Upcoming ‘Nerd Culture’ Expo – Epic Diem

EpicDiemPoster

While there are certainly other ‘Pop Culture’ exhibitions they one can visit from time to time in Brisbane, there really isn’t any ‘Nerd Culture’ exhibitions.  Epic Diem looks to change that with their first expo this year on the Sunshine Coast.  BTGN is proud to not only be sponsoring this event but excited to be covering it as well.  Check out the full article below with details on what to expect and an exclusive interview with one of the organisers, with an inside view on what it takes to get something as epic as Epic Diem off the ground.

Many of you might remember the attempt at getting Gen Con Australia off the ground five or six years ago.  It didn’t work, which is a real shame because even though Supanova is such a great event, it’s focus is more on ‘Pop Culture’ (Anime, Manga, Comics, and the like) and less on actual games.  Tabletop games.  This is why I’m so excited for the upcoming Epic Diem expo being held on the Sunshine Coast in late September.  It has a strong focus on tabletop gaming, something we here at BTGN are obviously passionate about.  Not only that, it’s a Queensland exclusive!

Unlike other large events I’ve seen run for the first time, Epic Diem seems to be doing a LOT of things right.  They’ve got some big names backing the show, they have a variety of events, activities and stall to appeal to a very broad range of clientele and perhaps most importantly the entry fee is very, very affordable with pre-purchased tickets online being only $10 and children under 12 FREE!

So what activities can you expect to find at Epic Diem?  How about this to wet your appetite for now –

Live Action Role Playing (LARP) Events, Boffer Battles, Queensland Championship Wrestling, Cosplay Competition and Runway Show, Laser Tag, Tabletop War Gaming Demonstrations, Magic: The Gathering Demo Area, Other Card Game Demonstrations, Medieval Reenactments , Queenie Chan Seminar, Steampunk Seminar, Snap Photo Booths, Lego Speed Kit Competition, Pop Culture Trivia Competition, Anime Screenings and more.

~Whew!~

Quite a bit there as you can see and more on the day.  For those of you concerned about the date (September 21st) and clashing with the Magic: The Gathering pre-release for ‘Theros’, never fear as Epic Diem will be hosting a ‘Theros’ pre-release of their own at the event.

GiveABuckHere’s a nice little touch too, Epic Diem will be helping support local charity ‘Give a Buck’ and will be donating money to this charity from profits.  That is a pretty damn cool thing to do, and it’s nice to know that your entry fee will not only give you a solid day of entertainment but also help someone in need.

I recently managed to catch up with the Marketing and Operations Manger of Epic Diem – DeAnna, and ask her a few questions about the event.

BTGN: Hi DeAnna! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today about Epic Diem! I guess the first question that springs to mind is, how did the idea for Epic Diem come to be?

DeAnna: Every Saturday my husband and I get together with another couple and do what we would call “nerds.” This term would describe anything ranging from MTG or other card games to board games or video games, LARPing, Nerf wars and everything in between. One night we were discussing a few events happening in Brisbane and Melbourne and the questions was brought up, “Why do Sunshine Coast people always have to go somewhere to be part of awesome events?” On paper, the Sunshine Coast has a lot to offer visitors, beautiful backdrops of rainforest hinterland and beaches just minutes apart and we thought, “Well throw in an amazing event and this would be a great place for people to visit while giving us local geeks what we so desperately wanted!”

BTGN: So once the idea had been formed what was the next step in getting Epic Diem off the ground?

DeAnna: We had a very clear vision once we started. We wanted an expo that was not merely a marketing opportunity for exhibitors but an interactive experience for everyone involved. With that in mind, we made sure that we sought exhibitors that would give a unique and hands on experience. The biggest challenge was convincing businesses and potential sponsors that this was the way to go and it took a lot of negotiation. As a result of all that phone time, our exhibitor to activity ratio is nearly 50:50 and this is something we are very proud of.

BTGN: While this is the first time Epic Diem has been run it looks like there are a lot of experienced hands behind the scenes. Can you tell us a bit more about the team behind Epic Diem?

