Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable

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Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable
Location
Website
Status Ongoing
First iteration 30 April - 2 May, 2010
Organizer(s) Takaza (through 2016) & Duncan da Husky.[1]
Subject Running furry conventions

The Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable (FCLR) is an association of furry conventions. The group holds meetings in the tradition of SMOFcon in the science fiction fandom to facilitate communication between its members, as well as maintaining a mailing list, chat server, and website. Event organizations may submit up to three representatives for the mailing list and annual events, and must have a signed venue contract and 100 actual or planned attendees to join.[2]

FCLR's organizers claim it is "not the Illuminati" but "a helpful bunch of furs that are here to help us keep the fandom the amazing place it was always meant to be".[3] Conversely, some members have called it "the furry illuminati association";[4] others describe it as "like Twelve Angry Men, except a buncha damn furries deciding the fate of the badge prep process or the con suite sandwiches".[5]

The FCLR also maintains a Slack server, a chat service with sub-groups that include (but are not limited to) publications, hotels, art shows, dealers, IT, and registration.[6] Membership is open to all furry convention staff and organizers.

Background[edit]

Following several years of discussion with the senior staff of various furry conventions, Takaza J. Wolf organized the first FCLR.[1] The intention was to create a relaxed atmosphere where various topics of convention running could be discussed in a round-table format (or as close as can be achieved with square tables[7]). Topics of discussion would range widely, including convention marketing, hotel contract negotiation, events organization and the vagaries of incorporation. To prevent the discussion from being dominated by any one organization, the decision was made to have no more than three representatives from each convention (and their significant others), though it was up to each convention which staff members to invite.

The original intention was that, like SMOFcon, each year a different group or organization sponsors the event, and the location will rotate throughout the United States and Canada. Following FCLR 2010, the decision was made the attendees to adopt a two-year rotation schedule instead. Invitations to the event are sent to every furry convention in the United States and Canada with an attendance of more than 100.

One of the group's ground rules is not to discuss event pricing,[8] although other financial topics feature prominently, along with staff/volunteer management, hotel relations, interactions with news and social media, mature content, handling misbehaving attendees, and strategic and disaster planning.[9]

Events[edit]

FCLR meetings are held both at and separate from furry conventions, with representatives attending in person or via teleconference.[10] On at least one occasion, hosting bids have been submitted and voted on by members.[11] Events traditionally conclude with a discussion of convention horror stories.

FCLR 2010[edit]

The first FCLR was held at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Lincolnshire, Illinois from April 30 - May 2, 2010. It was attended by representatives from Anthrocon, IndyFurCon, Furry Connection North, Midwest FurFest, RainFurrest, and the Dorsai Irregulars.

Discussion topics
  • Construction of Feedback Surveys
  • Hotel Negotiations
  • Working with the Media
  • Membership Suspensions
  • A/V Setups and How to Best Utilize Them
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Age and Minor Issues
  • Convention Marketing and Branding

FCLR 2011[edit]

The second FCLR took place at the same Hampton Inn and Suites as the prior year from April 29 - May 1, 2011. It was attended by representatives from Anthrocon, IndyFurCon, Midwest FurFest, Further Confusion, Western Pennsylvania Furry Weekend, and the Dorsai Irregulars.

Discussion topics
  • Anatomy of a Public Relations Issue
  • Making the Media Work for You
  • Where and How to Market Your Convention
  • How to Get Staff and Retain Them
  • Insurance: Do you have the correct type of insurance?
  • Dealer's Room and Artists' Alley: A Dealer's Point of View (from Diana Stein)
  • Age and Minor Issues in the Fandom

Many side discussions arose on the topics of elevator management, techniques for badging minors, writing an effective code of conduct, and convention emergency procedures.

FCLR 2012[edit]

The third FCLR was held at the same Hampton Inn on July 13-15, 2012. It was attended by representatives of Anthrocon, the Dorsai Irregulars, FurDU, Further Confusion, IndyFurCon, Midwest FurFest, MNFurs (Cat Days?),[12] Rainfurrest, and Anime Central.

Discussion topics
  • How To Pick a Theme and Guests of Honor
  • Identifying Leadership Qualities in Staff and Volunteers
  • Dealing With Staff Problems
  • On-Site Communications: Reaching Staff/Reaching Attendees
  • Con Creep: Is The Six-Day Con Coming?
  • Social Responsibility for Conventions
  • Fandom Leadership and Mentoring

FCLR 2013[edit]

FCLR 2013 was once again held in Lincolnshire, Illinois,[9] on the June 8-9, 2013.[13][14] It featured a one-suit fursuit parade.[15][16] Participants included Gateway FurMeet, Midwest FurFest, FurDU, Morphicon, Elliott's Live Events, Further Confusion, Furry Weekend Atlanta, IndyFurCon and the Dorsai.[17]

