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Eurofurence 26 — "Welcome to Tortuga"
Estrel Congress Center Berlin
July 28 – August 1, 2021
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Author Topic: EF14 - Will there be overflow?  (Read 10142 times)

Fawks Beaumont

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EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« on: 26.09.2007, 11:26:49 »

This is something I was pondering, and am slightly concerned about.  EF13 was frankly full to the brim, and getting through the lobby sometimes was quite hecetic at times.  Will EF14 be much larger is the question?  I know the hotel will be able to only hold a limited number of furs, but there will probably end up having some overflow.  And, from the increase of attendees from EF12 to EF13, will there be an increased want to attend EF14.  I know that more furs is always a great thing, but a massive surge can lead to problems.

What is everyone else's input on this?
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Cheetah

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #1 on: 26.09.2007, 12:08:28 »

Nothing is decided about this yet. If we extend EF14 beyond the attendance of EF13, we will only do so after thinking up a proper concept, because we're very aware how full EF13 was.

There is still potential. The function space use was, to be honest, not optimal. I think it is possible to make much more effective use of the overall space, especially concerning the stage area, fursuit lounge, dealer's den, and the lower foyer area (which was pretty much deserted most of the time). We also never used the club in the basement except for the dead dog party.

After we've got an estimation how much more attendees we could fit in without causing major problems with our infrastructure, we can then negotiate special EF overflow rates with other hotels in Suhl, such as the Mercure.

My personal "gut feeling" is, that we could fit in up to 700 people without running into major problems, if we plan out everything correctly. But please ... don't run around shouting this number, as I said, there is no decision yet, and the concept is not there yet. We're still in the phase of throwing ideas at each other :)
« Last Edit: 26.09.2007, 12:13:05 by Cheetah »
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Fawks Beaumont

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #2 on: 26.09.2007, 12:32:16 »

My personal "gut feeling" is, that we could fit in up to 700 people without running into major problems, if we plan out everything correctly. But please ... don't run around shouting this number, as I said, there is no decision yet, and the concept is not there yet. We're still in the phase of throwing ideas at each other :)

If there is anything I have learned, it's that nothing is completely official until August 27. :P  Just kidding.

The biggest thing I am worried about will be a rush to register when it opens in January, because furs will be worried about it being overbooked, just to find out in the end that they will be unable to attend.  I am not sure how full the waiting list was this year, but it will almost certainly be larger next year, and last minute cancellations would cause serious havoc on the staff.

(I realize this is all hypothetical and is not of concern until next year or later, but EF is almost certain to gain enough attendees that it could exceed that Ringburg's capacity... EF16 - Frankfurt :P)
« Last Edit: 26.09.2007, 12:41:28 by Fawks Beaumont »
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Cheetah

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #3 on: 26.09.2007, 13:02:35 »

Quote
The biggest thing I am worried about will be a rush to register when it opens in January, because furs will be worried about it being overbooked, just to find out in the end that they will be unable to attend.

Yes, that's a known problem ... Anthrocon is suffering heavily from this problem. Uncle Kage calls it "attrition". Their main trouble is, that room reservations are fully refundable, resulting in a significant financial setback for their hotel.

However, since EF memberships and hotel reservations have to be paid up front and are not refundable. That means, we don't get any organisational or financial problems. The only real drawbacks are, that we have to turn down other attendees becaus of spaces blocked by others who might not be able to attend, and the extra work for the reg team due to last minute membership transfers.

So far it has been managable, though.

Quote
I am not sure how full the waiting list was this year, but it will almost certainly be larger next year, and last minute cancellations would cause serious havoc on the staff.

What bugs me more than that is, that it makes it a matter of good luck and a matter of being able to pay early to attend. I really don't like this. It fragments groups of friends, and it gives EF some "elitist" taste that I really do not want. But then, there is not much we can fdo about it other than to keep a healthy growth ... but it is becoming increasingly hard to find good hosts for our con. We are becoming the victim of our own success.

Quote
(I realize this is all hypothetical and is not of concern until next year or later, but EF is almost certain to gain enough attendees that it could exceed that Ringburg's capacity... EF16 - Frankfurt :P)

We're very close to that limit. I don't think EF will be able to return to the ringberg hotel in 2009 ... heck, we might even crack the 1000 in two years.
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Fawks Beaumont

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #4 on: 26.09.2007, 13:27:18 »

Well, Cheetah, all and all being said, you and your staff do an amazing job, and being able to pull together a con of EF's magnitude almost seems like a earth-moving act.  EF14 will surely be a success, just like EF13 was, and with such a great staff (that is great at rolling with the punches), hopefully EF14 will get off without a hitch (at least not a really big one.)
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Tekumseh

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #5 on: 26.09.2007, 15:20:23 »

[...]
We're very close to that limit. I don't think EF will be able to return to the ringberg hotel in 2009 ... heck, we might even crack the 1000 in two years.

