A Fin-Tastic First Start for SyrenSymposium!

Dreaming of a magical mer-con experience? Dive into our SyrenSymposium ("SySy") review! This first-year event offered a dazzling marketplace, captivating courses, and a chance to connect with fellow fin-folk! We spill the fins-and-glitter details on attendee costume brilliance (think award-worthy!) along with insider-tipps for mers that want to plan their own events.

Corinna Schwozer

4/23/20245 min read

Syren Symposium: A Fin-Tastic First Year!

Ah, the thrill of a merconvention! My ever-helpful husband and newly enthusiastic triton and I, CEO & founder of MerMapp, have been on a quest to visit all the MerConventions happening on the East Coast of the United States this spring.

After having visited MerMagic Con in March (check our review about it here), we have recently returned from our second dive into this magical world and we are bursting with fins-and-glitter excitement! This time, we adventured to the SyrenSymposium, affectionately nicknamed "SySy," and let me tell you, it was a fin-tastic experience! This first-year convention offered an experience brimming with dazzling treasures, captivating courses, and unforgettable connections.

Final Finsideration

All things considered, SySy did a phenomenal job for their first year and the passion and dedication of the organizers were evident throughout the event! There's always room for improvement, but that's the beauty of growth, even for merpeople. We thoroughly enjoyed our time and loved connecting with all the amazing merfolk in attendance.

Next on our list will be the Spring Splash beginning of May as well as the PADI Summit at the end of May in Florida. So stay tuned - we’ll be sure to share all the details on each event and in the end will leave you with an article comparing all the conventions we’ll have visited by then, helping you choose the perfect one for your next under-the-sea adventure!

The Party: Fins Up for Fun and Unforgettable Costumes!

We confess, we didn't attend the "Narwhal Ball" (SySy's big bash). But we didn’t want to miss out on the fun of connecting with all the lovely mers, so we decided to check everything out from the hotel bar where everyone entering the party passed by.

From what we heard from attendees, apparently, the room was a tad on the small side, and the $90 ticket price for just one drink and a buffet left some scales feeling a bit dry. No wonder some merfolk ended up back at the hotel bar – SySy's party space just seemed to lack a certain… je ne sais quoi. The good thing - even though the party room itself might not have made the biggest waves - together with the fun people had at the adjacent hotel bar (even with some late-night karaoke), reasonably priced drinks and food over there, all mers still were having a bash.

Also - there’s no denying the creativity in the costumes of all the attendees entering the festivities! There was so much eye-candy that we definitely had to do a compilation video showcasing the truly awe-inspiring mermaid fashion at display:

Shimmering Treasures: The Marketplace

SySy boasted an impressive marketplace overflowing with dazzling mer-goodies. We're talking tail-tastic accessories galore! Even the legendary Mertailor himself graced the event with his booth. Plus, there was SurrealMakeUp whose shimmering, eco- and skin-friendly glitter had everyone hooked (their booth was constantly mobbed!). Even I couldn’t stop myself from buying one of their sparkly turquoise lipsticks though I’m normally quite stereo-type when it comes to being a thrifty German ;-).

One unique touch we particularly liked was that the vendors were poolside! This meant they were part of the action, keeping everyone entertained while waiting for customers. It also made browsing a breeze – everything was practically in one fin-tastic zone (except for a few poor souls relegated to the high seating ranks. We mermaids gotta stick together, so we shuffled some fins to make room for them!).

Attendance: A Tale of Two Scales

Something that was a bit sad was that there weren’t as many visitors as we (and for sure everyone else) would have hoped for which was a shame considering all the amazing things SySy had to offer. This could be due to it being just a month after MerMagic Con and held in a relatively close location. Let's face it, even the most die-hard (and well-off) merfolk might hesitate to attend two pricey conventions back-to-back.

A suggestion for SySy’s organizers: Consider spreading out the dates a bit to give everyone's wallets (and fins) a chance to recover!

Also - the SySy team at one point asked everyone to sit around the pool together for a nice photo-op. Why not end it in a whooping jump into the pool all together? This was one of our favourite things at MerMagic Con and seems like a missed opportunity to truly engage in what us mermaids are made for - swimming in the water ;-). Of course, everyone was able to enter the pool at any point during the weekend but it’s just not as enticing as having one joint activity of swimming together. (It also makes for such great videos of seeing all those tails together in the pool!)

Learning Like a Mermaid: The Courses

SySy truly outdid itself when it came to educational offerings. With over 30 courses available, there was something for every mermaid's skill level and interest. A fan favorite was Hannah's full-day workshop, and Finsentertainment's sessions were booked solid – their work transforming client experiences into unforgettable memories was truly mesmerizing (we got a front-row seat to their magic since our booth was right next to theirs!).

Something to consider though - one of the rooms the courses were held in was divided by a cloth wall to make two out of one. That seems smart at first to offer more activities, however, it did result in sometimes having a hard time hearing what the presenter said as you could just as well hear what was going on on the other side of the room.

Speaking of sub-optimal room allocation: SySy’s venue was in a big Olympic Swimming pool - which was great for all the space it brought for various swimming activities to happen at the same time. However, they had the main stage at the end of this pool with the loudspeakers facing the wall. This meant that not only did visitors have to actively go through all the pool area to reach it but also there was no chance of people hearing anything from what was going on on the stage if they were just a few meters away. Why not help promote the stage program by placing it at the entrance of the event with the loudspeakers facing the pool so that people cannot help but notice that something cool is happening?

Another undertow was the absence of Jennings Bronner, an actor newly embracing the merlife. His "mersome reels" class had been highly anticipated and the cancellation last-minute left a bit of a sting as his presence would have bridged the gap between the "outer world" and our mermaiding niche - and besides: who wouldn't have liked to meet a handsome, charismatic merActor ;-)

Speaking of charismatic and handsome: SySy could benefit from a schedule shuffle. Let's be real, who wants to be lectured starting at 8.30am to before they've had their first cup of kelp-infused coffee and donned their dazzling fins for the day - especially after a night of revelry?

We actually suffered under this mermaids-are-no-early-birds syndrom ourselves with the MerMapp Q&A as well as our intro into our recently launched Anti-Drama Mermaid Course & Certification as we were the first to start the Saturday program. But luckily for all of you that missed it ;-) , that Anti-Drama Mermaid Course is an online course and available no matter which time of the day ;-).