Rune's Furry Blog

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Archive for the month “February, 2018”

Rune’s Official TFF 2018 Con Video!

I want to start doing more on this blog that ties it to my YouTube Channel.
While the blog has its own purpose and such, I feel like bringing these two worlds together might help me remain more active and still do something that I enjoy.

Also, while I have the links to my YouTube listed- lets be honest: it’s much easier for someone to click a video already placed in a blog than if you ask them to go searching for something on their own, right?

But, with that being said…my YouTube is important to me. It inspires me to do bigger and better things and to learn to bring in more “entertainment” factors to my projects (this blog included). I also said that this blog covered everything Furry-related, right? What’s more Furry than a convention video?!?

But enough of the rambling…
I just want to say that for as chaotic and new as TFF 2018 was, I still had an amazing and magical experience. I tried something different and something new. I was striving to enjoy this convention in new ways as to make it something more memorable for myself and for my wife, and I think we succeeded in making a con that we will not forget any time soon. I also made it a point to accomplish more goals that I had made for myself after the previous TFF…this meant making more friends, attending more panels, and being less shy about getting pictures with suiters and etc.

So, hopefully you enjoy the video…I plan on adding more in the future and might just write little stories about Rune and all his adventures. But tell me what you think of the idea and if this is something you would like to see more of in the future?

Thank you all for tuning in…more blogs coming soon! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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TFF 2018 Review!

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“We’re all mad here…”

This year at Texas Furry Fiesta, 3866 fuzzbutts fell asleep and found themselves in Wonderland! This number bumped up the convention to being on the top 5 conventions list, falling just under Furry Weekend Atlanta (FWA).

This was my 2nd time going to TFF and it has always held a special place in my heart for being my first-ever con. This year was an adventure as the convention had grown so much that it was in a new venue for a brand-new experience! Because it was so fresh and so new, I decided that a type of review was in order. So, taking from my personal experiences and the comments from others, I compiled a list of things that set the convention apart, and maybe the not-so favorable things about the convention that can hopefully be fixed in the future.

So buckle up and take this trip down the rabbit-hole with me as we explore the brand-new Texas Furry Fiesta (Lonestar Wonderland)!


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(Right-Left): Radar & Owen
  • Growing Numbers!
    —I have made a habit of reading through the con-books because they always offer the most interesting information. As someone that is still new to TFF, I could not believe how small they started in comparison to other conventions. In ten years their numbers have grown so drastically when their first con only had 542 people in attendance! Crazy, right? Now here we are in 2018 and we almost broke 4,000 people…it really just blows me away!
    But a growing number means a demand for a larger space…and this year the convention took place at the Hyatt Regency, right next to the Reunion Tower in Dallas Texas.ย  Already I noticed an improvement from last-year’s space (which I will go into detail about down below)- and it made for a much more comfortable con-experience than the previous year.Because of the larger space, I found that I had more time to actually notice what was around me. I saw a lot of familiar faces and the ‘Texas regulars’, but I also saw a lot of new faces as well. New suiters and a lot of people new to the con-scene. I saw even younger fursuiters than I witnessed last year and at ACFI and just the amount of people really shows how the fandom continues to grow, to evolve, and to include more-and-more people of varied ages, backgrounds, etc. It’s exciting. Every convention is like witnessing another moment in Furry history…and I always find myself getting excited and just feeling so humbled and honored at the thought that I get to be part of it all.

 

  • Hyatt Regency!
    —The Hyatt Regency is a gorgeous hotel placed right next to the Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas. It has 28 floors, multiple rooms to rent for panel spaces (spanning across 3 floors from ground-level)- a pool, a hot tub, a bar, and even a gift shop. It conveniently attaches to the DART Train for easy travel between points, and I heard it was close to some of the most interesting neighborhoods/communities in Dallas.The layout of the hotel had mixed reviews…but I must admit that I had no trouble finding my way around. The pocket-booklet that everyone was given at registration gave an incentive to travel around the convention and locate all the most popular spots. Think of it like an interactive-tour or some sort of scavenger hunt for stamps. Upon filling your pocket-booklet with stamps from the various locations, you were given a special TFF pin at the help desk. My only complaint was that more people did not know what this part of the booklet was for, let alone that there was a prize. I found myself telling many people about it when they were wandering around lost… but again, the layout was not that bad. I feel like after wandering around for one night, I had most of the locations memorized. I did not have to refer to the map very often and only got lost one time the entire 3 days that I was there. The hotel also had various maps scattered across their walls so that people could use it for reference if they did not have their paper map (again, located in the pocket booklet).

