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Meet Jessica Merriman of MomoCon in Downtown Atlanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Merriman.

Jessica, please share your story with us.
MomoCon LLC was born from the hard work and dedication of a small group of committed people. Split between anime/manga, gaming, comics and costuming, we strive to bring the very best aspects of these fandoms to our fellow fans. Based out of Atlanta, extending Southern Hospitality is important to us. We would like everyone to enjoy what we do best: having fun!

I toyed with the idea of a campus-based convention for years. In 2005, this idea was brought to fruition. MomoCon began through Anime O-Tekku. Even now, its members and Georgia Tech alumni still comprise a good portion of the volunteer staff. These volunteers worked tireless to bring the first MomoCon to the public in 2005; they were greeted by 700+ eager attendees. In the years that followed, the volunteer staff brought forth new ideas and introduced new guests to the convention scene. Each year, they strived to make each event better than the last.

MomoCon was fortunate enough to find great reception in the southeast fan communities growing over 50% for several years. We reached over 10,000 attendees in 2011, becoming the largest free admission fan event in North America. Due to rising venue costs and our growth outpacing the limited income we received, we were forced to no longer offer MomoCon as a free event.

Recreating MomoCon as a paid convention in 2012 has provided us the opportunity to do things we were never capable of before: adding a third (and fourth!) day of convention, bringing in stellar celebrities from several fandoms, expanding events to include more aspects (such as a rave and martial arts programming) and moving to a gorgeous hotel in downtown Atlanta large enough to contain the entire event. Previous MomoCon’s were spread across several buildings on Georgia Tech’s campus.

MomoCon is happy to welcome over 33,000 attendees for the 2018 event!

Has it been a smooth road?
Funding and costs for the event are always a challenge. Upon moving in 2015 to the Memorial Day weekend, we are competing with everything from personal family functions to nationwide events for the attention of the market. Our venue, the Georgia World Congress Center, is very in-demand and as such finding flexibility and availability over dates that are consistent is a challenge.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with MomoCon – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
MomoCon is an animation/gaming/comic convention, much like Dragon Con and San Diego Comic Con but with the three specific focuses. We boast the 2nd largest gaming floor in the entire US, with over 150,000-square feet of active gaming events (video games, arcades, tabletop, etc.). We host over 100 featured guests from animation voice actors to YouTube stars to video game AAA companies. Our growth is massive and far out paces our industry (25%+ since 2012 each year).

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Atlanta’s downtown concentration of hotels is really ideal for events, as well as the nearby proximity of hotels and mass transit. The suburbs have issues with transportation that is less ideal. The ACVB has been an invaluable partner, especially for a non-standard type of event like ours (we aren’t exactly your average trade show)!


Contact Info:

Image Credit:
MomoCon volunteer photography team, Andrew Michael Phillips

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