The convention was simply amazing, I just don't want to stop talking about it because I don't want it to be over! Even now I'm my brain is still in convention mode and I want to get up, set things up, do things, hug things, play games with people and so much other stuff.
In fact, I can already say that the staff had already started discussing next year as the last attendees were being driven off. We know what needs improving and we will try our best to make it happen. We already have some great ideas for next years stage events and we hope we will be able to get even more of you involved next year.
Still though, we are listening to everything you say. I'm personally scanning LiveJournal for all I can but please, sign up for the forum and make a post to the feedback board. You don't have to even copy paste, just drop a link to your public entry elsewhere if you've already written up a con review!
Additionally, a mini front page has been setup with links to the forum and gallery which is up and running. Just register there and you can post your photos for everyone to find. :) (Surprisingly, I've only seen myself a few times so far! I think Tiger Tom and Spirit Raptor took the most of me, and they of course are still reviewing their snaps and selecting the best.)
Oh my, for the last two weeks I had been working non-stop on the electronic sign which lasted about half an hour in the end. c_c; In the end though, the rush, the inability to do real testing and lack of people to bounce ideas off and work with just caused the entire thing to do the inevitable and leave me with a bug that killed me at launch, completed with one fox-like tailed rabbit snapping a picture of the crash screen. Sigh.
I decided to put it behind me though and quickly get in to the swing of things. Having heard how Registration normally took forever at other conventions, I was surprised when it was largely done and dusted in about half an hour. What I can recommend here is the correct application of the appropriate technology. In our case, we used the powerful pulped wood and ink-based system which meant we didn't have to worry about fussy PC's and just scanned a few alphabetical lists and crossed people off them! Likewise, although I almost missed the start with my arrival time, I must praise everyone who did pre-con setup. I'm thinking next year I'll join the 'Advance Team' and arrive Thursday so I can help out early. :)
I also spent a bit of time blowing an inflatable orca. Yes, there are photos.
After a slightly low meat BBQ, I met lilsi and Res and several others who joined my team for the WikiFur Quiz which didn't go as well as I planned. c_c Next year, I'm bringing a laptop and editing the entries as I go to suit my team's answers! >:) (Don't worry GR, you can always roll back. ^.^; )
A fairly early night then followed and a slightly off sleep as I adjusted to the beds.
I decided for a shower before breakfast, at which I was then surprised by the quality of the food. Had a little bit of everything! I then helped Exile setup the Fox room for the t-shirt drawing session, providing the idea for the 'broken polo' table layout that anyone who used the Fox room thereafter saw. Let me know if that worked for everyone's events or if any one would of preferred a different layout for their event!
The rest of the morning I mostly relaxed and watched some of the Fur-E-Okie!, a memory I will carry always in a locked box marked do not open. Well, apart from Twll's decent in to Python for the final song. That makes me smile when ever I think about it.
After another tasty lunch I helped graafen setup Up, Down, Left, Right which despite a few location issues, and having to share the projector with the rest of the con went, I think in everyone's opinion, really well! Next year I think though we will split it up in to individual game events so that those playing one game don't have to hang around watching others play a game they don't want to. We'll also ensure we have a better display so that you can see darker levels! Oh, and more cooling. :)
Finally after dinner, I watched Fursuit TV which I must admit is not something I normally par take of, fursuit montages aren't normally my thing. But the collection of various UK comedy shows was nice and the footage from the Sheffield get together was something I hadn't seen. :)
It also gave me an idea for something which I then spoke to Spirit Raptor, Tiger Tom and Leinir about in the bar. A convention TV crew and interview show. Documentary style, interviews with attendees about the con and general furry stuff, recording the less 'bouncy' but interesting events such as panels, art workshops, and so on. Would people be interested in such a thing?
Sleep came early and so the following day arrived with a slightly better sleep after I accidentally left my bed light on and the rain ran on the window, providing me with conditions closer to my own bedroom!
This time, breakfast and then shower! I believe it was while I was eating I was told I would be taking part in Call My Fluff. Which somewhat worried me. I'm not normally a performance sort of person, which is kind of odd as I admit I like receiving praise and being recognised for good work. But I guess I like doing it from backstage! I also got Graafen a coffee in our room which helped kick start him after the DJ'ing of the night previous.