    Most panels seemed to take place on the 2nd floor and past the bar. There were multiple small rooms down a hallway located right next to a set of elevators. If anything, I could see where such a small hallway could be missed or overlooked- but at least people could go straight from the panels to their rooms. All the bigger events like the raves, concerts, and the dance competition all took place on the first floor where they could set up the stages. The Dealer’s Den was also located on the first floor.

    The lobby area contained the Artist Alley as well as the Art show…and while not as convenient as other locations, at least they had a sizable space. As a fursuiter though, I will say that having the Headless Lounge in the lobby could be kind of a chore. Going up-and-down escalators when tired and/or hot…then mixing that with low-visibility seemed more like a hazard…but at least on Sunday it was moved to the 1st floor where it was more accessible. The Hyatt also had a massive outdoor area for smokers and a place where people could just cool off if they really needed to. This space was located on the first floor and conveniently placed next to the front desk.

    Last year’s TFF seemed ‘cramped’ at best, with a lot of people shoving past each other and people being shoulder-to-shoulder. So, the relocation to the Hyatt really was a breath of fresh air. I found myself able to see more of the convention since I was not constantly bumping past other people, and it was a lot more comfortable walking from space-to-space. Even activities and panels were more roomy and there was barely anyone left with places not to sit. Compared to last year where people were listening to their panels out in the hallways for lack of room, this really was a treat.

    As for the location of the hotel, I was not a fan. That seemed to be one of the more major complaints. While the hotel did connect directly to the DART Train, for those that were driving, getting to the hotel could be confusing. Also, there was a lack of stores and other such places around the hotel which some people heavily rely on when they travel. UberEats and other delivery services were a near necessity because the Hyatt almost seemed isolated compared to other hotels. It was also a more ‘expensive’ space…but I found that the comfort of having enough room to walk and play in suit made it worth it.

    Parking for the convention was not fun and was another major complaint that I will go into detail about down below-but overall, it is something that I believe can be fixed for later cons. If I could change anything about the hotel rooms it would only be that they add in a microwave and maybe a bigger refrigerator. Overall I would say the move to the Hyatt was a smart one, and overall it was a raging success!

  • Elevator-con:
    —After the first night, the convention was being referred to as “Elevator Hell” and “Elevator Con” because with 3800 people all running around the convention, the elevators quickly became backed up. People were trying to pile in the elevators in dangerous numbers just to get up to their rooms. I was on the 11th floor, and though my wife was fit enough to take the stairs…I was not (especially while in fursuit). Unfortunately, the inability to get up the stairs applied to several furries, and hostilities quickly grew with people trying to determine who and what had priority when it came to traveling in the elevators.

Volunteers and con-staff did eventually step in and create a line system for the elevators, but this was only taking place on the floors with panel spaces (1st and 2nd floors respectively)- this grouping helped people get up to their rooms but it did nothing for the people trying to get down. I say the worst of it was on Saturday because my friends and I could not get down from our room for the longest time, and it nearly resulted in our missing the fursuit parade.

From what I heard, a lot of it boiled down to the hotel not understanding just how insane this convention was going to be. Their lack of knowledge on the fandom and how it operates made for a lot of confusion in more than just the elevators. We occupied most of the hotel for that weekend, and naturally they had other guests as well that did not know what to do when it came to furries. They did not have enough staff to have people monitoring every elevator segment on every floor, and this is understandable. Like parking and other things…I think this just means that next year there can be room for some major improvement. Also, considering this was our first year at the Hyatt, my thoughts are that it can only get better from here.

