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Con Beware

Ok, I know this is a new and somewhat unusual beware for this community. I'm posting because FurFestNorthwest.com are contacting many artists trying to sell dealers tables and art panels. I know quite a few artists, and my wife is one of them, and I hate to see anyone get in to something like this without having all of the background info first. I'm not trying to disparage FurFestNorthwest, just make sure that everyone knows what they're really getting in to. Everything here is from the horse's mouth or their website. Good Luck to them and all, and we'll see how it goes.

I'm highly skeptical about this Con, and I know a lot of other folks are too. Nobody knows exactly how it is funded. They claim that all they need are "only" 200 furs to pull it off[1]. Bringing in 200 furs in only 4 months of planning is a huge challenge for a big city, let alone little Moscow, Idaho. If they go bust, will you get a refund? Will you spend $450 dollars to fly from Denver Colorado [2], plus $80 a night[3], plus pay for some of your banquet[4], and possibly tentative costs to run a tentatively open dealer table and participate in the tentatively priced art show, only to find that the entire con consists of 20 bored furries from eastern Washington? Will you pay hundreds of dollars and drag your artwork to Idaho just to find that you're spending an overpriced weekend vacation in a little college town with few attractions?

1. http://www.furbox.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=20755
2. http://furfestnorthwest.com/howtogethere.htm
3. http://furfestnorthwest.com/whenandwhere.htm
4. http://furfestnorthwest.com/banquet.htm

There is only a little more than a month left, and yet...

* There is no programming schedule.
* There are no clinics scheduled.
* There are no presentations scheduled.


In fact, the only things scheduled are...

* A Fursuit Parade (well, that's easy to promise. 2 fursuiters makes a parade.)
* A Fursuit Talent show (Again, 2 fursuits for the win!)
* Fursuit Photographs, at your additional cost of course.
* And another Fursuit Parade! Why settle for just one parade?


Oh, and maybe they will take a group out to "see some wolves". In fact, maybe even "see some wolves" in the wild! Tramping around in the woods with a group of furries in search of wild wolves, how fun!

Of course, what is a Furry con without an art show? Well, maybe we'll get to find out. "Art Show information will be updated as soon as possible". And the dealers den will "tentatively" be open. Huzzah!

And don't worry about food. "This page will provide information about any meals offered as well as food available outside of the con site where possible." But you can be sure that they might "subsidize" your banquet meal on Saturday. You know, as soon as they "decide what to feed you".

Registration is, well, tenative. In fact, everything is tentative! Registration prices are tentative. Art panel prices are tentative. Dealer table prices are tentative.

Happily, they have guests of honor. Well, maybe. Assuming one of them can even get to the con...

Don't you worry about a thing. This con is run like a well oiled BDSM fetish night! How can you be assured of this? Because all of the staff workers are Slaves! Ok, maybe this is a cheap shot, but giving your workers the title "Slave" is not exactly the way to create a professional image.

So sign on up and they'll bill you, you know, when they're ready[5]. Tentatively.

5. Actual quote: "we'll bill you later, probablywhen we get the registration software done."

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 134 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 17th, 2006 03:30 am (UTC)
Ok, I don't like to diss cons, especially new ones trying to get off the ground and get going, but...

Look who one of their guests of honor is...

None other than Starfinder herself. Ummm... Not very good to pick someone with so bad a reputation. Oy.

I wish them luck, though. Starting a con is hard work.
Jul. 17th, 2006 06:19 am (UTC)
if starfinder can even GO that is. she hasnt to this day been one to travel out of state for cons, much less Idaho. Pfft. It wouldn't be worth her while anyways, hell its not worth ANYONES while.

Its also weird that Javachickn is asking for help to get there (shes also from california) and theyre like "dont worry we WILL get you here", yeah? With what money.
(no subject) - mix_hyenataur - Jul. 17th, 2006 06:49 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jul. 17th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)
Though alot of it does sound tentitive, I do hope they are able to pull it off. Odd as it may sound, Moscow isn't that bad a place for things like this! (I went to undergraduate college there). What other little town boasts a monthly drag show in which the number of men dressed as women outnumber the actual women in the town? Furries ought to have NO problem there :) True, not alot amusement/attraction wise... but still, not that bad a town.

As we used to say... what is there to do in Moscow? Go to Pullman!
Jul. 17th, 2006 05:11 am (UTC)
Uh...I'm from Moscow...well, my mate is, I'm from a few miles south in Lewiston...

I'm REALLY doubtful about this...REALLY...