Know what? Actually I don't hope that this comes true...
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Cheetah

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #6 on: 26.09.2007, 17:15:01 »

Know what? Actually I don't hope that this comes true...

It's a force of nature. It happens or it won't. But there's nothing you can change about it :)
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Cheetah

Shazomei

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #7 on: 27.09.2007, 04:18:26 »

Quote
The biggest thing I am worried about will be a rush to register when it opens in January, because furs will be worried about it being overbooked, just to find out in the end that they will be unable to attend.

Yes, that's a known problem ... Anthrocon is suffering heavily from this problem. Uncle Kage calls it "attrition". Their main trouble is, that room reservations are fully refundable, resulting in a significant financial setback for their hotel.

However, since EF memberships and hotel reservations have to be paid up front and are not refundable. That means, we don't get any organisational or financial problems. The only real drawbacks are, that we have to turn down other attendees becaus of spaces blocked by others who might not be able to attend, and the extra work for the reg team due to last minute membership transfers.

So far it has been managable, though.

I've probably just misinterpreted what you've said to Fawks, so please correct me if I'm wrong.
I can understand that if a person has paid, and then finds out they can't attend; you've given a disclaimer that it is their responsibility, not yours, to make sure all their arrangements have been pre-planned, and therefore you cannot be held responsible for any absence.

Because of the way the registration system works, I would've thought it would be nearly impossible to overbook the con. But surely, if it ever gets to the point that you are overbooked; because said persons would have paid in advance, aren't you legally obligated to give that person a refund if you are forced to turn them away?

Quote
I am not sure how full the waiting list was this year, but it will almost certainly be larger next year, and last minute cancellations would cause serious havoc on the staff.

What bugs me more than that is, that it makes it a matter of good luck and a matter of being able to pay early to attend. I really don't like this. It fragments groups of friends, and it gives EF some "elitist" taste that I really do not want. But then, there is not much we can fdo about it other than to keep a healthy growth ... but it is becoming increasingly hard to find good hosts for our con. We are becoming the victim of our own success.

I think the only way EF could be perceived as elitist depends on what leniency you give to pay the invoice the earlier a person registers. Thankfully, for your sakes, none of us are privy to that information. I would be extremely upset if I learnt that you guys extended the invoice period to people who registered early, rather than giving every registration a fixed period to pay the invoice before voiding the registration if they defaulted payment. Surely it would be better practice that if any registration defaults, under any circumstance, that they are forced to re-register joining the back of the queue. It would be fairer than just merely suspending the early registrations who are allowed admittance as soon as they can pay; it would certainly be a lot fairer to people who know they can secure payment almost immediately after registering, rather than people just waiting to see how long they can drag their heels for or for those who know they aren't financially secure upon registering.

Quote
(I realize this is all hypothetical and is not of concern until next year or later, but EF is almost certain to gain enough attendees that it could exceed that Ringburg's capacity... EF16 - Frankfurt :P)

We're very close to that limit. I don't think EF will be able to return to the ringberg hotel in 2009 ... heck, we might even crack the 1000 in two years.

The question I'm asking myself is how much like Anthrocon is Eurofurence trying to be? Only you can answer that really. :) The thing is, the more the capacity grows, the higher the costs for attendance (ergo, for the attendees) will be. If the only purpose for Eurofurence is to rival Anthrocon for capacity, Anthrocon would surely win hands down because of corporate culture in American. American corporate culture surely encourages them to have hotels that would supercede the capacity of any that Germany could supply. Therefore, if I didn't think I was going to Eurofurence to also embrace German culture, I wouldn't see the point in going. :)
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MOW

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #8 on: 27.09.2007, 07:41:05 »

I've probably just misinterpreted what you've said to Fawks, so please correct me if I'm wrong.
I can understand that if a person has paid, and then finds out they can't attend; you've given a disclaimer that it is their responsibility, not yours, to make sure all their arrangements have been pre-planned, and therefore you cannot be held responsible for any absence.

Because of the way the registration system works, I would've thought it would be nearly impossible to overbook the con. But surely, if it ever gets to the point that you are overbooked; because said persons would have paid in advance, aren't you legally obligated to give that person a refund if you are forced to turn them away?

It is impossible to overbook the con. As soon as all rooms are full, registration switches to "waiting list or attendance only".
People who know they can't make it would be able to transfer their paid registration to someone from the waiting list.

