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Eurofurence 25 "Fractures in Time" - Estrel Hotel Berlin, August 14-18, 2019Follow eurofurence on Twitter

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Author Topic: The fursuit parade and its... replacement?  (Read 539 times)

StompyChar

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The fursuit parade and its... replacement?
« on: 23.12.2019, 23:05:11 »

Greetings,

It's nearing the end of the year and already closing in on the signup date for EF26.
Last year the removal of the Fursuit parade came out of prettymuch no where, a short time before the actual convention and too short of a time to plan a replacement.
Some reasons were given (some of which I don't agree with but that's bessides the point)
Anyway, we were asked to come up with new events and were promised that new events would be ready for EF26.

Come contime, the fursuit photo has shown a strong decline in participants (compared to the massive increase in suiters) and the lack of parade is certainly in part to blame; heck even simply searching EF24 gives you all the great parade videos where EVERY suiter gets a spotlight at least once; compare that to EF25 and well; its pretty much only the dance events.

So my questions are; since it's been so quiet from the official front:
Has there been a decision on what is going to be replacing this almost irreplacable event?
If not, is the event comming back?
What about the fursuit games/fursuit gameshow?


//StompyChar
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Mystifur

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Re: The fursuit parade and its... replacement?
« Reply #1 on: 28.12.2019, 17:26:31 »

Thank you for your question.
While we didn't "promise" new events, we haven't ignored the issue either.
For the forseeable future the official fursuit parade will unfortunately not return. This may change once the new hotel tower is finished.  :D
We did indeed ask for realistic practical suggestions for replacement events and, sad as it is, there were almost none from the attendee side.
A "fursuit playground" has been worked on as a combined event/photo location, but had to be cancelled on short notice due to organisational and german safety regulations.

In short: We're tossing around some ideas, but can't make any promises.

As for your question about a new game show: European conventions are not a commercial service where the attendee simply buys certain events. They live on volunteer work only. The volunteers that plannend and prepared and financed and ran the event in the past have focussed themselves on other tasks inside eurofurence. To get a new show, new talented volunteers need to step up and do it.

Best regards
Mystifur
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StompyChar

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Re: The fursuit parade and its... replacement?
« Reply #2 on: 07.01.2020, 16:43:44 »

Okay fine, you didn't quite promise new events.
But you don't take away one of the biggest drives for a suiter to get a few shots of them taken; or heck even the drive for MANY to even go to the full fursuit photograph away a few weeks before the convention; and then go 'yeah uh we announced the removal on July 26th last year and ... well still haven't got anything for the next con'

The con has been very VERY lucky to get away with pulling a fast one by removing the parade and then telling the visitors about it a few weeks before the con - maybe the decision was heavy and took long but even then you think of a contingency plan.

It has very likely been the cause of the decline in fursuiter participation to the big photo (despite suiter attendance steadily rising) and it is not going to solve itself with inaction.
The parade as many stated in your tweet is one of the big things one thinks of for a convention and what a lot of people search for on youtube; there's HALF the videos in general now between EF24 and EF25 and that is a direct response to there not being a parade.

Heck; did any of you at staff see the line of people waiting outside the exit doors after the photo? That's the power of a parade - what they got was simply people wandering out and spreading out - nothing like the years before.

I am utterly biased towards the parade, fursuit games and other random fursuit friendly interesting things to do because honestly; I don't care about dances and dancing as a whole; so for my fursuiting fun I hang around with friends, visit specific panels and the occasional walk around the hotel itself; but that's pretty much it.

I've not had the luxury to visit many cons; heck EF24 was (due to ladengate the year before) my first one and due to a scheduling disaster on my end I didn't even get to experience half the things there are.
But that doesn't mean that I can't have an opinion on it; and that is exactly what I have.

Yeah, I'm well aware the minefield to organise something as big as the parade or the fursuit games.
The work of volunteers is paramount to what you can do; and without them a silly git like myself wouldn't even have a con to go to; but that doesn't mean you can hide behind 'we don't have the staff, the means or the ideas' because you're not actively searching for ideas or people to run said ideas.

I've seen 10 tweets about the deadline of the dealers den being December 31st, but not a single one since last year asking for photo prop ideas about how you'd love it if people came forward with ideas to help make the convention a blast or even asking for people to step forward to host something for the convention visitors.

People like that aren't just going to pop their heads above the trenches without a bit of poking, give those people with ideas a pedestal to speak up.
Fire out a tweet or... gasp, TWO of them where you're looking for ideas or staff to lead new exciting things for non suiters and suiters alike.

Complaining about lack of ideas is absolutely unfair because where did you really ask?
Not on twitter that's for sure - and yeah you had your post con survey; but a lot of people don't care about a survey forget about it or simply didn't attend EF25 to even get the survey to fill it in.

You gotta do something for information, not sit on your tailbases and hope it magically appears.

--

One of the first things that was brought up almost immediately after you announced the cancelation was for example having a parade anyhow, and instead of leading them across the street or through dangerous ballbuster bollards lead them through the main stage, have the suiters simply line up; step into the light - pose or show off their clothing that they're wearing or costume they came up with - take a few photographs for them and then move on to the next.
Then loop the parade inside, you don't have to wait for a tower to be finished in berlin time to plot a route around the hotel grounds, you can even fully avoid the ballbusters and street by not even going outside; or going outside through the doors towards the food trucks and then loop them back inside through the main entrance, completely avoiding the ballbuster bollards by going up the taxi ramp.