But people really should be more considerate when it comes to elevators. If they are already packed and your room is not too far away- if youย  are able to, please take the stairs! Also, have courtesy for those with luggage or for those wearing fursuits. Please let them in the elevator before you because chances are they are in the bigger hurry and have the most need to get somewhere.

 

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(Left-Right): Escap’e, Unknown, Rune
  • Parking Problems:
    —Like the location of the hotel, the parking was really confusing. There were 3 parking lots where one could park for the convention, but there was not many indicators of which parking lot you were in when parking! The radish-lot was the main hotel parking which quickly filled up. It was the one located closest to the front of the hotel.
    There was also the Reunion Tower parking which was the larger of the parking lots. It was the 2nd closest parking lot being right behind the main entrance to the hotel. Lastly, there were parking lots located far down the street called lots B-through-E where there were a lot of parking spaces available…but the location was so far and so isolated from the hotel that most people did not know those spaces even existed. While a lot of people got the con-rate parking for $5…there were those of us (like myself) that parked in the Reunion Tower parking (thinking it was the hotel parking) only to leave the convention with a $57 parking bill to pay. I do agree with others that while the Hyatt’s website had a list of parking rates…it was very unclear which lots were what and what prices people would actually be paying. So, this convention was not so kind for those of us actually staying at the hotel even though staying at the Hyatt was meant to be more convenient.

So the costs were not nice for those that could not get the con-rate, and the locations were not the best with people bringing in a lot of luggage. I found that the location of the parking was not kind to fursuiters nor was it kind to those with disabilities as the back of the hotel lacked ramps of any kind even though most of the parking was in the back of the hotel, and the doors lead directly into the lobby space.

There were those that said that using the DART Train was the best way to get around if traveling around Dallas, and while we did have experience with Uber, getting them to find your location at the hotel was not very successful unless you were willing to meet the Uber at the front doors. There were those that rented bicycles to get around but for most of us it was just too cold.

At least for next year I have learned what I can do better to cut down on costs. Getting con-rates for parking is a MUST, and getting to the con 2 days before the con is probably the way to go. My first night in Dallas (Thursday)- the parking lots were already full. We spent so much time circling the hotel to find a lot that was open andย  that had space that we missed pre-registration by 14-minutes. So, even though we were at the convention, we could not take part in any of the early events. But, we don’t blame the hotel or the convention, and we can only do better and plan better for next year!

 

  • The overall cost increase:
    —I will say that expenses have increased since TFF last year. Even with con rates and such, a lot of people ended up spending a lot more money than they intended. The Hyatt did not provide any form of free breakfast but I found that their massive servings could work if people were splitting meals. I shared steak and eggs with my wife which cost us $18, but we easily split it and still felt full. The only downside was the coffee costing so much…the drinks were not cheap so it made up most of the bill.

Bars at a hotel are never on the cheap side, so it’s often recommended that you bring your own booze. I did like the bar’s selection but found that they added a lot more alcohol than most places, and I was not sure on the quality versus the cost. There was also a $50 holding fee for those that opened a tab…and that hurt a lot of people’s bank accounts (in which I hope they got everything sorted out).
Like mentioned before, the parking was rather costly for those that were not able to get the con-rate. For those needing to use Uber or take the Dart Train…by far the train was cheaper, with Ubers ranging anywhere from $25-$65 depending on the type of vehicle you might need. Lyft was a more expensive option, and cabs are even more expensive than that. Again, there were bikes to rent, and while cheap, the weather was really cold…so riding a bike on slick sidewalks was not at all advised.

Food ended up being the biggest cost for those going to the con. While there were microwaves downstairs, they were few in number. The shops in the hotel were overpriced with small drinks costing $3 or more. Even vending machines were $2 and did not take cards which meant a trip to an ATM and paying the ATM fee if you do not carry cash. Pizza delivery and other delivery services were available- as well as services like UberEats.

