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Going to your first furry convention?

bearetic

Icon by marcothecat
I'm hoping to find some information for myself, as well as create a sticky for others! Because I'm sure others want to ask this question, too, and I didn't find a good thread in the first 6 pages. (The awesome search function threw out the word "first"... >_<)

I'm going to let this OP be generic and editable, and ask my question in the next post. Even if this doesn't become a sticky, I hope I can get some good advice here!

Happy con-going, everyone!
 

bearetic

Icon by marcothecat
I want to plan ahead, save up, find a ride, people to hang out with, etc., and go to Furry Fiesta next year! (Feb. 19-21, 2010) It wouldn't be my first convention or convention-like experience of any sort, but I might as well call it my first con, as well as my first fur con.

I'm a lone Lone Star Furry (no irl friends in the fandom atm), with no car, in college in Waco, still dependent on my parents.

Any advice?
 

Istanbul

...with a grain of salt
Make sure that you plan well in advance. Try to get roomies (ideally, two), and make sure that your backside is covered if one of them bails at the last minute. Make sure to call the hotel a week before the con to confirm your reservation.

You need to plan money for the hotel room, food, transportation, and registration. How much spending cash you set aside is entirely up to you.

Keep in mind that there will be a lot of people very much like you surrounding you. You can hide out in the internet room and/or not speak to anyone, but you'll have a much better time and get a much better value for your dollar if you keep in mind that these people mostly think a lot like you do.

When you pack, make sure to leave room in your suitcase; remember, you're probably going to return home with more stuff and less cash. I recommend purchasing comic book sleeves and a three-ring binder for prints, comic book sleeves with backings for your comic books, and - if you plan to get one - a book for your sketches.

Bring toiletries like a toothbrush, razor, hairbrush, etc. Realize that the hotel will have the most basic of amenities available for free, but they'll almost certainly be different than you're used to, and they likely won't have anything special you may need like a beard trimmer, dental floss, etc. If you take medication, bring it.

There is a rule and a recommendation. The rule is 6/2/1. The recommendation is 8/3/2. The rule means that you should get 6 hours of sleep per night, eat 2 meals a day, and shower 1 time per day. That's a minimum. You'll be a lot happier (as will everyone around you) if you get 8 hours, 3 meals, and 2 showers. (Please note, in a room with 3-4 people, 2 showers may be difficult. Don't be afraid to ask the hotel for more towels.)

Don't be too shy to approach artists, staff, or anyone else. We're all people; none of us are superheros, none of us have brought about world peace or crap diamonds. If you want to talk to someone, do it, and they'll (probably) not mind one bit.

Take some time to create a checklist of the things you want to bring. You won't want to be sitting there at the convention saying, "Jeez, I really wish I had brought my <whatever>." If it's a game, bring it. If it's a badge, bring it. Anything you want to show off and/or use at the con, bring it...just remember to keep a close eye on it, just in case.

Those are just some things I thought up off the top of my head. I'm sure there's more that people will add later, but sleepy bunneh is sleepy. -.-
 

SomyWulf

BRING IN THE DOGS!!!
ok heres another question. do you have to use the hotel there or can you leave to go spend the night some were else and come back the next day?
 
M

Morroke

Guest
ok heres another question. do you have to use the hotel there or can you leave to go spend the night some were else and come back the next day?

As long as you have your badge to the con or are going to line up for it you'll be fine. They can't force you to get a hotel room, because there's limited space.
 

Istanbul

...with a grain of salt
Morroke speaks the truth. That said, pretty much everyone I've ever spoken to who didn't stay at the con hotel wished they had. If you can afford it, and it's available, stay at the con hotel. (It also helps the convention out, since the hotel wants very much to fill up.)
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
OK, for a con noob such as myself, what should I be looking to DO at a con? My main goal is to meet furs (preferably ones who live inside of 500 miles of me) but beyond that I really don't know what else to do. Sure, I'll buy some art and I'll probably buy a shoulder dragon if I can find one but beyond that I really don't know what else there is to do at a con.
 

Irreverent

Member
OK, for a con noob such as myself, what should I be looking to DO at a con? My main goal is to meet furs (preferably ones who live inside of 500 miles of me)

Well, this for sure, that's why I'm going.

but beyond that I really don't know what else to do.

