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Furry con-runners gather at leadership roundtable

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The first Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable was held this weekend in Lincolnshire, Illinois. According to Duncan da Husky, all U.S. and Canadian furry conventions with over 100 attendees were invited to send up to three representatives of their choice.

The event is modeled after SMOFcon, a science-fiction runner's con named after the so-called "Secret Masters Of Fandom" who attend; unlike that event, the FCLR is currently invite-only.

Discussions covered feedback surveys, hotel negotiations, working with the media, membership suspensions, A/V setups, technology, budgeting and fiscal management, age-related issues, marketing/branding and convention horror stories.

Those present included:

Conspicuous by their absence were representatives from Further Confusion, Furry Weekend Atlanta or FurFright, the 2nd, 4th and 5th largest furry conventions — though these are all more than twelve hour's drive from Lincolnshire. Future Roundtables may occur in different locations.

In prior years, some furry con-runners have gathered at the Dorsai Thing, a "relaxacon" for members and guests of the Dorsai Irregulars.

Read more: #FCLR on Twitter

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So, basically, a gathering of the Furry Cabal.

Your rating: None

The Midwest Furry Con Cabal, anyway. It might be hard for others to justify unless this event grows or moves.

Of course, furry fandom isn't just based around conventions. I'd bet a slim majority of fans haven't even been to one. However, long-term fans tend to have some involvement, even if it's just their local event once a year.

Your rating: None

The Midwest Furry Con Cabal, anyway.


Not really. Neither Rainfurrest or Anthrocon is in the Midwest.
Your rating: None

Also conspicuously absent was anyone affiliated with Mephit Fur Meet or Morphicon. Some of MFM's leadership, including the con chair, live in St. Louis, only about 4-5 hours away, and Morphicon is only slightly further away than that. Of course it's quite possible they were invited and their representatives could not attend for whatever reason.

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It being two weeks before both of these conventions Morphicon might be one reason, but yes.

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The Midwest Furry Con Cabal, anyway.

Anthrocon and Rainfurrest take place in the Midwest? :-)

Mwalimu: Invitations were sent to all furry conventions in the US and Canada with attendances greater than 100 people in January of this year. Five months is relatively short notice, though. For next year invitations will be going out much earlier. Morphicon was originally considering attending, but I believe they had some scheduling conflicts. I am not certain about responses from other conventions, but I know many cited time conflicts, and a few did not respond at all.

Because this was a first-year effort, it was expected that attendance would not be huge. It's understandable to have second thoughts about investing the time and money in flying across the country for a new and unknown gathering of unknown value. Nevertheless, all who attended this year agreed that it was time well spent and found value in sharing information, networking, and socializing. We hope that we can grow the event next year with the attendance of representatives from more conventions; each additional organization brings new insights and new approaches to the table, increasing the value of the event.

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Anthrocon and Rainfurrest take place in the Midwest? :-)

Well, I consider Anthrocon to be a Midwest con. I know technically it's in the Northeast, but it's moved five hours' drive west since inception and a lot of staff come from the region. The DI often have their Thing in the Midwest, too.

As for Rainfurrest, I don't know who attended from that, or where they live; they could just be an outlier. *grin*

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@Duncan da Husky: I assumed you probably had invited them and the leads of other conventions not mentioned; I may not have phrased my last post the best.

@GreenReaper: MFM isn't until Labor Day weekend, about 4 months from now. Also, I tend to think of Ohio as the easternmost state of "the midwest" but I can see where some might go further east to include western Pennsylvania.

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Doh. Misread "Mephit Mini Con" as "Mephit Fur Meet". I thought it was odd that two nearby furry cons were at the same time . . .

I'm a foreigner, so you probably shouldn't give my views on American geography much credit. :-)

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Speaking of money . . . who funded the event? Invitees? Midwest Furry Fandom? The bank of Duncan and Takaza? :-)

Personally I'd see this as a better use of convention money than giving it to charity, but it'd be nice to know.

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There was a $40.00 entrance fee for each attendee. This covered the cost of meeting space rental, snacks and drinks for the weekend, and lunch and dinner on Saturday. The goal of the event was to exactly break even; I believe Takaza and I were $40.00 in the hole, which I count as an acceptable loss.

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In response to your question:
I sent the email invitations on December 15th
Further Confusion - Didn't respond
Furry Weekend Atlanta - Did not respond
FurFright - Did respond and K'gra gave their regrets in not making it this year.

There will be a push earlier to get 2011 dates out and hopefully get more conventions represented.

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Thanks for the info! I'm a little surprised that you managed to get even five cons together the first year. :-)

FC's timing and organization makes it fun - you can't invite to the future chair, since you don't know who they are, yet the current chair may be too busy and won't be chair after the con. It's a long way from there to Illinois, too.

I know it's not quite the same, but perhaps videoconferencing might help those who'd like to attend but can't afford to (time- or money-wise). We've put it to good use in past WikiFur Meetups - you could even get Eurofurence, ConFuzzled, Rusfurrence and RBW involved!

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.