Morphicon 2005 Official Post-Con Report!
NEW! See links to convention photos at:
In this report:
* Official Numbers
* Special Thanks
* Morphicon Feedback
* What's Next
(read on for more...)
********************************* Official Numbers ***
Number of registrants: 158 (up from 120 in 2004)
Number of registrants who showed up: 155
Number of paid registrants: 139 (includes some comps who donated)
Number of staff and comped members: 27 (some donated anyway)
Money raised this year for AAF: $844 (was $331 in 2004)
- the Pet Sale and Raffle each made over $100, and the Art Show topped $600
Morphicon Corporation remains financially solvent and has paid off all debts for 2005. Our predicted registration number (160) was very near the actual figure of 158. We're currently negotiating the hotel contract for next year.
*** Special Thanks ***
Thank you to Carole Curtis and Mike Curtis for coming from so far away to bless our convention with their presence, and for their kind generosity toward our attendees. Special thanks to Carole, for hosting panels and socializing with fans so soon after major surgery. Rest well!
Thanks to Richard Thatcher for joining our GoH list, for brimming with such interesting ideas, and for being so supportive of our convention.
Thank you to NeoGeen for jumping at the chance to be a last-minute addition to our GoH list, and allowing us to showcase her unique fursuiting and artistic talents.
Thank you to each of our charity donors: Keeshah, Bear, Harmless Gryphon, Nikon, The Dragon Girl, Michael Sherman, Mephit FurMeet (courtesy Tyger Cowboy), Karin, Morphicon Corporation, Dripdry, P_Moss Fox, Pelzig, Trickster, and anyone else we may have missed at the last moment. Also to Aloha, who donated one of his FVS props to the raffle--and promptly won it back. Apparently, there are some things you just can't get rid of. Additional thanks to Mephit FurMeet for sponsoring our Masquerade awards this year.
Thank you to each of our staff members, without whom the convention would not be possible. I'm convinced the quality of our convention atmosphere comes from the collaborative environment created by staff and volunteers who support one another. Thanks go out to Whiteshepherd, Vixie!, Thalyn Chatnoir, Tamaria, Squirrelly, Siege, Ramseys, Pelzig, Ostrich, Max Goof, Mark King, Keeshah, Kattywampus, Kada-ru, Jewel, Brown Leopard, Bastian, Babs Bunny, and Alyssa Deva Swiftwing for all their tireless efforts to keep the con running. Also, special thanks to Tyger Cowboy for his continued support of our convention.
Thanks to all of our volunteers who chipped in to make the convention run smoothly, including Johnny Tanuki, Slave Kitten, Colt, Auntie K, RebelKat, Woof, SportyFox, Pandora, Veil Faust, Joshua Knode, Gedrean, and Lacivus—along with anyone else who spontaneously helped out but may not have appeared on our official roster. You guys rock.
And, of course, thanks to all of our donors and attendees, and especially to our Patrons. We heard a lot of very positive feedback from the hotel, which indicated that y’all were good furry ambassadors. This makes planning for future years much easier on us, so thank you for your support and consideration!
*** Morphicon Feedback ***
No big surprises here. Our 2005 feedback was largely positive and reflected the same values Morphicon began with when we polled our Central Ohio furries two years ago (the results were almost identical with our original poll in 2003). The biggest draws to our convention remain the dealer's room, performance events, free food, our diverse array of programming, and mature-audience panels. Here were the highest counts out of about twenty possible selections:
1st: (tie) Dealer's Room & Performance Events
2nd: Free Food
3rd: Species SIGs
4th: Mature Discussions & Events
5th: Fursuiting Panels
Also popular were art panels and our new gaming track. Everyone liked something different. The only aspect of our programming that received a low rating were the technical panels, indicating this represents a more specialized interest.
