If you are planning on attending Further Confusion 2013, the furry convention in San Jose, let's meet up! We could talk Furry, Krystal, Star Fox, Video Games, Website Development, Ponies... WHATEVER! I should be there all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I'm not giving a talk or anything, just a regular attendee. It would be really cool to meet some of you and put a face with your name.
Someone sent me an email asking what furry cons are like, and I thought that information would benefit everyone. First, let me paraphrase the email:
"What exactly goes on at a furry convention? Do you sell art? Just talk? Walk around in suits? I've heard rumors of some less respectable things going on there, so I'm curious if that's true."
Different cons are different, but from what I've seen, they usually have these things:
- Panels - These are little events where at least one person speaks. They can be in the format of a lecture, a presentation, a roundtable (where a group talks and takes questions from the audience), or even open discussion, where everyone gets together to talk about a specific subject (like Pokémon).
- Dealers Room - Famous and not-so-famous artists and craftsmakers set up tables where they put their art pieces for sale. Often the artists will take commissions right there for whatever you want (for the right price, of course)
- Art Show - Artists show off their works in an art gallery style. Sometimes the art is for sale or part of a silent auction
- Fursuit Parade - All fursuiters are encouraged to dress up all at once. They all walk through the halls showing off their suits. This is usually considered the highlight of the entire show, happening at the peak time with the most con goers present
- Larger Ceremonies - There are usually a few larger events by the con itself, such as the Opening and Closing ceremonies. They also usually have some kind of fursuit/acting contest complete with judging and prizes
- Gaming - Gamers get together and play games like Rock Band, Smash Bros., Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, and many others
- Dances - Usually every night, there are different DJs playing different types of music and encouraging people to dance. Some dances are specifically for fursuiters. As these dances get later into the night, the music becomes more and more dance/electronic type stuff, going very late
- Charity Events - Where they get a bunch of con goers to participate in a charity activity. I've heard of fursuit runs where they run a mile in a fursuit or something for charity. Most cons have at least one charity, but they don't always have an event associated with it
- General Meeting and Hanging Out - For people who go to a lot of cons, this is usually the most important aspect of the con. It represents the one or two times per year that they can meet and hang out with their furry friends from all over the country (or world)
Other than the fursuit parade, the activities listed above are exactly the same kind of thing you'll find at a Brony con, and I suspect many other types of nerdy cons (anime, Trekkie, etc).
As for less than reputable activities, there are a couple things to avoid:
- There are sometimes adults-only panels late at night, requiring ID. Things like "how to write erotic fiction"
- Sometimes the art show will have adult content artwork. When they do, it's sectioned off with curtains or in a different room, and they require ID
- Some of the dealers sell inappropriate artwork. If it's a dealer selling primarily erotic stuff, just avoid their table entirely. Usually, it's a mixture, with one artist selling both adult and general audience art. They usually separate the adult-only stuff into a separate binder or area, or if not that, they put stickers over the offending parts of the art
- Most con goers have a hotel room, and occasionally they will have a small party in their rooms. This is usually discouraged by the con staff to avoid disturbing the other hotel guests. If anything inappropriate activities were to happen, they would probably happen in some hotel room without the knowledge or approval of the con itself
Also, most con goers do not wear fursuits. From what I saw there are at least five to ten times as many people not wearing fursuits than those that do. Much more common are people wearing tails or ears, and more recently, themed hats. I actually felt a little out of place with my polo shirt and jeans.