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Like the title says, Furry Fiesta 2014, the first Furry convention at the Hotel Intercontinental Dallas, made lots and lots of people happy. Going by your feedback, tweets, and con reports, we’re glad we could bring you the convention we imagined over a year of planning. Blotch and BBF were a joy to work with, our musicians delivered great sound, and our new and admittedly experimental panels went awesome. We have a fantastic staff to thank, but beyond that we must acknowledge the wonderful response and participation of the community we serve. Furry really is a family.
Our biggest number to report this year is $19,000 (we round up!) – the amount we’re excited to deliver to our dear charity, The Center for Animal Research and Education. We fed many a cat this weekend. With attendance of 1,884, MANY of you from lands outside our Texan borders, we experienced a phenomenal 22.5% growth rate. We’re not sure how long the attendance of Furry Fiesta can keep up with the GDP of China, but clearly we have a lot of staff expansion to work on this year. We expanded staff to just over 80 brave souls, and again we felt like we could use more. We expect to grow our small army to 110 for 2015, and if you’re interested please send me an email at email@example.com.
I can’t thank the hotel enough for giving us a chance. This is the first fandom convention the Intercontinental has hosted in over half a decade, and it held up phenomenally. There were the bumps that we expected, moving more people in more unfamiliar territory, getting used to new floor plans and new systems, but our staff responded where we had control to do so. For a convention that nearly doubled in size over the last 3 years, the hallways felt expansive and open. Kempi’s was great fun, and our panel attendance counts were high. At first I was worried things looked sort of empty, but it’s just because there’s SO much room. I’m hearing a lot of comparisons to FC’s Double Tree hotel, except bigger. We expect more growth going forward, and I think this hotel is ready for it. And after having been in there for a year, I think we’re more prepared as well. As a bonus? Not being so cramped may have contributed to a markedly lower rate of con crud!
A big thank you to the attendees for taking care of our home – we had very few hotel related issues caused by membership. At one point a Sales Rep told me that we’re better behaved than most corporate groups. Let’s face it, we’re a lot more adorable, too!
We expanded staff by 33% to ramp up for the larger space, and it wasn’t nearly enough. We had 1 staffer for every 24 attendees, and we’re working to get that ratio down. Registration had an entirely new department lead, and he performed wonderfully. AV’s large staff was competent, talented, and Ratchet, Miz, Oddy, Firr, and the rest of the crew delivered crisp sound and dealt with issues as they arose, despite a challenging weekend including 7 stage using acts (6 musical!). I know our executive staff had lots of exhaustion after the carnival left town, but there’s a whole flood of ideas coming from our people. They’re engaged and ready to make next year run as smoothly as we enjoyed at the Crowne. Without a staff, there’s no convention. Without a convention, there’s no fun. Thank a Staffer today!
A heartfelt thank you to our staff and volunteers who sacrificed our time and energy to bring the masses such joy. I’m in awe of the dedication, passion, and work that quickly constructs and breaks down a 3 day happiness factory for animal people.
We’ve got a lot of tuning to do. If you have some feedback for making 2015 a better convention experience, please let us know on our forums here. Our staff just had a 7 hour meeting yesterday, so we’ve got a lot to work with. Only you have your own individual perspective though. Your feedback helps us make your convention better year over year.
Furry Fiesta is becoming a National convention – I met people from CA, WA, NY, FL, AL, OK, CO, and lots more states. Go back and tell your friends to come next year! And thank you for coming. Thanks for braving flights and hotel rooms and all that madness to come hang out with us. That’s a big complement. Lot’s of you expect to return! That’s the biggest complement.
And see y’all next year!
2015 Con Chair
Texas Furry Fiesta
Dear Fuzzies, Scalies, and Inexplicable Hybrids,
We have a little bit of news to share about he upcoming convention! The schedule is up, the pre-registration numbers are in, and we’ve brought a lot of folks in to help you party this year. We’re just scratching the surface here.
Pre-registration closed just a little over one week ago. When the dust settled, over 1,060 of you signed up to hang out with us in our new digs. We’ve been busy getting this year ready, and ready we are. With Blotch‘s amazing work gracing our conbook, and Big Blue Fox coming to teach us a thing or two about capturing a convention memory, the fur will fly far and wide at The Hotel Intercontinental Dallas on the 21st.
Our schedule is up! Visit http://furryfiesta2014.sched.org/ for a hit by hit of every panel, every room opening, and every event. You can use this site on the fly, or login to create a personalized convention schedule. This site plays well with mobile devices, and should be your best friend during the convention.
Furry Fiesta will feature TWO concerts each day of the convention.
* Alexander James Adams the “Faerie Tale Minstrel”
* Fox Amoore and vocalist Amadhia raise funds for our charity, C.A.R.E. in this concert with a cause.
——Admission is free, but donations are welcome throughout the performance.
Get all the latest TFF news @FurryFiesta on Twitter.
I look forward to seeing all of you very soon. Only a little over a week before we fill the Hotel Intercontinental Dallas with animal people! Let’s do this!
2014 Convention Chair
Texas Furry Fiesta
Furry Fiesta has experienced five years of consecutive growth and powerful support from the community it serves. In the 2013 cycle, we sailed the ocean blue with attendance of 1492. You should have seen Diddy, he was out searching for just eight (more) homeless people to register. And while many vagrants evaded our head of registration, you were all out in force throwing money at 600 lb kittens – raising $13,000 for the Center for Animal Research and Education. Every fur’s a hero in their own way.
Back in 2009, around 500 of you showed up to support the first attempt at establishing a recurring “Convention de la Furballs” in the state, bringing a little fuzzy chaos to a traditionally conservative landscape. A staff with a Texas brand of pioneering spirit and a devoted volunteer force kept the event alive. Half a decade later your convention tripled in size, and the Crowne Plaza could not magically engorge it’s space-time footprint. It was time to grab our 10 gallon hats, and boogie on before the whole world fell apart. And so this year we have a new home – The Intercontinental Dallas.
So first off, if you reserved at the Crowne Plaza again, go fix that. Here’s some important things to learn about our nice new home:
*** THE ROOM BLOCK IS OPEN! ***
* Rooms are $99/Night
* Room code is FUR to get our group discount rate online
* Mention that you’re with Furry Fiesta 2014 if you reserve on the phone lines
* The hotel restaurant makes ridiculously good food
* There is Starbucks coffee sold in the lobby
* Escalators! And lots of elevators.
* The convention largely takes place on floors one and two, but the 3rd floor has a meeting room.
* There is a room with a night club feel in the basement. Yes, we has it.
We’re very excited.
Diddy can see the hotel from his home. I find that humorous, because his sanity is tenuous. You might remember Diddy as the wolf who showed up to closing ceremonies in a strait jacket. Y’all will be comforted to know he’s been released (I’m guessing because his insurance ran out), and is almost ready to register you again in 2014. But not yet!
Registration will be opening up soon. A lot of our pages are in the works. With a new hotel comes new floor plans and re-engineering. We’re working hard bring everything on-line, literally!
Let me wrap up by thanking all of you for letting us continue this heroic endeavor. A big thanks to Keggy for a fantastic banner up top. Thanks to Ipequey for continuing to put a quality site up for us.
A word on BBF – click that link to visit all sorts of conventions you’ve never been to, he’s a magician who can transport you to furry cons past just by hitting play. This is a big year for us!
THANK YOU, and we’ll see you next year!
-Path Hyena, Convention Chair
And, if you can understand my barks and growls, you can follow me @pathhyena