Discussion topics
  • The Best Way to Take Their Money: Billing Systems and Merchant Services
  • Cost Management For Conventions
  • The Care and Feeding of Hotels: Nurturing the Convention-Hotel Relationship
  • Managing Volunteers and Staff
  • Planning for the Worst: Disaster Plans and Communication
  • Social Media and Conventions: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What’s Disastrous

FCLR 2014[edit]

FCLR 2014 was held April 4-6, 2014[18] at the Palms Casino Resort[19] in Las Vegas, Nevada[9] - the same location as Elliott's Spring Gathering, but a month before. There were "17-18" in-person attendees, including representatives from Midwest FurFest, Further Confusion, Texas Furry Fiesta, Biggest Little Fur Con, FurSquared and Oklacon.[20]

FCLR 2015[edit]

A "Pre-Event Dinner and Meeting" was held prior to Elliott's Winter Carnival on January 30-31, 2015.[9]

FCLR 2016[edit]

FCLR 2016 was held September 23-25, 2016 at the Hyatt Place in Rosemont, Illinois. Event included:[21][22]

Discussion topics
  • Fursuit parades: present & future - what makes them successful, whether they are becoming impractical, alternatives
  • Finding new programming and programming formats - identifying up-and-coming performers, non-panel/experimental formats
  • Public relations, or, how to create excitement and put out fires - appropriateness of responses, getting attendee critique, generating excitement, dealing with various forms of press
  • 501(c)3 vs. 501(c)7 Corporations - Pros and Cons. - comon hurdles in 501(c)(3) status, organizational changes required to change, hidden costs of 501(c)(3) status
  • Convention insurance - pitfalls and necessary coverage
  • Corporate governance and structure - boards of directors, tax handling and preparation, rules, management
  • How to find, keep, and release staff - ways to recruit; retention; when it's time to go
  • Staying sane before, during, and after the con
  • Ghosting - defining it and combating it - what works, what doesn't, public messaging
  • Convention horror stories
  • Making a positive impression - involvement in surrounding communities, good first impressions
  • Convention budgeting - how to start a con from nothing
  • Emergency planning - having, communicating, staff training and preparedness
  • Internal marketing and communication tools
  • Managing food and beverage commitments

A public meet-and-greet was hosted by Duncan and Takaza at FurSquared 2016 on February 26, 2016.[3]

FCLR 2017[edit]

FCLR 2017 was held September 22-24, 2017 at the at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. Path Hyena assisted in the organization and hosting of the event.

Discussion topics
  • Fursuits, Our Favorite Carpets: A year of menageries, Parade Logistics, New Panel Ideas
  • Recruiting: Year round staff (highly involved), Onsite volunteers (Ad hoc), Incentives
  • Public Relations: Media Handling, Community Outreach (business), Outreach (city)
  • Asset Management: Storage solutions, Event Insurance, Accounting for assets, Inventory Tracking
  • Con Books, Style, and Schedules: Style Guides, Handling Con Book Ads, Digital vs Print, Pocket Schedules, Online Schedules, In Con Schedules
  • Budgeting: Budget Creation Process and Approval, Tracking, Purchasing, Expense Tracking

FCLR 2018[edit]

FCLR 2018 was held August 17-19, 2018 at the at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. Once again, Path Hyena assisted in the organization and hosting of the event. In addition to the usual roundtable discussion, this year saw the introduction of two new discussion formats: Breakout sessions, where attendees split into two or three smaller groups to discuss various topics for an hour, then do a short presentation summarizing their conversation, and presentation followed by questions and answers. Where in previous years Friday evenings were informal meet-and-greets, because there was so much material to cover it was decided to officially start the event at noon on Friday.

Discussion topics
  • Public Relations: City Government, Law Enforcement, and Commercial Relationships
  • Insurance is Scary / Protecting Legal IP
  • Tax Status and Corporate Governance
  • Managing Hotel Contracts and Relationships
  • The Budget Process and Financial Asset Tracking
  • Managing Staff Burnout, Workloads, and Rewards
  • Project Management and Workflow for Conventions
  • Convention Communications
  • Vendors: Marketplace Operations and Convention Lines of Revenue
Breakout Sessions
  • Social Media Strategies / Provocative Group Handling / Innovative Scheduling/Programming
  • Media Handling / Merchandising / Registration & Ghosting
Presentations
  • Getting Past Fine: Proactive Strategy Through Design Thinking (Bauson)
  • Animal People Resources: Recruitment that Opens Pipelines and Protects Conventions (Path Hyena)

FCLR 2019[edit]

FCLR 2019 was held September 13-15, 2019 at the at the Delta Toronto Airport Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. [[Scani] assisted in the organization and hosting of the event.