An unplanned event was then organised by myself after people requested wanting to play some Halo 3, so after breakfast and during the Parade, I re-set up the library with the Xbox 360 for Halo 3 and several matches were enjoyed before the plug was pulled just before lunch for the projector again. As I said in the previous day's report, I'll organise these things better next year personally!
After a quick lunch, I was then set in to a team with Exile and Tungro as I remember. Practising our bluffs and truths at the last moment before stepping on to the stage. I was then surprised to find it exciting and fun to do, despite the attendee's cameras and Lev's (questionable) use of sound effects to highlight certain issues I mentioned at the start of this report. >:| It seems I've already been nominated to take part in a panel game we are planning for next year in a certain obvious role once you find out what it is. And this time I don't mind. ;)
After the game (which my team won! Woo!), I helped set up Win, Lose or (P/)Dr-aw Off before going for a small relax in the bar with the raptor and others again. I also watched the Fursuit Workshop despite no plans currently to get one though.. given a stable income..
After this, the staff made the only use of their red badge privileges to jump the dinner queue so we could start setup early for the evening events. (The rest of the time, we queued with the rest of you or in the cases of the chairman and a few others, missed meals. I'm not -that- crazy though. FOOD!) The DDR dance pad was in fact purchased the earlier that day due to various problems. After checking out modes we got the session going and I estimate about 30 people crammed in to that room at one point! Including a few suiters (who did some amazing performances), BBF with his camera and many spectators. As such I tried to increase the seating and cooling as best I could. The change of venue for this event next year and advanced preparation should ensure a good experience for everyone from the start.
After a hour, I booted everyone out and tared down that event while trying to help where I could with the art auction setup. (Not much I could do really other than making sure the projector was ready to go.) As we all know, it started slow but eventually with the help of one wonderfully loud and enthusiastic American, over £1300~ (double that for $) was raised for charity. (Thank you fawksbeaumont! ^_^)
Who's Yerf..? was not bad and allows for some nice laughs before we setup the final dance and as the music started, allowed smug mode to be engaged knowing all the events were completed. I spent time then hovering around, having a few drinks (tea :3) and chatting with random attendees, starting to get feedback. One person telling me it was both 'the best con they had ever been to' and 'the most organised con they had ever been to'. Which was you can imagine made me question their sobriety but the reasons they gave as to why I had to agree to. We ourselves can't believe everything did go so well and I can only thank both the other members of staff who remained professional and attentive throughout the con. And the attendees for behaving as well as they did.
The final day was odd as obviously, nothing fun really took place, but the feelings of satisfaction that came with it can't be measured. I made sure to eat, shower and clear my stuff from my room fast so I could assist downstairs. Technology made its last attempt to strike back as we amputated the dead system from the YHA's projection system and I set up my laptop to provide some access to travel info for some of you which I hope you found useful. Next year I'll again, aim to get this up earlier with a faster net line so we can help more people if needed. If you can think of anything else you would want to do quickly online before you leave the con in the morning, do let me know here so I prepare for it. :)
The group photo was of course great and I half expected Tiger Tom to hit a button and then leg it back around the bridge to join the photo himself! Suppose there is always Photoshop? ;)
After most of you were gone (just BBF and those going to the airport), we set off to our champaign reception at the
The last thing to report is that as the last attendees left, Twll started (as far as I know) the tradition of us turning out badges over to the blank side. After all, without you guys, our staff positions mean nothing. :) I then set off on foot with Graafen, Exile and Leinir to the station via tram. Carrying my wheel-less luggage. (This is also something that will be corrected for next year. c_c) A rough trip home on the floor of the vestibule of the train carriage, followed by a taxi ride to a 11 hour sleep followed and I woke up wishing I was still there. While my legs thanked me that I wasn't.
Finally, here are my two conbadges. First the staff one (which won't be valid for next year ;) ):
And the sweet art one by WingedWolf. My first real art badge!
Hugs to everyone I met and thank you again to everyone that made it great. I'll see you next year!