A furry convention, also known as a conference, or just a con, is a gathering of furries, artists, and (usually) vendors at a central location. Conventions are usually held in midsize to large cities with airport access and stretch for three days or longer, typically over a weekend or holiday.
The cost to register for a furry convention as a non-sponsor is typically $70 or less, but once one figure in the costs of transportation, lodging, and meals, attendees are likely to spend upwards of $500 to attend. Some furries do not attend any conventions, while others attend several each year.
Furry conventions vary, but typically one might expect to find several of the following:
- Some form of accommodation (which may or may not be included in the convention fee)
- One or more of a Dealer's Den, Artists Alley, or art gallery, where artists display and sell their work
- Tutorials and workshops for those interested in arts and crafts
- Special events, such as a fursuit parade, dances/disco, masquerades, special interest panels, live animal demonstrations or a charity auction
Although it is not usually billed as one of the attractions, conventions are also a great way to get to know other members of the community, for varying levels of "get to know". Some furries have compiled a list of what they believe is essential to take to a convention.
Annual furry conventions tend to last approximately 3-4 days, usually over a weekend from Friday to Sunday or over the duration of a holiday, in order to avoid disruption of job or school schedules for most attendees. Exceptions to this trend include:
- Further Confusion - lasts, as of 2010, from Thursday to the following Monday
- Eurofurence - lasts from Wednesday to the following Sunday
- Feral! - lasts for five days in early September
Various reasons for five-day conventions range from either catering to the largest-possible amount of arriving attendees (including those who may come well after the event has begun) or hosting the largest-possible amount of activities in the most logical amount of time.
Confurence's first edition had an attendance of 90, with the first convention with a billed attendance of 1000 occurring in 1998. New attendance records have been set every year since (with the exception of the COVID-19 era). As of July 30, 2023, 40 conventions have a billed attendance of 1000 with 3 conventions over 10,000 attendees  , each of these being hotel-centric conventions. Many other events of all sizes exist, with camping events and one-day mini-conventions among them. These other events may contain some or all of the above features.
In the United States, furry conventions are often organized as 501(c)(3) "charitable organizations", or less commonly 501(c)(7) "social clubs". Both provide an organization with exemption from US federal income tax on some or all of their income. For example, Midwest Furry Fandom (Midwest FurFest) is a 501(c)(3) public charity, as are Furry Weekend Atlanta, inc., Anthropomorphic Arts and Education (Further Confusion), and Reno Area Anthropomorphic Arts and Recreations (Biggest Little Fur Con). Conversely, Anthrocon, Inc. is a 501(c)(7) social club, as is Anthro New England, Inc.
Donations to 501(c)(3) organizations are generally tax-deductible. A portion of a convention's registration may be deductible; a convention will inform registrants if this is the case. Additionally, companies can write off the fair market value of any gifts to a 501(c)(3) charity organization, which means that conventions run by a 501c3 organization can enjoy significant savings on software licenses and can more readily receive equipment donations. Because of this, many new conventions will try to organize as a 501(c)(3), and a number of conventions have undergone onerous reincorporation or reclassification processes to convert from a 501(c)(7) to a 501(c)(3), like Furry Fiesta in 2018.
Most cons in Europe are organized as non-profit organizations in their respective countries. For example, Eurofurence e.V is a registered German social organization, and NordicFuzzCon is registered as a Swedish ideell förening (non-profit association) .
Regardless of status, furry conventions both large and small regularly sponsor charities, either through the provision of fundraising opportunities, a slice of art auction proceeds, or donations of surplus funds.
Partially derived from the Anthropomorphic Fandom Convention Information Sheet:
- "Tax Deductibility of Donations," Foundation Group. https://www.501c3.org/kb/tax-deductibility-of-donations/
- Google Workspace for Nonprofits: Step-By-Step Guide. Wisestamp
- [ https://www.merinfo.se/foretag/NORDICFUZZCON-8024674924/3opomss-115fv NORDICFUZZCON in Noreberg,] merinfo.se
- Convention on Wikipedia
- Furry convention on Wikipedia
- Online furry convention
- Category:Convention terms
- List of conventions by attendance
- List of conventions by theme
- ConRunner - a how-to wiki for convention organizers
- Foamy the Squirrel's Rules for The Masses - Flash movie with advice for anime con-goers
- Tips for Congoers on Strict Budgets
- Various perspectives on how (and how not to) run a con - mostly from the science-fiction community
- A Guide to Furry Convention Etiquette
Art auction · Art show · Closing ceremonies · Con suite · Dance · Dead dog party · Feedback Session · Furry Night Live · Fursuit games · Fursuit parade · Groatish Mauling · Ice Cream Social · Iron Artist · Iron Author · Masquerade · Opening ceremonies · Pet auction · Photoshoot · Programming · Room party · Silent auction · SIG · Variety show