Biggest Likes: The laid-back Morphicon convention atmosphere was No. 1 among attendee convention favorites. Many people remarked that Morphicon was relaxing and fun just at the size it is now, and a few even encouraged us not to grow any larger. (Though we don't have a lot of control over that last part, I like it small too. It makes quality control much easier, and we want our attendees to get the best value for their donation.) Convention atmosphere was followed closely by our mature Furry Variety Show, and all our wonderful free food. The average attendee ate somewhere around 4 hot dogs and 2 pieces of cake at our convention, plus a few sodas, a few slices of pizza, breakfast foods, sandwiches, and lots of snacks.
Dislikes and What Would You Change: Most of these are things we were made aware of during Terminus. The biggest problems were the lack of a full-time headless room (we'll have one next year) and a continued need for more signage and publicly posted schedules. The sporadic high-speed internet access this year was due to electrical problems with the hotel, which they were physically unable to correct during the weekend. We apologize for this, and will check two weeks in advance of the next convention to make certain internet services are working properly.
Several people remarked that more panels later in the evening would be good, especially for dealers who would like to attend. Some attendees would prefer there be programming scheduled past midnight. The standard Radisson check-in time of 4 pm was a concern to several attendees who arrived earlier than this. Also, many attendees stated they would prefer a contiguous room block (this was impossible in 2005 because our contract was not secured early enough in advance). A few people complained about the fog machine used during part of one of the dances, while others didn't seem to mind.
Internally there were a few things staff would like to do differently next year, but most of these changes would not be noticeable to attendees. From a staff point of view, the convention went very smoothly. We're very proud of all of our staff and volunteers (see above).
Several programming bits were added during the convention, by request. These included an outdoor stargazing event, and a panel just for artists (after dealer's room hours) for art trades and sharing art secrets. It was brought to our attention during the convention that we lacked greymuzzle panels and events. This was notably absent from the diversity of programming, so
we'll be sure to include it next year. (Though in our defense, Max Goof lovingly referred to the Wildwolf slot machine I brought into Gaming as the "senior programming" track.) The "Whose Fur Is It Anyway?" game Brown Leopard set up at the last minute was hilarious. There's nothing quite like seeing Jim Groat nearly fall off of a riser stage in response to... Um...I’m not sure I can explain in this report. But on that note, the “Whose Fur” game will probably need to be moved into the mature track for 2006.
On a final note, several attendees would like us to increase the size of the Dealers Den and Artists Alley. As much as we respect and understand the nature of this request, we also care about our dealers' sales. Much of the size of this room must therefore depend upon the dealer to attendee ratio. We think we hit it just about right this year. We will try to find a way to open up the aisles more so they're not as crowded next year, though.
*** What’s Next? ***
First, we’ll be mailing out convention materials to the few registered donors who were unable to attend the convention. We’re also trying to sort out all the misplaced items and get them to their respective owners, so if you’re missing something and the hotel doesn’t have it, please check with us and we’ll keep an eye out for it.
Morphicon will finally be applying for our 501(c)(3) designation sometime in the next few months. We will also be negotiating next year’s contract. As soon as we know, we will make these announcements public. We hope to have all of the Morphicon 2006 details ready by the end of May. We already have our theme for next year, but that’s still a secret!
We expect to have the Morphicon 2004 and Morphicon 2005 Highlights videos ready by the time the Morphicon Free Fall Picnic rolls around. We may offer them as a batch set. We haven’t yet decided whether we will be separating certain events out, but due to the nature of our Furry Variety Show, any tapes including footage of our FVS will be sold to adults only.
Additionally, Morphicon Corporation has decided we’re tired of being a “once-per-year” event. We’d like Morphicon to be around, all year round. To this end, we shall be creating a new staff position for organizing local gatherings once per month between conventions. In this way we can give back to the local furry community and provide a sense of unity and purpose to our organization in reaching our mission of educating the local community on the therianthropic arts and culture.
The website has been updated to “between conventions” mode. Links to various pictures from the convention are available from the main page. These links will move to the historical website for 2005 when the conversion to next year’s website takes place on May 5th.
Thanks for your support everyone, and we hope to see you in 2006!