Quote
I think the only way EF could be perceived as elitist depends on what leniency you give to pay the invoice the earlier a person registers. Thankfully, for your sakes, none of us are privy to that information. I would be extremely upset if I learnt that you guys extended the invoice period to people who registered early, rather than giving every registration a fixed period to pay the invoice before voiding the registration if they defaulted payment. Surely it would be better practice that if any registration defaults, under any circumstance, that they are forced to re-register joining the back of the queue. It would be fairer than just merely suspending the early registrations who are allowed admittance as soon as they can pay; it would certainly be a lot fairer to people who know they can secure payment almost immediately after registering, rather than people just waiting to see how long they can drag their heels for or for those who know they aren't financially secure upon registering.

As long as there still is enough space, this doesn't really hurt anyone, but cancellation runs will be done at the latest when the hotel is filled to a certain degree, which will probably be not long after registration starts. And don't forget the attendance fee increases towards the con date, so early payers do get some advantage.

Myself, I registered as attendance-only this year and upgraded to full attendance only shortly before the con when places became available again. Otherwise I'd have ended up in off-site accomodation ... but that wouldn't have stopped me ;)
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Cheetah

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #9 on: 27.09.2007, 11:07:40 »

The question I'm asking myself is how much like Anthrocon is Eurofurence trying to be?

Honestly, we're not actively trying to be like any other con. But then, we're also not actively trying to be NOT like any other con ;)

We're just trying to do a good job, and do what it takes. If that means "copying" what works well at other cons, hell yeah :) But it surely doesn't mean we're in a competition. We should inspire each other, and not compete :)

Quote
If the only purpose for Eurofurence is to rival Anthrocon for capacity

That's a common misconception. You don't grow because you WANT to. You grow because the demand grows and you have to adapt in order to keep people happy. If one day 3000 furs want to attend Eurofurence, we have two choices: Shut down, or provide the majority of those people with convention space.

« Last Edit: 27.09.2007, 11:15:01 by Cheetah »
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Shay (Wolly)

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #10 on: 27.09.2007, 12:05:31 »

As I see it, EF is Europe's biggest Con and therefore caters to most of the European Furs that do not have the money, time or means to get to Anthrocon or other US cons. That also, almost automatically, means that there will be a lot of people coming over to Ringberg, Suhl.

Since EF13 was a success (don't deny it!^^) it is only logical that people will expect EF14 to be even better. That is psychological and has been seen in so many other areas of humankind.

To that extent, EF will keep growing and I do believe it is not the idea of the Staff to compete with other Cons.. if they would, they would hold the con on the same, or close to it, date. And like Cheetah said, you can use the positive things others cons have done and strengthen the fun and success of your own con. This does not necessarily mean that it is copying for the sake of being better, but ensuring those that attend that they will have tons of fun.

I hope to be able to attend some US Cons in the future, or other European Cons should they appear and see what those are like. EF13 was my first con and my first time suiting and I simply loved the free atmosphere and the kindness of both the attendees and the staff.
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ysegrim

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #11 on: 27.09.2007, 16:56:47 »

As I see it, EF is Europe's biggest Con and therefore caters to most of the European Furs that do not have the money, time or means to get to Anthrocon or other US cons.
Sorry to correct you, but EF also caters to many of the European Furs that do have the money, time and means to get to US cons. It even caters to some of the US Furs with money, time and means :) Cons are not necessarily mutually exclusive, you can go to any combination of EF, AC, FC, MMC, CF, ... provided you have enough money, time and means for each of them (these, on the other hand, seem to be mutually exclusive, *sigh*)
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Recherei

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #12 on: 27.09.2007, 20:47:41 »

Quote

The question I'm asking myself is how much like Anthrocon is Eurofurence trying to be? Only you can answer that really. :) The thing is, the more the capacity grows, the higher the costs for attendance (ergo, for the attendees) will be. If the only purpose for Eurofurence is to rival Anthrocon for capacity, Anthrocon would surely win hands down because of corporate culture in American. American corporate culture surely encourages them to have hotels that would supercede the capacity of any that Germany could supply. Therefore, if I didn't think I was going to Eurofurence to also embrace German culture, I wouldn't see the point in going. :)


That's our Uncle Kage, ambassador for the Great American Corporate Culture!
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SouthPaw

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #13 on: 28.09.2007, 01:51:43 »

As I see it, EF is Europe's biggest Con and therefore caters to most of the European Furs that do not have the money, time or means to get to Anthrocon or other US cons. That also, almost automatically, means that there will be a lot of people coming over to Ringberg, Suhl.

Another point is that EF is the "local" con for most folks in Europe. Hence why 273 (47%) were from Germany and 104 (18%) from the UK.

As for why the US came third in terms of number of attendees (39, or 7%), it's quite simple...EF kicks more arse than their entire country. ;)

Cheers,

Southie
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CodeCat

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Re: EF14 - Will there be overflow?
« Reply #14 on: 28.09.2007, 13:06:57 »

Then again, once Confuzzled kicks off you might see more continentals going there too, which would alleviate EF somewhat (provided they don't go to both). I've thought of going to Confuzzled too.
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