MiDFur picks new name, ConFurgence; but did poll mislead?
The event's growth had become an increasing issue with its December timeslot (the 'D' in its name):
December has been pretty bad for a convention. [MiDFur] continues to grow, and during our search for a bigger, more flexible permanent home, we were getting horrid quotes from small hotels with space for 400 people... We got quotes of around
$80 000per day from a few venues... and with selling out the last 500 capacity venue in December, for us to make a step up, we had to look at our time.
ConFurgence will next occur 10–12 January 2014. It retains the "Egyptian Nights" theme, and will bring Dark Natasha, Blotch, Andy Runton and Sardyuon to Melbourne as guests. 'MiDFur' will be used to refer to the original December furmeet.
The limits of "have your say"
When we've collected enough, the board will sift through and find the most appropriate names at which point the public will cut that selection down to five possible items, after which the board will vote on the final choice!
|MiDFur's 'Top-ten' list of new names|
|Furry Anthropomorphic Lifestyle Convention (FAL-Con)|
|Constant Furvour||FurEver Con||FurGather|
|MetaMorphicon||MidSummer FurCon||The Fur Republic|
Investigating, Flayrah found that organizers had registered confurgence.com and confurgence.com.au on December 26 - over a week prior to the "top-ten" poll. No other names on the list were registered by staff in advance of the poll.
When asked about this (prior to the public announcement), Australian Furry Conventions CEO CynWolfe confessed that the team already had a favourite, and didn't want to waste money on names that probably wouldn't be used:
We had earmarked a name that we felt appropriate, but were reserving actually deciding on the name until we found out whether the name would be received well by the community. [...] If it were universally rejected, we would have looked at other alternatives...
Reserving all ten proposed names (for both .com and com.au) to prevent domain squatters would have cost several hundred dollars.
ConFurgence [was suggested by furs from] South Australia, Sydney, Brisbane and even Perth! (naming announcement)
According to CynWolfe, ConFurgence polled third. The top-two choices were deemed unsuitable for separate reasons; the first, "FAL-Con", had been dubbed "FAIL-Con" by locals, while the second, "Midsummer Furry Convention", was found to conflict with Melbourne's Midsumma Festival. These placement details and the executive board's reasoning for the final pick were not given in the public selection announcement.
Ultimately naming the event is the organizers' prerogative – especially when they're responsible for the debt - and they kept their word to pick from the top-five choices. Still, it seems likely that reasons to disqualify would have been found for other options, unless universally preferred.
The first fur to suggest ConFurgence, "Kevin from South Australia", has won lifetime membership; others to pick it get a one-year 50% discount. Staff also announced a new mascot, Flash the Dingo, named in honour of a survivor mentioned during MiDFur 2012's charity fundraising.