FurJam In The Future & Why We Can't Be A Convention

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Posts: 11
Species: Take a wild guess, dumbass

KatAclysm, Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:29 pm

Hey there,

Just want to clear something up:

"Why can't FurJam be a con?"
"Is FurJam turning into a con?

The short answer: No.

The long answer: It's not financially viable to run a small-to medium sized furry convention in Sydney with relatively low-priced registration. And because Australia already has ConFurgence, FurDu, FurWag and RivFur. Most of the people who have asked "When is FurJam becoming a con" have been asked exaclty why they wanted it to become one - and the most alarming reply I got was "because I don't have enough money to travel interstate to the other cons". If you don't have enough money to travel interstate, you probably won't have enough money to attend a Sydney convention either.

Why? Sydney is the 3rd most expensive city in the world. Believe me when I say that I've called around. I've investigated this line of thought myself - can FurJam actually become a convention? I've entertained the idea and made calls. As you can well imagine, finding a decently priced hotel in Sydney's CBD is hard enough as it is. I'm talking under $130AUD a night here, and one that's comfortable to stay in (three star minimum). The ones under $130 a night tend to either be a complete roach motel, or a youth-hostel with a shared bathroom - not something most of us would want. Youth Hostels don't have their own meeting/convention space for you to hire out either, so they're automatically out.

We also have the annoying issue that furries don't like to travel too far out of the CBD, so we're stuck with looking around that general area. Previous events have been organised in places like Penrith, Blacktown and Parramatta park and they tanked hard. Unless they're private parties with friends, people generally don't want to make the effort to turn up.

I called hotels in North Sydney, Surry Hills, Newtown and so on. The cheapest quote I got was from the Vibe, $2k per room per day. For 2 rooms at 3 days, you're already looking at $12,000 JUST for the space. That's not including equipment hire, staffing, a bar, any extras at all. Just to break even with 150 people, we'd have to charge $80 for the registration. I could ramble on with more figures and boring things, but I hope you're beginning to get the idea.

Even now, FurJam's population is only at 120 ~ 140 fuzzy-people, and the only reason we're getting that is because of how cheap it is. The only thing we actually ask from you is a gold coin donation at the BBQ (and even that's not mandatory, it's just asked for so we can keep the thing going) and $10 at the door of the dance venue.

The other reason FurJam can't become a convention - the people who have been going for 5+ years keep saying they want it to stay the way it is. And we're quite willing to listen because the return-fuzzies make up the bulk of FurJam's population.

Fustralia ran a poll during 2012 - should FurJam become a con? More than half of the voters voted 'no', and there were some very solid respectable replies as to why it shouldn't become a convention. The people who keep returning to FurJam obviously keep coming back because they love it. They know what they like, and they keep coming back. Which means the previous organisers are doing something right, obviously!

Why would we want to break that? They love what exists. Why change it? Why fix what isn't broken?

You're of course welcome to add your own opinions to this thread, and I invite you to say what you like as long as it's well thought out and respectful. FurJam belongs to the community and we should never waiver from that. About the only reason it's getting an ABN for 2014 is because PayPal shut us down because they thought we were operating illegally (JERKS).

So yeah, add your thoughts and opinions.
~ K

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Spi Cybershark, Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:49 pm

As a pure editorial note: This is the thread that Kat is talking about in early 2012; although we lost the actual result when we switched forums, I'm pretty sure it was reasonably favoured towards "stay as is but at least shake it up a little from the last few years", which happened slightly in 2012 and a little more in 2013.

My opinion's changed a little bit since my post in there, especially with more events in general on the furry calendar as we've grown on a national basis, and many going towards the mini-con format. It's actually made going to events like FurJAM and Canberra's CBRFUR somewhat refreshing, because the focus is purely on making fun rather than being more structured (at least on the day).

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Posts: 11
Species: Take a wild guess, dumbass

KatAclysm, Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:37 pm

Structure? What's that? =3

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