The Hyatt was not cheap. A room for 4-nights and multiple beds spiraled past $700 easily. Take that into account with registration costs of $50 and then parking, food, and spending money for souvenirs, and there were people easily going past 2k for the trip. So it was much more costly than last year and that was a problem for a lot of people. But, like with all Furry Conventions, these cons are a luxury and something you need to save and budget heavily for. My wife and I made sure we brought our own food to eat (for the most part) and next year we will bring a lot more variety as well as snacks to cut on spending.

 

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(Left-Right): Rune & Elana
  • Scheduling & Panels:
    —I personally thought that panels this year were a lot more varied than cons-past. I found that there were more panels and more things that I was interested in personally. I also liked that they seemed to have more ‘adult’ panels than last year. But, there was a good blend of new things and familiar favorites like the McGuiver Fursuit Challenge and the Fursuit Games. I did not hear many complaints about scheduling, and everything that I attended always started on time.

There might have been some confusion for the panels that got swapped on Sunday (to new locations), but I was not affected by this personally. As far as I know, only some game rooms had issues with what times they needed the rooms versus what times the hotel let them stay in said-rooms. Also, there was a bit of a flub when it came to the closing ceremonies not reserving the room they wanted to be in…but all-in-all, everything was very organized and went very smoothly.

I found that there really was something for everyone, and my problem this year was trying to get to everything while balancing my shopping and my suiting! By far my favorite events was the Rocky Horror Picture show performance, the Dance Competition, and learning how to brew beer. I also really liked the video game room (even though I did not play anything)- I liked how much space they had this year and variety, and my friends spent a lot of time in the tabletop gaming room which they enjoyed very much!

 

  • Food Trucks!
    —A solid improvement to the convention were the food trucks. It was something that TFF had in the past but that was not available for last year’s con. They were in high demand and this year we got some down the road from the Hyatt. They had a limited window, but they offered a nice alternative to eating at the hotel restaurant or having to order another pizza. My wife bought a cuban sandwich for $10 that easily fed the both of us and it was delicious!
    Some people complained about the weather and the lines, but those were minor things. For the time they were there, I found them to be really convenient and very cost-effective for those on a budget!

 

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[Fursuiters unknown- if you know them please tell me so I can credit them properly!]
  • The Fursuit Parade!
    —I loved the fursuit parade this year! Like the rest of the convention last year…the parade last year at TFF was stuffy and cramped. There was not much space between the suiters and the crowd and overall it was hot and mostly uncomfortable. But this year was such a breath of fresh air!

Not only was there enough space to where 2 suiters could easily walk side-by-side with each other, but there was space between the fursuiters and the crowd! They also placed a tape trail on the ground, marking the route for the parade, and it was super helpful! The route was short-and-sweet…but it was set up to where everyone got the chance to see all the suits in all their glory. I had no complaints about any of it, I really thought that the organization, the space, the lines, and the route were excellent. So my hat (or fursuit head) goes off to whoever set it all up because they did a fantastic job! Even the room where all the suits were waiting to leave was roomy and cool which was a real treat and made for a wonderful experience!

 

  • Compliments to Con-staff!
    —I did not hear a single complaint about the con staff this year. All the volunteers and the people involved were more than helpful, and with all the chaos that a new convention brings, I really feel like they went above and beyond to help people out. I utilized the help desk often and they always had an answer for my questions. Even when it came to “elevator hell” the staff stepped in and got everything under control as best as they could.

There were reports of people in suits having trouble with people touching them without permission, suits getting damaged, and other sorts of complaints in which they said the staff went above-and-beyond to help those suiters and make them feel safe in their suits again. I can not imagine the time and energy it takes in running the con, so again, I applaud the amazing staff and volunteers at TFF and everything they do so that we can have a fun and fuzzy weekend!


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[Shewulf got photobombed! Please tell me who this awesome suiter is!]

A new venue space (much like a new convention) is bound to be chaotic. There are going to be flaws and be hiccups, but that’s all stuff that can be fixed. For some issues, that falls on con-staff and the hotel to fix…and for others, it’s a matter of learning from experiences and making better choices the next year around. But it’s fixable.