Jul. 19th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC)
May I steel your icon?
(no subject) - ravynwolf - Jul. 19th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - furrysantuary - Jul. 20th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - rmoorcat - Jul. 21st, 2006 04:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 17th, 2006 08:20 am (UTC)
They don't even have the food planned? Sorry, but most catering services I know of like at least a little bit of advanced notice, and con-goers are going to want even more notice, because they need to save/bring money if they have to go get their own food every night. (and they also need to judge, "Is the $xx registration worth it if I'm not getting _______?"- this isn't limited solely to food.) And doesn't something just exude "kids trying to make their own AC/FC/CF/what have you"? It seems like someone's just a little too ambitious to have this huge con the first year.

...well, someone needed to say it. It's completely unprofessional and disorganized and I honestly think it will bomb. I'd have more faith in them if they were a little more realistic..
Jul. 17th, 2006 10:40 am (UTC)
This is going to sound really bad, but as someone who lives in western Washington, it seems more like this is another form of the "Seattle versus the rest of the state" debate that goes on here at a constant simmer.

In other words, these people are too cheap and/or lazy to travel a few hundred miles across the state in order to attend Conifur (or, since that's dead, Rain Furrest) and want a more local convention. Since there is none, they'll put it on themselves. But if they're too cheap or lazy to travel 300 miles, then how can you trust them to put up a decent convention? Not to mention how, similar to large predators like tigers, a single conention requires a lot of territory to call "local" if it's going to have decent attendance. Especially if it's for a fringe subject, like furry. There's Califur and FC, but CA is a big, populous state, and both LA and San Francisco are major airline hubs. Every other convention I can think of has a LOT of land around it before it sees the next.

Setting a furry convention in Idaho with six months of planning is asking to go bankrupt and/or have a notacon. I'll be very surprised if this gets 100 people, much less 200.
(no subject) - thaily - Jul. 17th, 2006 11:00 am (UTC) - Expand
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numbers - rmoorcat - Jul. 19th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jul. 17th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC)
To me, this honestly sounds like a furmeet rather than an entire convention. Which is all fine and dandy as long as they don't pretend to be the next Conifur on such extremely short (and rather thrown together) notice. They're thinking too far ahead, most conventions start out as large local meets and grow from there, there isn't enough guaranteed attendance base to even consider setting up dealers tables, art shows, and the such.

I mean, goodness, this is planned for next month, and nearly nothing is set in stone yet? For this reason, I extremely doubt this "convention" is even going to take place. :/
Jul. 17th, 2006 11:24 am (UTC)
That's a good point. Here in the UK there are two strong furmeets: London and Sheffield. I live in the latter and in recent meets we've had around 80-90 people at a meet.

It's only now that they're considering making a UK con, possibly based in or near Sheffield as we know we can regularly get numbers once every six months. Our only problem is making sure it doesn't clash with Anthrocon (as our last meet did) or any other major convention and yet be at a time of year when people will want to attend.

Fact is, big events take a lot of planning and usually some grounding from smaller similar events in the past.
(no subject) - reaperfox - Jul. 19th, 2006 08:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gothwings - Jul. 19th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 17th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
Just as an aside:

FurfestNorthwest is not affiliated with Midwest Furfest, which is a service mark of Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc.
Jul. 19th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
Correct, and considering that the folks at Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc. have a domain name "furfest.org" I find it particularly unappealing that they would take that name as their own.

I'm the art show director for the new regional convention Rain Furrest and we spent nearly 8 weeks debating and going over countless name submissions and ideas just to figure out a name that would work for us, that represents us, and is far enough apart from anyone else's. I should think that anyone who wants to run a legitimate, carefully planned and attended convention would similarly spend the kind of time and devotion to detail as we do at Rain Furrest. It's not just about originality, there are laws to protect organization's intellectual property - good names are NOT easy to come by.
(no subject) - ex_noda654 - Jul. 19th, 2006 08:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frisket17 - Jul. 19th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 17th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
I have to second the doubts here. Somebody's been promoting this on my forum, and much as I like to support my forum members, they just don't seem to be on top of this at all. They ought to just have a gathering, a "relaxacon" or whatever, because it's pretty obious that they don't have what it takes to do a real convention here.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 19th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
Re: Ahem...The Horse's Mouth Speaks
Well, I came in on this late, since I was out of town the last few days, but Conifur ripped me off this past year (I pre-paid $60 for the 2006 Conifur at the 2005 Conifur, and NEVER got a refund this year, even after writing and asking and being promised one), so honestly? That's one of the reasons why I didn't want to do Furfest Northwest. Being ripped off by Conifur left a rather sour taste in my mouth. I wonder if any of the other pre-paid dealers got a refund. :/
Re: Ahem...The Horse's Mouth Speaks - wicked_sairah - Jul. 19th, 2006 01:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Ahem...The Horse's Mouth Speaks - blueroo - Jul. 19th, 2006 01:38 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jul. 19th, 2006 06:26 am (UTC)
ok, as an artist myself, you do indeed point out lots of good things to ponder, however, as Rex said...post them on the FFNW forum, so we can address them. or email any of the con staff. I want this con to live as much as Rex does, but youre right in asking all those tough questions, I say again, direct them to us, so we can make this thing happen! So that you the artists dont have to worry about if its a good risk or not. we wanted to make this for the fans, so its partialy the fans and dealers responsibility to make this event happen by attending. post all your concerns, questions, input , ideas, desires whatever on the forum!!
Jul. 19th, 2006 09:11 am (UTC)
Things on the forums have gone missing..
Re: NWFF - rmoorcat - Jul. 20th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jul. 19th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
To be honest, there's more information for fursuiters and deals for them ("You get to eat FREE at the banquet!!! (for example)) Than there are artists.

