My Anthrocon 2009 Report

Wow, this took a long time to write. Smiling It was something I had been procrastinating on for awhile, mostly on account of me not uploading my pictures. Now that all of my pictures are up on Flickr, I can get down to writing about the con.

Anthrocon 2009 started for me on the Tuesday evening before the con. I met up with Whitefeet, Ethan Staghorne, and Pinky in Philadelphia. I picked up a rental car, and we headed out to Pittsburgh. Ethan brought along an iTrip and we took turns listening to each others' iPods.

Fursuit Parade

Wednesday was a pretty calm day for me. I got Ops set up and running, and then got the Registration computers set up later in the evening. This year was a change, as I was tasked with writing the convention's registration software. So I made sure I had extra time to get everything set up and tested well in advance.

Come Thursday, I was starting to get the pre-launch jitters. People were lining up for onsite registrations, and I wanted to be sure that my software would work properly. Nik Vulper even remarked to me once that I had my "game face" on. When Registration did finally open around 3, I was please to see that my code did actually run properly. Other than making periodic backups and checking that the slave database server was staying in sync, I didn't have any serious work to do in Registration the rest of the weekend.

Fursuit Parade Fursuit Parade Fursuit Parade

On Friday, I danced a bit in DJ Protocollie's dance that night, then swung by my room. I found waiting for me a 10-pack of small bottles of different Swedish liquors, courtesy of Ethan, and a printing out drinking songs to sing with them. Ethan explained that you were supposed to sing between shots. I just stared at incomprehensible Swedish between shots. (Swedish is almost as difficult to understand as Danish is, I might add Smiling

Saturday was the quietst day for Con Ops. I spent a fair amount of time out and about the con that day. It was also the day we held the fursuiter parade, where a total of 640 fursuiters marched in it. I remember when the number was announced over the radio, I had to ask that it be repeated, because I wasn't sure I heard it right the first time.

640 fursuiters in Hall C

Sunday was the "let's wrap things up day". Registration and Ops were winding down. All I had to do in reg was run final stats, make a final backup of the data, and pack up the computers. The total number of attendees at Anthrocon 2009? 3,776 attendees

Fursuit Parade

Looking back after the con, there were a number of things that made it really fun:

- Everything ran so smoothly. A number of staff members were returning to their roles for the 3rd or 4th consecutive year, so many people knew exactly how things worked at the con. And those who were on staff for the first time were able to learn from the more experienced folks. Staff retention is a good thing!

- Twitter. I kept an eye on Twitter during the con and followed up on questions people had about the con. It was nice to communicate with other attendees in near-real time and answer questions as they came up.

- The Logistics staff (mainly Talon and Corvin) It was our first year doing it, and they did an amazing job keeping track of where all of our equipment was. It saved me so much stress on Monday morning when I didn't have to track down all of the radios myself. Smiling

A fursuiter hugging Dolph the Fascist Hippo- My Dolph plushie. I carried it around for a bit during the con, and it achieved the desired effects of getting strange looks from other attendees, and some folks asked for a more detailed explanation. I found that the following makes a great executive summary of Dolph: "Denis Leary in a fursuit"

- Someone dropped off a painting of a cheetah in the Ops Office for me at some point during the con. My staff apparently knows who it was, but wouldn't tell me. Well, thanks for the painting, anonymous person! Smiling

Fursuiter Chess

Also, I think the best thing we did this year was to move the Registration area over into the DLCC. This was a Big Win in several ways:

- Wide open area versus a narrow hallway

- High ceilings vs. low ceilings.

- Floor to ceiling windows with natural light and a view of the river versus no windows and very little natural light.

The onsite registration terminals

This move seemed to affect everyone's attitude in a positive way for the convention. I talked to many people from attendees, to security, to hotel and DLCC employees, and everyone said that everyone else seemed nicer and less stressed than in previous years. I even felt less stressed myself.

Saturday night Rave Saturday night Rave Saturday night Rave

Anthrocon 2010 will be held from June 24th to 27th, 2010 with the theme of "Modern Stone-Age Furries". Looking for ideas to go with that theme? Neogeen has tons and tons of ideas for you.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for coming to the con.

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