This year I followed my con-prepping tips and really tried something different. I tried to find that balance between time spent suiting, and time just walking around and taking everything in. I took less photos and videos because I wanted to remember the convention as something I lived first-hand rather than through a phone screen or camera lens.

Naturally, there were panels I missed, plans that fell through, and things I did not get to do…but those were small things that I took as they were. I did not feel as ‘obligated’ to do certain things and I did not push myself to rush to everything that looked interesting. So, by far, this was a much more relaxed and stress-free con than the previous year’s. This was my wife’s first TFF and she said it was not as overwhelming as she thought it might be. She too was able to relax and she said that she had a blast! She saw some amazing suits, and we ran around and played, and everything about it was a good time despite the massive bill that we placed on our credit cards.

So, I still say that this was a good year for Texas Furry Fiesta…and I can not wait to see how it gets better in the years to come! I’m already looking forward to next year’s theme which was revealed to be Dungeons&Dragons (tabletop RPG)!!!! So let the hype and countdown for 2019 begin!!!!!

But let me know what YOU think! Did you attend TFF? What was your favorite thing about the convention? What was your least favorite thing? What was your favorite suit that you saw? What about your favorite panel? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment-section down below.

Thank you all so much for reading, and as always, I will see you all int he next blog! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Prepping for a FurCon

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In a little under a week I will be attending Texas Furry Fiesta 2018-
This is my 3rd convention that I have been to, and while I wrote about going to the conventions, fursuiting, and things to do at a convention (etc), I never got around to talking about the ‘prepping’.

Going to a convention takes a lot of planning and preparation. It’s crazy the amount of time that gets dedicated to planning what panels you wanna go to, figuring out the stuff you need to bring, and how much money you will need to survive for 4-days. And because I have found myself in several situations that were not exactly ‘ideal’, I figured now would be the best time to reflect on the things I have learned so that others might better prepare for their Furry Conventions.


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  • A Furry Convention is NOT a necessity!ย 
    —I hate that this is something that needs to be said, but it’s best to get it out of the way first. A Furry Convention is a fun break from our day-to-day lives where we can feel free to express ourselves. It’s full of hugs, fun, friends, and fur (literally everywhere), but it’s not a necessity. Things like food, a water bill, a car payment…all of those things come before a Furry Convention. So please be responsible! Do not let the ‘want’ of going to a Furry Convention hurt other areas of your life. We all need to be adults sometimes and that can mean missing out on something fun. But remember…there is another Furry Convention the next year (and maybe another local one later the same year). Save your money, budget, and go to one that you can comfortably afford later. You will have a lot more fun if you don’t have to worry about the consequences of bad spending the minute you get home!

 

  • Figure out where you are staying & reserve your rooms.
    —Hotel rooms where the convention is being held go FAST! They are usually sold out within the first week or sooner. So, once you find out about a convention, you need to start researching where you are going to stay. Start planning who you are going with, how many beds you would need…and if the con-hotel is too expensive, then browse hotels within the area. Remember to take into account the distance from the con hotel, the way in which you will get in-between the two, and possible parking costs. Reserve your rooms ASAP!
    Remember that some hotels make you pay a small ‘holding’ cost upfront, and also that some hotels do not take out payment until AFTER your stay! So make sure you are budgeting your money accordingly so that you do not get over-drafted. If a friend has reserved the room, make sure that your name gets put somewhere on that room. This way you can not be kicked from the room and/or you avoid any issues if your friend failed to mention more people staying in the room than what is allowed. Telling the person behind the counter that you only have 2 people in your room and then having 2 other people sleeping on an air mattress is ILLEGAL! So please do not do it. It’s a legal issue and an overall safety risk/hazard.