Sorry. That's not a good way to bait people to come. Dunno. Being an artist, I think I'd rather like to see who is coming, tax information, artist alley thing. On the site I'm rather shocked to see merely 2 lines in the Dealer's section..and tons of pages revolving around fursuiters.

You cannot put together an event in 4 months. You cannot if you want quality.

Other issues raised would be:
* Taxes
* Artist Alley
* Space
* Signups (who of our fellow artists are gonna be there?)
* Information on the hotel (details that the basic hotel site can't give)
* Whose coming?
* Places to eat around the location?

--There are a lot of FAQs that have been over looked. And to be honest, my doubts are further instilled reading (and observing) how people's questions and concerns are deleted from the forums...

Location is also a big thing. Whoa boy. It'd be like me trying to get people to Murray Kentucky... where the biggest thrill there is Wal-Mart (yes I can say that. S'where I attended college). Doesn't mean it's not a nice area, but it is unfit for a convention.

You've raised a lot of good issues, BlueRoo... Ones that I think many people have been thinking but reluctant to ask. As someone else said, first times of cons are usually flops -- that's due to normal doubts regarding the con.

Unfortunately many people will not believe something unless they see it.

Good luck to them and their efforts - but I feel they won't have much support if they can't seem to have their act together...
Jul. 19th, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
Okay seriously

Where is the next closet hotel?
Are their rooms reserved for congoers?
has someone gotten in contact with the hotels to see if they will offer special rates to con attendee's?
How is parking is there enough?
Is there avalible space for people who wish to take campers to park?

Jul. 21st, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
Ill get Rex to post other hotels info on the board, we do have a block of rooms in the event hotel, I doubt other hotels will have a special rate since they are not involved with the con, Ill get someone to ask around about that, the event hotel has plenty of parking, and Ill have to get an answer on the campers too, but I think there will be enough space for them too. thanks
(no subject) - teekachu - Jul. 21st, 2006 08:14 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jul. 19th, 2006 08:51 pm (UTC)
Getting notification of this Con less than 6 weeks away reminds me too much of Texas Fur Meet. First off, location....Moscow Idaho, not exactly stellar fan base to organise such a con. It takes a fan base to get things started in a host city. Unless you have a number of folks in a general area who can convey with the hotel and work with it and local businesses, things get difficult. Idaho and Montana barely can scratch together a relaxacon Sci Fi con once a year. Now look at the furry fan base in that area....even less.

Two: Transport, Moscow isn't exactly a major port for a huge number of airlines, therefor more expensive if one flies in. Leaving Grayhound, Train or self transport.

3: Short notice, folks need to plan weeks and even months in advance. Spur of the moment usually doesn't work.

4:Fire at the hotel, then the info is erased from the website.....Uhhhhhhh...Errrrrrrr...Warning Warning , Flailing robot arms!!!!

5:I don't wish ill upon the con, in fact I hope they can pull it off, But for that first year or two, lets see if they can make it work before we declare the con a corpse.

Just....God help us all...Don't pull a Texas Fur Meet. Like expect the artists to bring the panels, bid sheets, hooks, pegs, lighting. Or announce that they have the hotel for the following year and the GOH...and neither the hotel or GOH knew about it. Or have the con Friday and Saturday only "Cause folks gotta be at work on Monday". Or have zero clue on when the dealers room was going to open, and how late til, or who sat where. Though I hear the BBQ was a success.

Jul. 20th, 2006 09:18 am (UTC)
but....theres a whole day between saturday and monday D:
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Jul. 20th, 2006 04:43 am (UTC)
Someone needs to make a con somewhere in the West, so I can have a place to go that's somewhere nearby and has all sorts of yummy drama!

Anyway. In all seriousness, I know anything like this is hard to plan, but from the point of view of someone who's never been to a con before, this looks more like someone trying to plan a big sleepover with his/her buddies instead of a true convention.
Jul. 22nd, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
How about FC? That's in San Jose, can't get any more 'West" without hitting San Fran.

Or, if you're closer south, there's Califur, smaller, but near LA.

I've not seen too much drama at Cons, which is a good thing.
(no subject) - dinogrrl - Jul. 22nd, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
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