User:DuncanDaHusky/Midwest FurFest 2003 Registration Report

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This page is a personal article, and may not conform to WikiFur's standards for tone or neutral writing. As a courtesy, please contact the author, DuncanDaHusky, if you wish to make major changes.

(Taken from Duncan da Husky's LiveJournal entry of December 10, 2003)

First, the raw numbers:

2000 2001 2002 2003
Total attendees (staff excluded) 446 482 639 748
Staff* 27 29 46 52
Total attendees (staff included) 473 511 685 800
Percent increase in attendance --- 8.1% 32.5% 16.8%
Preregistered attendees (sponsors included) n/a 212 344 386
Preregistered sponsors n/a 51 69 64
At-the-Door sponsors n/a 34 26 19
Staff sponsors n/a 11 13 6
Total sponsors 37 85 108 83

We had budgeted for a 20% increase in attendance and we weren’t far off the mark. The big surprise was the drop in sponsors. We raised the price for sponsors from $85 to $100 to better cover the costs for sponsor benefits. Evidently the $100 mark is a big psychological barrier, even though it’s only a $15 increase over last year. One thing I know for sure: I'd rather a nice, sane 15-20% growth than a repeat of last year's surprise 32%. We handled that, but it was a near thing.

Next, a breakdown on a regional basis:

2000 2001 2002 2003
Midwest 65.9% 69.8% 66.0% 65.7% (IL, WI, IN, MI, MN, OH, MO, IA)
Northeast 5.8% 7.5% 4.5% 5.6% (NH, VT, MA, NY, CT, RI)
Mid-Atlantic 4.7% 4.6% 5.0% 3.9% (PA, MD, VA, WV)
South n/a 12.4% 12.4% 11.3% (NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN, KY, AL, MS, LA, AR, TX)
Canada n/a 2.50% 3.51% 4.01%
West Coast 7.4% 2.9% 4.2% 5.4% (CA, OR, WA)
East Coast 14.6% 16.4% 13.7% 13.8% (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL)
East of Mississippi n/a 79.30% 77.52% 75.09%
West of Mississippi n/a 16.70% 18.85% 20.65%

So, what can we tell from this? For one thing, we are still very much a regional convention, though we’re making inroads outside of our area. Our attendance from the West Coast, Canada, and the Northeast is on the rise, which is good.

One question which has come up is will the numerous new furry conventions popping up all over next year impact our attendance? The closest one, Ohio Morphicon, is far enough removed timewise (it’s in June), that it probably won’t impact us at all. There’s a couple new cons in California, and one in Atlanta, all of which will be small enough to have negligible impact. The other thing that we have going for us is great word-of-mouth. Everyone hears what a great time people had at MFF 2003 and they resolve to attend in 2004. This, I think, will be the factor that will account for our greatest increase in attendance, and will more than outweigh any detrimental effects of new conventions.

Here's the state-by-state (-by-province) breakdown at attendance:

2001 2002 2003
AK 0.00% 0.15% 0.13%
AL 0.80% 0.58% 0.88%
AR 2.70% 1.75% 1.13%
AZ 0.00% 0.15% 0.00%
BC 0.00% 0.00% 0.13%
CA 2.30% 3.65% 4.88%
CO 0.00% 0.29% 0.50%
CT 0.60% 0.58% 1.13%
DC 0.00% 0.15% 0.00%
FL 1.50% 1.46% 2.13%
GA 0.80% 0.44% 1.13%
IA 2.50% 2.04% 2.00%
ID 0.00% 0.15% 0.00%
IL 25.90% 25.26% 25.41%
IN 3.90% 5.69% 4.26%
KS 1.00% 0.58% 1.38%
KY 1.00% 1.02% 1.25%
MA 2.90% 0.73% 1.13%
MD 0.80% 0.88% 0.13%
MI 9.10% 8.03% 8.01%
MN 5.20% 4.67% 5.38%
MO 2.90% 2.63% 3.13%
MS 0.00% 0.29% 0.13%
MT 0.00% 0.15% 0.00%
MX 0.00% 0.00% 0.13%
NC 1.20% 2.63% 1.13%
NE 0.20% 0.58% 0.50%
NH 0.60% 0.44% 0.38%
NJ 0.60% 1.46% 1.13%
NM 0.00% 0.44% 0.13%
NV 0.60% 0.44% 0.13%
NY 2.90% 2.77% 3.00%
OH 7.50% 6.13% 6.76%
OK 0.20% 0.15% 0.38%
ON 2.50% 3.07% 3.50%
OR 0.00% 0.15% 0.25%
PA 1.50% 2.19% 2.50%
QC 0.00% 0.44% 0.25%
SC 0.00% 0.00% 0.13%
SK 0.00% 0.00% 0.13%
TN 1.90% 1.61% 1.38%
TX 1.20% 2.04% 1.13%
UT 0.00% 0.15% 0.38%
VA 2.10% 1.61% 1.00%
WA 0.60% 0.44% 0.25%
WI 10.80% 11.53% 10.76%
WV 0.20% 0.29% 0.25%
WY 0.00% 0.00% 0.13%

At the height of the rush on Thursday night, we were processing attendees at the rate of one every twenty seconds. On Friday morning, that fell to one every thirty seconds, which isn’t bad considering we had fewer staff on hand. As we determined at Closing Ceremonies, no one had to wait longer than fifteen minutes to get their badge. For next year, our goal is to get that down to ten minutes.