fan interactions? I joined Diversi-Con because I want to find the happy medium between providing non-stop fun and health-focused time management capabilities for everyone–fans and celebrities alike. My goal is to create a convention where everything is tailored for the comfort of our guests, while still giving as much to the fans as we can. We want to incorporate breaks in the action to allow and even encourage everyone to take a moment and breathe, eat a fulfilling meal, nap, without worrying about missing any action.
During this conversation at the Earp Expo bar, after I shared with Tanya my thoughts about the overwhelming aspects of cons, she told me about her idea for Diversi-Con. She’d already approached a few others for help at that point, but asked if I’d be willing to come on board as the Director of Guest Relations. Unbeknownst to me, my ranting about the balance between celebrity and fan experience was the exact mindset she was looking for in a person who’d hold such a position. I said yes on the spot and since then I’ve tried my hardest to dedicate as much time as possible to getting this dream off the ground. I look forward to continuing to plug away at bringing you a con that raises the bar on the guest experience.
About the author:
Hi! I’m Mar (she/they) and I’m the Director of Guest Relations. I’m a 22-year-old graduate student from central Florida studying marriage and family counseling. When I’m not studying endlessly, I’m probably on my couch playing Animal Crossing, reading fan-fic, or petting my cats. You’ll probably never see me without ripped jeans and a backwards SnapBack so combining that with my tallness (I’m 5”10) I’m not hard to find in a crowd. Always down to talk Broadway, fandoms, and TikTok!