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Only Two Weeks Left for FREE MEMBERSHIPS at ConFurence

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You must reserve your hotel room for CF2003 before February 15, 2003 if you intend to sign up for the Furry West Homestead Act of ConFurence 2003.

"Furry West Homesteaders" (Up to 4 in each hotel room) get free memberships to the convention, in addition to some of the same benefits that Sponsors of the convention will receive. This includes getting into the Art Show a full hour before anyone else is permitted to enter.Only Hilton reservations that have been made on or before February 15 will be considered valid when sending us your Homesteader Act form.

Rooms at the Hilton are $102 for standard rooms, and $135 for Jr. Suites. The 3rd and 4th guests in each room pay an additional $20 each per night. Additional taxes apply.

When making your reservation online, use the 3-letter Group Code of "COC" to get the correct rates.

The homesteader forms must be returned to ConFurence by March 1, 2003, which is also the pre-registration deadline for memberships.

If you are not going to stay at the Hilton Burbank Airport, then you still need to purchase your membership bfeore March 1 to get the discounted rate of $40.

Memberships will be $50 after March 1st. Visit ConFurence.Net for more details.


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Considering that they're giving away free memberships just for reserving a room at the hotel, I think that they're already quite desperate.

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I'm sure they are desperate. Any convention that willingly GIVES AWAY FREE MEMEBERSHIPS just to try and meet their contracted hotel room nights is on the downhill side of fucked. A convention's primary income source is memberships. Eliminate that, and you're left with maybe a few thousand from artshow and dealer's room. That's not going to cover your cost. Hemorraging money is not a way to run a convention that you want to see around the next year. I think we're seeing the end of Confurence.

Sad, really. It could have been much more.

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No. It took several months to figure out the Homesteader Act, and how it WORKS financially for the convention.

As for advertising twice a few days apart, I just wanted to make it clear in the second post that the deadline was getting really close to be able to get in on the Homesteader Act. Some people might think that they have more time, but they don't.

As for the numbers: it's really quite simple. My contract with the Burbank Hilton goes back 3 years... back when there were a lot more people travelling to the convention. Nowadays, there are still the same number of attendees, but they are more local and less travellers.

The achilles heel of the contract is that I have to meet a minimum number of sold rooms, and that number is higher than what today's CF can support. I had to find a way that would increase hotel room block, and it had to cost less than the penalty for being short.

Also, I'm not sacrficing all memberships, just pre-registration memberships for people who opt-in on the homesteader act. I am NOT sacrificing as much income from lost pre-registration memberships as I have to fork out for being short on the room block.

Last year, I had to pay nearly $15,000 to the hotel for being about 120 rooms short of making the room block. Fortunately, the convention brought in enough to cover a good portion of that expense, but I had to sacrifice being able to pay myself back for other expenses leading up to the convention.

Let's say that 150 pre-registration members decide to go in on the Homesteader Act instead of pre-registering. This would ammount to approximately an additional 150-200 room nights sold to people who would otherwise stay with friends, or commute to the convention.

If I have to comp 150 memberships (at $40 per) that's lost income of about $6,000. This is much better than paying the hotel $15,000 for coming up short on the room block.

The Homesteader Act has gotten a very popular response, but a lot of people still don't understand it. It seems to be doing an o.k. job of getting people to reserve rooms at the hotel, but the number of people at FC who didn't know what it was was staggering.

Since there are only 10 days left now to make your hotel reservation and get in on this, the word has to get out now, and get out as often as possible.

It's just simple accounting math. Not "screwed up" as one of the anonymous trolls here put it.

Darrel L. Exline
Director, The ConFurence Group
Chairman, ConFurence 2003: The Furry West

ConFurence will again be at the Burbank Hilton, April 25-27, 2003.  Visit for more details on this and other events being hosted by The ConFurence Group.

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... So.. basically what you're saying is either way, you're going to lose money, but this way you'll lose less; a ratio of 2:5... am I getting that right? :) 'cause that's what everyone else is saying....

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I seriously doubt that attendance at CF has not changed over your contract. Antendance at the last CF was terrible, plus there were no day passes, just "shopping" or dealers den passes. I didn't have the money to go the full weekend and was -very- upset that there were no day passes anymore. Not only that but the last CF was just realy boring and not many furs were there.

My first con was CF12, and I know there were a lot more furs at CF12 than at the last one. A friend of mine who's first con was CF9 said that the CF's before 12 were even bigger. So I very muchly doubt that the attendance has not wavered at all. I think somefur did a body count of around 250 furs or so at the last CF.


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A look at the Anthro Fandom Convention Information Sheet shows that attendance at Confurence fell only slightly last year: from 704 and 705 the two previous years to 675. Interestingly enough, that decrease puts Confurence into the #4 slot (down from #3) as largest furry convention of 2002 (disclaimer--I'm chairman of Midwest FurFest).

That attendance number is a dramatic fall from 1999 and earlier, when attendance at CF would often exceed 1000 people. Back then, there were fewer furry conventions competing for a somewhat limited convention-going attendance than there are now.

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About the author

darrelx (Darrel L. Exline)read storiescontact (login required)

a courtroom technology specialist from Lemon Grove, San Diego, CA, interested in polar bears, and furry fandom of course.

Owner / Director, The ConFurence Group, promoting anthropomorphic fandom-realted events since 1999. Chairman: ConFurence 2003; Dealer''s Room Lead: Conjecture (October in San Diego), Fan Tables at LosCon 29 (Burbank, Nov. 2002)