Based on my research, most Con's have a pretty full daily agenda, usually available in advance, so you can plan your day. Expect there to be a bunch of lectures, workshops, hands on classes that you can attend, and then more social-like events towards the evening. Find the website for the Con you're planning to attend and build your own list of daily activities based on what's there. Depending on the size, you might not be able to see it all. The Con may even have its own Forum, so you can meet people and make plans to hook up for events and food in advance.
 

kalanaph

New Member
Is there a website I visit with some information on it or something about furcons? Other then Wikipedia, please.
 

Xipoid

Cameras
A Furry Convention Is
A furry convention is a body that allows anyone within its boundaries for a nominal fee that can give access for either the entire duration of the convention or simply one day. Conventions book hotels and convention centers and are generally given a special low-rate since they tend to bring a large quantity of people who will end up spending plenty of money. This translates into a lower rate than normal for those who choose to stay at the convention's hotel of choice. Nearby hotels may not offer the same incentive.

A furry convention runs on the bottommost floors of a hotel (starting with the lobby) and can extended into a convention center if large enough. They can generally be described as a congregation of individuals lazing about a hall with rooms at the sides containing panels, dances, parties, socials, mixers, art galleries, and other non-mandatory events. Furry conventions attract all colors of furries. Being so, conventions also serve a secondary agenda of a meeting ground for other members of the fandom as well as a place to interface with artists.


Things to Do
- Browse art or other paraphernalia
- Socialize
- Meet new people
- Attend panels
- Go to parties/dances
- See the local area
- Draw things
- Simply hang out

The day before the convention usually has some sort of pre-con social or mixer for people to meet or hang around. Official convention events begin on the first listed day around 1000-1200 (10 am - 12 pm). They will run all day and night until 0200-0400 and start up again from 0700-0900. Even when the convention is "closed" you will not be forced to your room. The hotel is open all day everyday, and the local city might have a nightlife of its own.

There is as much to do at a convention as you will let yourself. There is as much to experience as you will let yourself. There is as much to fear as you will let yourself.


What to Expect
Many individuals will simply be hanging out in the hallways socializing or just wandering about with their friends. This is very similar to any other interest based convention should have have been to one. There will be activities for you to partake in completely at your own volition. There are no convention specific expectations you will be held to (anything you will be held to are local ordinances and state/federal laws).


Think of the convention like going to any public place. Everyone is there for the same purpose, and generally will not concern themself with the others occupying the area. You may see some strange things since there is never a shortage of strange people. You can be as invisible or obvious as you wish to be.


Hotel
The hotel block (the number rooms allotted to the convention for guests) tends to fill up quickly.

Paying for you room can be done in numerous methods.

  • Cash - You may pay the full amount (or more) for the room upon check-in. The hotel will credit your account and deduct money from it with each passing night and for all services rendered. When you checkout, you will be refunded any remaining cash, or charged for any deficiencies.
  • Debit/credit - Using plastic is generally not advisable except under certain circumstances. In order to protect itself, the hotel will place a hold (not a charge) on your card for the total room cost AND an additional 30-50%. This hold will last for anywhere from 5-10 days after you checkout. It will subsequently be removed and then you will be charged for the actual costs incurred. Note: Any money under this hold will be frozen and unavailable for use. This hold is placed upon check-in not reservation; however, some hotels will charge a reservation fee to prevent people from reserving a room and then canceling at the last minute. This fee will be deducted from your room costs if you do not cancel your reservation.
  • Cashier's check/Bank Note - Same as cash.
  • Personal check - Most major hotels do not take personal checks.
The rumors you hear about "room parties" and whatnot, are more true than false excluding some literary embellishment. However, they are kept inside private hotel rooms and do not make their presence known on the convention floor. Conventions generally take a no tolerance policy with such actions in public areas (as does the hotel staff and security), giving you nothing to worry about.


Rules and Regulations

Rules and regulations at any convention will differ slightly, but usually they follow some sort of rules of conduct. These are generally common sense that are similar to what is expected of you in any public place as well as some legal information.