 

  • Pre-Register!
    —Even if you do not plan to attend the convention on all of the days, pre-registering is the way to go. Unless you are attending for only one day. Pre-registering has a bunch of perks including faster lines (thus faster access to the con), pre-con activities, and other things. It usually gets you some extra goodies from the con-bags as well! But pre-registration does have specific dates for when it closes! To remind yourself to pre-register, set an alarm or notification on your phone. Research the cost beforehand and budget to spend that money. Write a memo…do whatever it takes to remind yourself to get it done!

    Not pre-registering when traveling with a group can be a hindrance to other people. Non-registered lines operate at different times, and sometimes it means you can not attend early events which your friends might have planned to go to. Sometimes this means the group might have to go to the con a day later rather than a day early depending on how their schedules lined up because now you have to go through a different and longer line. So while it seems like a small thing, depending on the con, it can make a big difference!

    One of the cons I attended- a couple of our people did not pre-register like they were supposed to. We had the opportunity to experience the con a day early and had decided to do so (as a group), but then we found out that the longer lines closed early and that if we were to go to the convention, we would have to leave the other 2 people alone in the hotel. We made the decision to stay, but waiting for them to register did strike a nerve…especially when we realized the things we had missed because a couple people did not remember. Small things can make waves when it comes to plans…so try and do everything in your power to be proactive, to plan, and be responsible. Even nudge your friends if you have to…just try and be nice about it rather than bossy or pushy.

 

  • Just because it may be cheaper does NOT mean you should surround yourself with toxic people!
    —I learned this lesson my very first con. It is way cheaper to go to a convention with a bigger group. Most furries have at least 2-3 people they room with because splitting costs is usually a win-win for everyone. But just because you want to spend less money does not mean that you should put yourself in a bad/toxic situation. My first convention was still a good time. But, for all the good moments, there were just as many bad moments because of the people we were staying with.

    This all lead to a lot of unnecessary drama and my friend and I almost getting stranded at a hotel that was a ways from the con because people were not getting along. There were panels that were missed, a lot of time just spent sitting around, people arguing over simple things like food and when they wanted to go back to the hotel, fights about sleeping arrangements, and overall it was just BAD PLANNING because in the end, it was thought that “cheaper” would be better. No…just no.

    That’s not to say you shouldn’t room with friends. If you know a person and trust a person, and if you feel comfortable staying with a person, then by all means do so.

    Placing yourself in a bad situation also means allowing strangers to room with you in order to cut costs. I see so many people on con group pages asking for people to room with, and while some of them work out, scams are highly likely as well. If you are willing to take in a stranger, make sure you do your homework. Interview this person, get to know them. Talk with them in-person to make sure they are who they say they are (even if this means a skype call). Take your payment up-front and send verification that they are on the room’s list. Make good business decisions like you would if you were commissioning a fursuit or some other work! Make sure you set room rules, and even write up a contract if you have to. Protect yourself, your things, and your money! If this means spending more money to be safe…then save up more money and/or wait until the next convention!

 

  • Set aside emergency funds!
    —I don’t find this being pessimistic but more realistic when I say: “Not everything goes according to plan!” This just means life in general. In the time between registering for a convention and making it there, anything can happen! Even after the convention, life can happen and take you by surprise, so try and be prepared!
    By being prepared…I mean setting up a financial ‘cushion’ in case things go south. Maybe you miss your bus or plane, or maybe your car breaks down. Maybe an unexpected bill takes out or you miscalculated on your budget for food.
    Make sure you have extra money so that you can take care of whatever needs to get done so that you make it to the con safely and make it home safely as well.

 

  • Make a packing list!
    —I am the type of person that seems to always forget something when I am packing for a trip. Usually it’s just small things, but I know others that tend to forget major essentials and it can cause high tensions when trying to enjoy a con. What I do is I make a packing list. I make a list marking my essentials, things like props, and even emergency things. I leave a checkbox by the items and then check them off as I pack. This is just one of the ways you can avoid forgetting things…but I understand such a method does not work for everyone.
    So come up with a way that you can make some sort of list of what you need and then make sure those things make it into your luggage! Remember to take into account how you are getting to the convention when packing. When flying, you will have to follow those specific travel rules for what you can bring and what you can not bring. If riding a bus, the same thing applies.

