Mariah, a co-founder of Diversi-Con, dishes on one of the earliest conversations that led to creating Diversi-Con, and one of the foundations of intent upon which the con is built—creating a more comfortable con experience than ever 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 even find the time to 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 nonstop fun and health-minded 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 enable and even encourage everyone to take a moment and breathe, eat a fulfilling meal, nap, without worrying about missing any action.
During this conversation with Tanya at the Earp Expo hotel bar, after I shared with her my thoughts about the overwhelming aspects of conventions and the desire for something different, Tanya 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 someone who’d fill such a position. I said yes on the spot and since then I’ve tried my hardest to dedicate as much time to getting this dream off the ground. I’m excited to keep plugging away with the rest of our team to bring you a new con–a con that raises the bar on the experience for all.
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 fanfic, 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!