Here are some examples:
Anthrocon's Standards of Conduct
FWA's Policies
Further Confusion's Policies


There has yet to be any convention that mandates every and any attendee must either wear a fursuit, be a furry, or even wear anything furry related. There are also no unspoken rules of attire or conduct that you will be expected to adhere to. In fact, no one will care if you or someone with you is or is not a furry.
 

PassionFluxX

Fidigidegty
All of this is very good advice.

I just got back from my first convention at Furry Weekend Atlanta (awesome con btw)

The one thing I found most useful was to say "HI!!!!!" even when no one knows who the hell you are.

I was there a day before the con started and I was running around butting my head into people before it even started, saying hi, asking where they were from and telling them it was my first con and I was excited.

I met MANY friends this way (so many I couldn't decide who to go with half of the time.. which lead to some happy problems). I always had someone to go out and eat with and never had a moment when I didn't have anyone to talk to.

Don't be afraid to be loud. No one there (or very few people) will be quiet. They WANT you to say hi.


That's the first step.
 

FanaticRat

Okay, so I lied.
While I've been to plenty of anime conventions, I've never been to a furry one, especially since my family doesn't know I'm a furry and most of my friends aren't exactly cool with that kind of thing. While I'm 18 now and will be college next year, I don't know how I could really do it without going with a group of people. Any suggestions? Should I attempt to get some of my less-critical non-furry friends to tag along or is that a bad idea?
 

PassionFluxX

Fidigidegty
While I've been to plenty of anime conventions, I've never been to a furry one, especially since my family doesn't know I'm a furry and most of my friends aren't exactly cool with that kind of thing. While I'm 18 now and will be college next year, I don't know how I could really do it without going with a group of people. Any suggestions? Should I attempt to get some of my less-critical non-furry friends to tag along or is that a bad idea?


My roomies are not furries (or at least they didn't used to be). And when I went to my first con only about a week ago, I found myself finding out VERY fast that they would've LOVED it.

If you're friends are outgoing, don't mind video games, and like to dance like an idiot-- those are the people to take and you'd be GLAD to. Don't freak yourself out with a huge like anthrocon if your going to be bringing friends along that aren't familiar with the community. Go to a smaller one first, it's more of a close knit group and you might feel more comfortable.

Or, simply find someone on the forum or FA you can talk to. nab their AIM and bunk a room with them!
 

matt561

Member
My first convention is this summerwhen a veteran takes me...is this a wise choice?

like not just to be in the shadow of the other guy all teh time?
 

ForestFox91

can't dance
The closest one to me is Furry Fiesta. I just have to convince my parents to let me drive for 9-10 hours to the heart of Texas.
 

bearetic

Icon by marcothecat
All of this is very good advice.

I just got back from my first convention at Furry Weekend Atlanta (awesome con btw)

The one thing I found most useful was to say "HI!!!!!" even when no one knows who the hell you are.

I was there a day before the con started and I was running around butting my head into people before it even started, saying hi, asking where they were from and telling them it was my first con and I was excited.

I met MANY friends this way (so many I couldn't decide who to go with half of the time.. which lead to some happy problems). I always had someone to go out and eat with and never had a moment when I didn't have anyone to talk to.

Don't be afraid to be loud. No one there (or very few people) will be quiet. They WANT you to say hi.


That's the first step.

Yes, all of this thread IS good advice, and this post in particular makes me feel MUCH less apprehensive!

My roomies are not furries (or at least they didn't used to be). And when I went to my first con only about a week ago, I found myself finding out VERY fast that they would've LOVED it.

If you're friends are outgoing, don't mind video games, and like to dance like an idiot-- those are the people to take and you'd be GLAD to. Don't freak yourself out with a huge like anthrocon if your going to be bringing friends along that aren't familiar with the community. Go to a smaller one first, it's more of a close knit group and you might feel more comfortable.

Or, simply find someone on the forum or FA you can talk to. nab their AIM and bunk a room with them!

Makes me be MUCH less afraid to ask some non-furry friends to the con, and much less fearful that I won't enjoy it! I'm sure it'll be a blast!!!
 

Telnac

Fundamentalist Heretic
Thanks for the info! Doesn't sound all that different from some of the gaming cons I've attended in the past.
 
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