    My first convention I took a bus, and I was not told that the bus only allowed one thing of luggage to be put under the bus (and it was my fault for not researching it). This lead to me having to have my other (heavy) luggage bag on my lap as well as my fursuit head while I sat uncomfortably for the next 4 hours.

    If you are driving with friends, try and account for how much room will be available for your things. And if traveling alone, still pack as little as you can since you never know if someone might need your help and have to make use of your vehicle. Though this has nothing to do with packing: CLEAN YOUR CAR! Especially if you are driving other people. It makes more room, it is way more comfortable, and it ensures that no one’s stuff gets dirty or damaged.

 

  • Commit!
    —Commit to the things you said you were going to do. This applies especially if you are traveling in a group. Owe someone a badge? Put a notification on your phone and make the badge! Have a fursuit to finish? Manage your time and set notifications to make the fursuit!!! Don’t put yourself in a position where you are doing things last-minute and you have to break promises because you were not responsible and organized…this is a bad way to start a convention!

    In saying that, don’t overload yourself when you know you have a bad habit of getting burnt out, overwhelmed, etc. Life happens, yes…but when you cause your own problems, it can make for serious issues when planning cons with people in the future…especially when you can not come through with things you promised to do. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, fulfill your obligations to friends and to customers alike. Make time to do things, even when you’re feeling lazy. Send money when you promised to send money, pay for the things you promised to pay for rather than backing out last minute.

    Don’t volunteer for something you might not be able to do because no one likes this type of person! Be responsible, be reliable, be honest…and commit!

 

  • Remember you are not OBLIGATED to take care of anyone for their mistakes!
    —While I say to “commit”, in the same likeness…you should not be held accountable to fix someone else’s mistake. If you have to take care of a cost because someone did not budget properly, make sure that person pays you back. If someone didn’t bring something, you are not obligated to get them the things they need. Even if this means they can’t spend money to buy that t-shirt or that plushie, that is not your fault. That falls on them, not on you. Do not sacrifice your fun and comfort because someone else did not plan as they were supposed to. You are not obligated to take care of anyone else other than yourself. Especially if you can not afford to take care of other people.

 

  • Remember that this convention is about YOU having a good time.
    —Don’t let anyone else ruin your fun. Don’t want drama? Don’t get involved in it. Someone trying to bring you down because they are down? Don’t let them drag you into their problems. Don’t let people guilt you into helping them with anything…and don’t let them tell you what you are going to do at a convention. This is YOUR time that you paid for. Do not let someone else run the show and ruin your fun. You’re free to break off from your friends if you wanna go to a panel they are not interested in. You are free to not go to that dance they want to go to because you don’t like dancing. You are free to drink (but if they say no alcohol in the room then respect that) or to not drink despite what others are doing. This time and this con is for all furries, but for all furries to have fun in their own way!

 

  • Read over con and hotel rules!
    —Convention rules are usually additional to hotel rules, so make sure you read over both. This can concern anything from alcoholic beverages to smoking and prop use. Make sure you read and understand what you can do and what you can not do. I know a common rule is that you are not allowed to sleep in the public hotel spaces or in the con space…this is for safety reasons and it can get you banned from the con for a day after multiple offenses. Also, some hotels allow alcohol, but only in designated areas (same goes for smoking), so make sure you read those rules.

    Since conventions tend to have themes to them, people like to dress up and bring props matching the theme…but there are rules as to what props are allowed and what are not allowed. If the rules do not specify something, proceed with caution but never assume it is allowed. I like to call hotel staff if I have a question and if the convention managers have not gotten back to my e-mails about such questions after a certain amount of time.

    Failure to follow rules can lead to being banned from a convention and even the hotel itself. Pleading ignorance does not get you off the hook either. So read up on the rules ahead of time.

