Interview With ‘Heroes of the Shadow World’ Event Director Diane

How did you start your journey in creating this event?

Film Daily contacted us in regards to the possibility of an event in North America in relation to the TV show Shadowhunters. I was intrigued by the idea and started to look at all the options and here we are!

What other events were you inspired by?

I will always remember the atmosphere at the Turn of the Century Celebration on the 31st December 1999 at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff which was an amazing event to plan and put on. It was the best party of all time for attendees and staff alike and it is that spirit that I always try to bring to every event I run.

Tell us about your history and your team’s history with events. 

We have quite a varied history which means we see things from a lot of different angles. As you can imagine, this results in quite a unique outcome. We put our own Jalmics twist on our events.  My personal history is with larger scale events such as concerts and stadium events but also conventions and exhibitions which range in size. The team’s experience ranges from organising all kinds of conventions and competitions to education events for 3,000 delegates. 

Our staffing manager for example, is an old hand at conventions and rather partial to the odd Beer Festival or two. Here’s her impressive list:

  • Vampire Diaries Con 15-18
  • Star Trek Missions New York 17
  • Heroes Villains Fan Fest 17
  • Walker Stalker Con 17
  • Walker Stalker Con 18
  • Monster Mania 18
  • Eternal Con 18
  • Fan Fest Chicago 19
  • Fan Fest New Jersey 19
  • New York Craft Brewers Association 19
  • Long Island Craft Classic 12-19
  • Great Beer Expo Philly 15-19
  • Spring Craft Beer Festival 12-19
  • Blue Point Cask Ales Festival 17-19
  • Philly Craft Beer Festival 15-19
  • Winter Bourbon Festival 17-19
  • Great Beer Expo Jersey 15-19
  • Coffee and Tea Festival Valley Forge 18
  • Valley Forge Beer and Cider Festival 15-
  • Great Beer Expo Long Island 12-19
  • Long Island Hop Festival 17-19

Where did the concept come from for the event?

There has been a lot of midnight candles burning when discussing the concept for this event as we wanted to give the show the celebration it deserves and in the keeping of our mantra, make it fun for everyone who attends.  We have therefore created a three day event featuring some evening activities that doesn’t just focus on five to ten actors but is dedicated to the whole show. That includes the cast and crew, the music and the fandom. For us, they all are “Heroes of the Shadow World” – hence the title of our con! For us, it is really more of a celebration than a convention. We wanted to put together a unique event with a different concept. With that in mind, the convention is in part a fundraising event benefiting The Trevor Project, an organization close to the heart of the fandom. And as for location: From our perspective, it just had to be based in New York, the home of Shadowhunters.

Why should people attend this event?

First of all, it is going to be a huge celebration of the show and the people you love.  If you are a fan of Shadowhunters, then this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to mingle with the cast, crew and the Shadowfam over three days. Who doesn’t want to hang out with the Vampires, Warlocks, Werewolves, Demons, Seelies and Shadowhunters? You will also get to chat with the people who brought Shadowhunters to life and ask all the questions that you always wanted to but never had the chance to. Of course there will also be the traditional convention elements such as autograph and photography opportunities, but that is really just the start of this adventure in the Shadow World with us.

Do you have an online streaming option for fans?

We haven’t planned an online streaming option at this point, however, we will be sharing photos, video snippets and live-tweet the event.

What have been your greatest successes in the past?

This  is always a hard one to answer as it depends on your definition of success.  A lot of my business successes are surrounded in confidentiality agreements which is exceptionally frustrating in this instance but I can say that when you bring parties together in negotiation where resolution appears impossible it brings an undeniable amount of joy.  Event wise every event is an equal success and it may sound trite but I really do get a buzz from seeing people enjoying themselves. In my personal life sending my son off into Snowdonia to wild camp for four days without worrying about him, knowing I have given him the skills to cope was my most recent success. I see success every day from giving a new employee confidence and new skills to closing a successful deal for a client. 

Talk us through your creative process.

At Jalmics our motto is merging mindsets and it is about merging the logical and business side of our brains with the creative aspects. This is always at the forefront of our creative process which really is a joint effort. Our team is based around the world and we really do work 24/7, so our creative process flies around the world faster than the speed of sound, ideas bounce around and are sense and logic tested simultaneously.It is amazing to watch as one person will have an idea and by the time they wake up again it has been fully worked through and a decision has been made as to whether it will work or not.

What part of Shadowhunters do you geek out about the most?

Well I have watched the show as part of my research, however I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination and really don’t want to pretend that I am. There are a lot of dedicated fans out there who could get a university degree on their knowledge of the show. I like the interplay between Asmodeus, Magnus and Alec towards the end of season three and thought that was an interesting storyline that could have gone further.

Do you run any other projects we need to know about?

One of the unique elements of Jalmics is that we really do dedicate ourselves to the projects that we take on.  We turned down a crowdfunding project in order to be able to really give this event our focus and do it justice.  

Have you worked with mentors in the past? How would you recommend people go about finding them?

I have worked with some quite amazing mentors in the past and good ones are exceptionally hard to find.  It is very difficult to get to meet them in person but using social media you can find people who you can learn from. I am a great believer in reading autobiographies of people you admire and philosophies that interest you. I will share one of the things an early mentor in my life taught me that has stayed with me ever since; “You can have everything you want in life, but not always at the same time.”  It is amazing how many times this has helped me make difficult decisions.

What’s the five-year plan for the event?

Without getting ahead of ourselves, if the Shadowfam like what we do then we will host further events in different locations but always with a twist and we will of course return to New York in the future. There are so many possibilities here! Our minds were bursting and we couldn’t fit all of our ideas into this event so we have had to shelve them.

Can you tell us about any surprises you’ve got in store?

Okay, if that’s what you want: Spoiler-alert! We noticed that there is a photo booth strip of Magnus and Alec that is commented on a lot and so we thought it would be a great idea for the Shadowfam to be able to take photos with the family they have made through the fandom.