The decline in suiters for the big photo will very likely cease (of course depending on weather, timing with other panels and more factors) if you have something to do for all those suiters right after the photo like the idea above.

--

As for the aforementioned fursuit playground.

Surely it's not that hard to look at other conventions and go 'Hey yeah they have some really good ideas!'?

Simply looking at other conventions, EF's own history or heck even a simple outside children's birthday party you come with a plethora of ideas that can can be fun for suiters and even nonsuiters.

For example, in one video I saw them having a giant deck of UNO cards isn't that the simplest and most fun idea to keep 4-6 suiters busy at once?
How about finding a large stack of wooden blocks for fursuiter Jenga? or a bunch of large sticks for fursuit Mikado?

Get some big foam dice and some playing pieces for 'Sorry'.
It might not be in theme anymore but a deck of giant standard cards could make for fursuit poker combined with something to represent chips.
Get some big chess pieces and play chess in the Rotunda for all I care.

There are literally hundreds of games and ideas that a few people could run for a whole gaggle of suiters given the time and room.
Even purchasing the items for the convention itself (instead of renting it) would mean that it could be used year after year.

There are literally companies specialised in oversized playing pieces for kids parties, and what are furries but giant animals that get to use these kids toys and make it look cute and amazing?

--

Regarding the fursuit games, a lot of the above mentioned things could be used for just that; teams of 2 or 3 suiters playing Jenga, a game of Sorry against three other teams or heck even simply one on one.
Other kid's parties staples could make for some easy to set up and cheap games:

- Make suiters bat a ball with a pool noodle through a course, fastest time wins.
- Hide items underneath the seats of the public, make the suiters find and collect a set on stage.
- Have suiters use play pit balls to knock over the cups on the other team's table.
- Tie balloons on strings to the suiters paws and have a last one standing stomp off.
- Have a plastic egg and spoon race.

If those ideas sound familiar, this is literally me grabbing the games from ONE fursuit gameshow/games video in EF history.

If it all boils down to missing the 4-5 people staff or volunteers then ADVERTISE you're looking for people to run something like this.
You got the stage and the room, the camera equipment and the lights so have FUN with it.

--

If all of this is rather cold sounding then sorry but it just makes my blood boil that it seems like since JULY 2019 you've been sitting on your haunches going 'yeah, no idea what to do' whilst the simplest set of ideas was just sitting in my head, let alone the heads of the other 3446 attendees you've not reached simply because you've not tried.
If you guys ARE planning things or already got things worked out then sorry but if that is not brought out; then how am I supposed to know?

What it all boils down to for me is communication; be upfront and tweet out as much as you tweet out about the dealers den.
Tweet you like to hear ideas for the gameshow, fursuit playground or heck even regarding the parade.

Tweet out that you're looking for volunteers or staff to run said gameshow, fursuit playground or help with the parade.

Communicate and stop expecting things to just appear.
Not everyone is an angry, direct, Dutch, orange, dragon that just spews out his mind on a forum post...
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Haku

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Re: The fursuit parade and its... replacement?
« Reply #3 on: 08.01.2020, 11:05:41 »

Quote
You gotta do something [...], not sit on your tailbases and hope it magically appears.

This is my quote of the day, maybe even month. This is so true and describes the very nature of many challenges we have to face everyday.

You seem to be very passionate about Fursuit-Events in general, and have quite some good ideas what you want to see implemented.

Ever thought about using all that energy for the greater good of all Fursuiters at EF and host the events you are desperately looking for?
This is not meant as a sarcastic comment in any way, this is meant as a honest question (better point that out before it starts some kind of misunderstanding).

EF is always looking for talented and enthusiastic people to bring new ideas / host new events, do you want to be part of that?
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StompyChar

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Re: The fursuit parade and its... replacement?
« Reply #4 on: 08.01.2020, 16:23:20 »

Thank you.

Yes I am maybe passionate about thinking about it, pointing people out where they're wrong or lacking in my opinion or generally have a big mouth.
But I am also incredibly lazy and selfish.
Whilst I guess I would be able to do certain things with help from others, financial support and time.
I simply just don't want to.

I fully understand the pressure on staff and volunteers about running this week of wonders and I have all the respect for them giving up their free time and sometimes maybe even sanity to make about 3500 people have the week they won't forget.
I also am just simply not interested in being part of staff or volunteering to help the convention; I'd much rather just experience the convention as a visitor.

I'm just incredibly blunt and honest to say that I am part of the group of people that would shout about a problem rather then help fix it (in this instance, its not how I live my entire life of course).
So take all I said above as you wish, by all means run ideas by me and contact me if you want to have a ... calmer talk then my rant above.
But don't expect me to be front in line to raise my hand if the call comes to people to say 'hey yeah, I'll not do what I want for a day or two and help doing things for others' I'm sorry if I gave that impression.

Who knows, things might change.
Who knows that in a few years of trying we do get the fursuit related items I brought up and I see some flaws with them I could step up.
But for Pete's sake send out that tweet asking for people who ARE frothing at the mouth ready to help instead of trying to convince the idea man to become the action man.
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