DeAnna: We are four thirty something nerds with children of varying ages. This in itself, provides a lot of insight into what people want, I think. However, we also have a lot of work experience under our belt that gave us, at the very least, the illusion of confidence going into this venture. I have an educational background in marketing and PR and was very excited, as a stay at home mother, to finally have an opportunity to use those skills. Our finance manager, Michelle, has an accounting background and she keeps all of us in check which is very important. One of the biggest temptations is over spending when running an expo like this and we are very lucky to have a financial rock like Michelle, so to speak, to build our foundation on. Our creative talents come from Gavrosh and Jason. Gavrosh is our creative manager and is an art teacher and artist. Most of our artwork is done by him and he also has experience in film as well so he is a valuable asset. Jason, our sales manager is an ideas man. He was also a teacher and runs his own education based company as well as Epic Diem, but his true passion lies in creation of new things. He comes up with some interesting concepts for LARP creatures and displays and then creates them with the help of Gav. Those two are unstoppable together. They made a nearly 7ft Minotaur costume out of gym mats and fur… what more can you say!?

BTGN: From the advertising material we have seen there seems to be a stronger emphasis on tabletop gaming over other ‘Pop Culture’ exhibitions. Was this a conscious goal you where chasing or something that just happened as time went on?

DeAnna: Most definitely we wanted it to be a focus. If you want something that is inherently “geek” but extremely interactive you want tabletop gaming! It was this and LARPing that really made us want to start this expo in the first place.

BTGN: Are you a tabletop gamer yourself? Any particular game that you enjoy playing?

DeAnna: Well to put it simply, we never eat at the dinner table but we practically spend all our free time there! We are big fans of Magic the Gathering and most days our dinner table is covered in cards and new decks. However, we also love to play board games like Talisman, Pokémon Trainer, Cthulhu Gloom, etc. We also play D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder as well. My husband dabbled in Warhammer Fantasy for a time, but mostly for the painting. We are always up for new games though and keen on recommendations. Someone suggested Netrunner a couple of weeks ago and we are keen to give that one a go.

BTGN: We noticed that Epic Diem will be supporting the “I Give a Buck!” charity. Can you give us a little more information about that?

DeAnna: The I Give a Buck Foundation is a really awesome charity that very little people know about, ironically, because of their generosity. They give 100% of donations to the children they help and work purely on a volunteer basis with no money going to admin fees. With no amount of donations going to marketing, they rely on their own hard work to get the word out. The I Give a Buck Foundation is based on the Sunshine Coast but works on individual appeals for children all of our Australia.

Their latest appeal was a young girl named, Merrilyn. Merrilyn has Dravet Syndrome, a severe type of epilepsy. She has a significant intellectual disability with global developmental delay. Merrilyn is also currently medicated for Vitamin D deficiency because she can’t spend enough time outdoors safely. Merrilyn is always on the move and her desire to be outdoors is so strong that she bangs her head against the door and has broken glass trying to get outside. The family home doesn’t have a back yard and their front yard wasn’t fenced and opened up onto the road. This was very dangerous for Merrilyn as she absolutely loves cars; being in them, watching them, and chasing after them if she can. The I Give a Buck Foundation raised the $2,250 her family needed to put a high secure fence around their home.

We cannot stress how grateful we would be if everyone contributed to this amazing charity. It literally only takes $1 to make a difference. Give a dollar to them and you know exactly who is receiving it. This is a true charitable organisation. You can find them at www.igiveabuck.org.au

BTGN: Is there anything you want to recommend to those who are going?

DeAnna: We have the exhibitors and a line-up of awesome activities now we just need to spread the word! In order to continue on we need your support. Tell your friends, parents with children, and local businesses. Share our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EpicDiem and our event page https://www.facebook.com/events/318101848297515/ .  Mostly, be prepared for a big day! We have a lot of unique merchandise being sold and a full day of activities so prepare to exhaust yourself in the fun!

BTGN: We really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us, and we are very much looking forward to meeting you and visiting the Epic Diem Expo in September!

DeAnna: Only two more months! We are very excited! Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss Epic Diem. We always knew there would be an interest in this type of event but we are absolutely amazed by the support we have received. It takes a lot of work to get something like this up and running and we definitely wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of the geek community. It is like our second family and we are so grateful to be a part of it.

 

Expect to see more news and articles regarding Epic Diem on the lead up to September 21st from us here at BTGN including a few special competitions and give-away’s we have planned.  Online ticket ordering should be live very soon and both the website and Facebook page are updated regularly with news and information.  This is going to be a huge event, a local event and a gaming event.  I can’t wait for it.

Toby

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