The ATGN team had the enormous pleasure of attending the Epic Diem Nerd Culture Expo last year, back when we were still Brisbane Tabletop Gaming News. Ah, how far we have come since then. For us, Epic Diem holds a special place in our hearts and minds as it was the first expo that we attended as a team.
And we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! You can read about last years exploits here.
Thankfully, when we approached Epic Diem organiser DeAnna she not only remembered us but welcomed us warmly.
So, for those who missed it last year, in brief, what is Epic Diem? Well, it’s a nerd culture expo. It has cosplay, it has stalls, it has artists and authors, it has gaming and a bunch of other cool activities. A couple of things make it unique, however. Firstly, it’s hosted on the Sunshine Coast. Secondly, from our experiences last year at least, it was very ‘hands-on’, with a lot of activities and games to get involved with, whether it was playing card games and board games or getting involved with live-action role-playing and war games.
We managed to sit down with a very busy DeAnna and ask her a few questions, recapping on last year and finding out what we can expect this year.
Toby: Hi DeAnna, great to be speaking with you again. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with ATGN.
DeAnna: Hi, Toby. I always look forward to chatting about Epic Diem so thank you very much for the interview.
Toby: How does someone firstly come up with the idea for an expo like this, but more importantly find the time, energy and commitment to take it from an idea to an actual thing? Essentially, what’s the story behind Epic Diem?
DeAnna: Epic Diem is ultimately the product of four self proclaimed nerds getting together and deciding that it was about time that the Sunshine Coast had something “geek related” going on. We were tired of travelling for events as we all have little ones and also believed that ANY Sunshine Coast family could really get into some of these activities, especially LARPing which was the first thing that really motivated us to action. As for time and energy… even I don’t know how we do it. After last years event we just kind of looked at each other with glazed over eyes and zombie-like statures and said, “I can’t believe we just did that.” We love Epic Diem because we know people loved it last year and other people will love it and that is truly what keeps us going. We just want people to have fun and have new experiences.
Toby: This will be the second time that Epic Diem has run, but quickly let’s recap on the first event last year. Huge turnout, where you happy with the results? Lessons learned?
DeAnna: To say we were amazed at the turnout is putting it lightly. It really did exceed all expectations and its hard not to get a smile on your face just thinking about it. I remember chatting with one twenty-something gal about LARPing. She said she wasn’t interested as she was more a Trekkie than a fantasy type person. However, with some solid peer pressure from our volunteers she signed up for the first LARP event. Afterwards, she said it was so much fun that she participated in the evening LARP event as well! Those are the results that I am most excited about, everyone getting into that hands-on atmosphere and just experiencing the fun. As for lessons learned… probably too many to list here! What I can say is we will be keeping all of them in mind to improve Epic Diem 2014!
Toby: We had a bunch of fun at Epic Diem last year and are really looking forward to coming up again this year. What can we expect this time around? Any new and wonderful surprises?
DeAnna: There is SO much I wish I could share but we really can’t say too much until all is confirmed. We definitely will bring a lot of the same back this year but with a few new additions to keep everything fresh. You can expect an improved Cosplay Show this year. We have invested a bit more in making this a really great performance space which includes one of the biggest additions this year… live music! We have confirmed a handful of local artists ranging in gaming style music, a bit of hard rock, and even a Visual Kei artist! We are also taking some time to develop the educational aspect of the expo and will bring a much larger number of seminars and panel discussions to “The Vault.” Some of the featured guests include author Isobelle Carmody, game developers from Disparity Games and Witch Beam and Sydney cosplay photographer Benjamin Koelewijn of Beethy Photography.
Toby: If I recall correctly, last year a portion of the proceeds from Epic Diem went to the ‘Give a Buck’ Children’s Charity. Is that something that you will be doing again this year?
DeAnna: Definitely. Last year we were able to raise over $3000 which they used for their iPads Program. This program provides iPads to severely ill and severely disabled children from financially disadvantaged families and also provides iPads to children’s hospitals all around Australia. We hope we can raise even more for them this year!
Toby: A big part of any expo is the events. If I recall last year there were such activities as board games, card games, Lego, cosplay competitions and more. What can attendees expect this year?
DeAnna: Our goal was always to create a space where people could get their hands into something, so much of the same will be coming back this year. The biggest change you will see from these spaces is more dedication from our volunteers and exhibitors to encourage attendees to try EVERYTHING. One thing we have really been prioritising is adding that whole e-sports vibe to the expo so definitely watch out for announcements in regards to that!
Toby: The other big part of an expo, of course, is the shopping. I remember there being quite a number of vendors last year, whom can we spend our money with this year?
DeAnna: We have some of the same exhibitors returning with a few new ones who have come on board. I wouldn’t dare try and list everyone here and wouldn’t want to offend anyone by naming a few because they are all pretty awesome! I definitely recommend checking out our Facebook Page for an updated list of exhibitors. We try to do an exhibitor spotlight every day so people can see who is coming and on our events page as well.
Toby: Sounds amazing. The ATGN team is really looking forward to attending. Anything else we should know?
DeAnna: I would really just say be prepared to get into everything! We have endeavoured to keep the events as organised and mapped out as possible this year so that everyone can participate in a full day of events and shopping. We have also added a bag check area which you wouldn’t think would be much of a thing to talk about, but I for one am really excited! It means that people can stow their purchases, costumes, extra clothes, etc. to look their best in their cosplay but also be able to run themselves out in laser tag or LARPing.
Toby: Thanks again for your time DeAnna, I hope to see you on the day!
DeAnna: Thanks Toby and ATGN! We looking forward to seeing you there and testing your skills on the battlefield!
So it looks like Saturday the 27th of September is going to be a very busy and entertaining day. Mark it in on your calender. Keep an eye out for the ATGN team while you are there and don’t be afraid to say hello.
For more information check out the following pages –
Epic Diem Website – Here
Epic Diem Facebook Page – Here
Epic Diem Facebook Event – Here