Discussions
  • You Are Not Welcome Here: Problematic People and Groups / Membership Revocations
  • What Do You Mean I Can’t Do It All Myself? Strategies for Promoting Delegation and Managing Burnout
  • Con Communications and the Fandom
  • Money Matters: Budgeting / Purchasing / Tracking Expenses
  • The Transforming Landscape of the Fandom
  • Building Community All Year ‘Round (with guest panelists Av Wuff from Kerfluffle and Dralen Dragonfox from Howl Toronto)
Breakout Sessions
  • Asset Management and Logistics / Rewarding Your Volunteers / Local Outreach and Awareness
  • Canadian Conventions Unite! / US Corporate Issues: Insurance and Governance
  • Registration Logistics / Innovative Programming / Best Practices for Handling Charities
Presentations
  • Hotel and Venue Sourcing (Eddie Chang, Andromeda Consulting)
  • Hotel Negotiations / Contracts 101 (Eddie Chang, Andromeda Consulting)
  • Presentation: Creating a Greener Convention (Uncle Kage)

FCLR 2020[edit]

FCLR 2020 was held virtually August 8-9, 2020 via Zoom Webinar. Hino provided the technical support for the event. Due to logistical limitations there were no breakout sessions at this event.

Discussions
  • Making The Most of a Year Off
  • Emergency Funds 101: What They Are, How To Set Them Up, And Use Them In A Pandemic
  • Improving Knowledge Sharing And Promotion Processes
  • Communications: Convention Chats, Community Chats, and More
  • Ethical Dilemmas and Conflicts of Interest
  • Online Events and Services
  • DEI (Diversity Equity Inclusion): How It Relates To Convention Staff
  • Estimating Attendance and Growth: Normal Times and Post-Pandemic
Presentations
  • The Importance of Lawyers, or "It's OK, I read it on Wikipedia" Is Not a Legal Defense (Brother Flounder and Synicsm)
  • Going Past ADA: How To Better Serve Our Disabled Community (Wolfletech)
  • Working with Venue Agents (Teresa Galegher, HelmsBriscoe)
  • Equality in Convention Space - How To Make Your Event The Best Experience For EVERYONE (guest panelists)


References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Who Are You? - Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  2. Joining FCLR. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 FCLR Meet & Greet - FurSquared 2016, Sched
  4. "Seriously at FCLR (the furry illuminati association) we spent 15 minutes talking about how to never send a GoH on @SpiritAirlines." - Path Hyena, Twitter (22 December 2014)
  5. ".@pathhyena It's like Twelve Angry Men, except a buncha damn furries deciding the fate of the badge prep process or the con suite sandwiches" - warbledog, Twitter (5 April 2014)
  6. "Announcing the #FCLR Slack Team! Are you convention staff? Come join the discussion! Email duncan@wolfhusky.org to join. RTs appreciated!" - Duncan da Husky, Twitter (27 January 2017)
  7. Photos of FCLR 2011 by Giza
  8. "@RedTheRabbit We have an explicitly agreement not to discuss pricing. That's was an interesting sober start! Ground rules!" - Path Hyena, Twitter (5 April 2014)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 FCLR Events. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  10. Reply to tweet regarding teleconferencing - Giza, Twitter (14 July 2012)
  11. "@Taz_Cat1 Actually, bids were submitted and voted on by the membership. Vegas was the winning bid." - Duncan da Husky, Twitter (31 March 2014)
  12. "We have people here from AC, FC, MWFF, the Dorsai Irregulars, Indy FurCon, Furry Down Under, and MN Furs. #FCLR" - Giza, Twitter (14 July 2012)
  13. "Welcome to #FCLR The hilarious furry con-staff bitchfest" - warbledog, Twitter (8 June 2013)
  14. "Fantastic FCLR weekend. Always learn a ton from these. Always come out with a ton of pride in furry organizations. Good jorb! #FCLR" - Perro, Twitter (9 June 2013)
  15. "this weekend will be host to the world's shortest fursuit parade #FCLR" - Madius, Twitter (7 June 2013)
  16. "The #fclr fursuit parade featuring only @thatdancingdog ^.^" - Pandez (9 June 2013)
  17. "This year's participants at #FCLR include Gateway Furmeet, MFF, FurDU, Morphicon, Eliott's Live Events, FC, FWA, IFC, and the Dorsai." - Duncan da Husky, Twitter (8 June 2013)
  18. "And so ends #FCLR 2014. So many awesome folks here, very long days, and wonderful conversations. Thank you to everyone who participated!" - Duncan da Husky, Twitter (7 April 2014)
  19. "Chilling in Social Bar at The Palms, waiting to meet & greet all of the #FCLR folks!" - Duncan da Husky, Twitter (4 April 2014)
  20. "@AlkaniServal It's that too, but 17 or 18 live. MFF, FC, TFF, BLFC, FurSquared, and Oklacon in person." - Path Hyena, Twitter (5 April 2014)
  21. What kind of excitement can be had at #FCLR? It's basically "16 hours in a hotel conference room." Topics can be dry, but they're important. - Duncan da Husky, Twitter (22 September 2016)
  22. FCLR 2016 discussion topics: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, photos - Duncan da Husky, Twitter (24-25 September 2016)

See also[edit]

  • FLEF - Brazilian equivalent, inspired by the FCLR


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