 

  • If you’re in a group, go over the con schedule and plan out panels together!
    —One thing my buddy likes to do is to have everyone read over the con schedule and say what panels they are interested in. When you are traveling with a group, it’s okay to split up during the convention…but I will say that spending the convention with friends is a lot more fun. So, by planning out who wants to go to what panel, it usually ensures that you’re never alone and you have someone to go and see things with. Sometimes people might get interested in a panel they never thought about before because so many friends want to go to it. So it can never hurt. I find that planning these things before a con leads to a lot smoother of a con experience! This also can be good so that you can map out times when people are not busy and you can all meet up to go eat or check out the Dealer’s Den.

 

  • Create room rules and set other boundaries BEFORE the con!
    —It’s not very nice to get into a room, start settling in, and then suddenly get slapped in the face with rules. This is especially annoying when you might have already had plans for things you wanted to do. Now, if you’re rooming by yourself, this is not an issue…but, if you are rooming with other people, make sure you set rules and boundaries BEFORE you make it to the convention. This means laying out the rules on who gets room keys, where people are sleeping, what the rules about bringing over friends is, and anything else you feel needs to be covered.
    Often at Furry Conventions this can usually mean bringing over friends, dates, having alcohol in the room, and/or having a room party. Again, remember to follow hotel rules at all time!

 

  • Have a backup plan for EVERYTHING!
    —Like emergency funds, life happens…and it does not always concern money. I’m talking more in terms of transportation and things of that nature. People and machinery alike can prove to be unreliable at times, and life happens, so please have a backup plan for everything!

    If your friend can’t take you to the convention, then make sure you have a plan for that. Maybe there is a bus you can hop on or someone else you can call. You won’t have to panic if you have a plan A-B-C for if things go awry. Also if your car breaks down, the same thing applies. You and your group should have a bunch of emergency backup plans in case anything gets crazy.

 

  • Make sure you are making healthy changes BEFORE going to the con!
    —At a convention you will hear the 6-2-1 rule: At least 6 hours of sleep, at least 2 meals a day, and you have to bathe once per day at the minimum! But you should be making healthy changes before the convention, especially if you are a fursuiter. At a convention you are most likely going to eat like garbage. You will be having so much fun that you will go hours upon hours without food; then you will grab the first thing you see because you are starving!
    Dehydration is a real concern at conventions…but you don’t just wanna start being hydrated when you come to the convention. Start drinking more water the week prior. Try and eat as healthy as possible the week before a con so that when you are eating nothing but junk at the convention you might not feel terrible afterwards. Give your body a head-start into what is going to be the craziest, most fun weekend of your life!

 

  • Don’t be afraid to do something differently next year…
    —If your arrangements that you made this year do not work out, or if you learn some things that you can do better to ensure you have a better time at the next convention…then don’t be afraid to do it. Do not be afraid to not room with that friend you have because maybe you guys don’t agree on room rules…and don’t be afraid to say you’re not driving everyone next year. This all comes back to the convention being about you having fun.
    Conventions have their stressful points, but they shouldn’t be remembered as stressful. They shouldn’t be remembered for all the things that went wrong but for the amazing memories that you made while there. So learn from your experiences and use that knowledge to improve on how to tackle future conventions…even if other people might not agree with you.

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Sometimes my advice may seem a little harsh…but I promised myself to only ever be realistic and honest, even if the truth might hurt. You may or may not like this advice, think it sounds a bit too depressing, or whatever…but the tools are there if you choose to use them.

Conventions are never perfect…but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Sometimes the funniest and best things stem from a mistake or mishap. So even if things are not 100%, it does not mean you are bound for a bad time. But, the smoother something can sail, the better.

So, I wish you all the best with your convention preparations! Captain, Escap’e, Rune, Pitch, and other awesome peeps will be wandering around Texas Furry Fiesta just waiting to say hello! I personally like hugs and photos so don’t be shy to come up and have a word (or chirp) with me!!!

Thank you all for reading, and I will see you all in the next blog ๐Ÿ˜‰


P.S= Furry Con season means Stolen fursuit season! You can see my tips and advice for protecting your fursuits HERE

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