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The art of Thornwolf
MFF Quick Report
Back from MFF! Quick report under the cut:

Dealer's Den
Long story short, it was an EXCELLENT convention socially, it was a really not so good con for business. I broke even, but boo-urns did sales suck. It seemed like it was the same across the board though, I kept asking various dealers. Here's what I think happened:

Con registration, the art show, and artists alley were all on the same floor within mere yards of each other. To get to the dealer's den, you had to go down one floor on the escalator (which later broke, and hurf durf, people hate stairs) then turn the sharp corner, go down a hall, then turn left and go down ANOTHER hall, and it was the end of said hall. Astolpho, with whom I was sharing a table, called it the "Dealer's Dungeon". I had people coming up to me on Sunday saying they had no idea we were down there and "too bad" they already spent all of their money at artists alley, which royally blows because we actually paid for our tables -_-

My suggestion for next year that I think will work for everyone: Keep everything together. The second you start splitting up "similar" topics (like separate rooms for the art show, separate locations for dealers den/artists alley) people get lost, and people don't read signs, so its easier for everyone if the convention was able to perhaps rent out one (or both) of the two smaller rooms on either side of the dealers den and make those "artists alley" rooms so you have 2 or three rooms that are right next to each other all dedicated to art/stuff dealers. That way if you wanna see ANY dealer, you don't have to choose one location or the other, we're all right there.

Also, this was the first convention I've done so poorly on sales, and also the first convention my sales of matted prints were really bad. I only sold one, normally I sell out. It was mostly a sketchbook commission and sticker/magnet con for me which was surprising. Its so hard to predict what people will want, I guess all I can do is make sure I have options, which I don't mind doing at all.

I really enjoyed my seating arrangement. Astolpho and I shared a table and we were seated between Miss Monster and Nambroth, who was then seated next to Vantid, who was then seated next to Foxfeather, so we had this row of awesome going on that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Art Show
I sold 5 of my 10 pieces, minimum bid, but I put them at a price I was happy letting them go for, so no disappointment there. I sold an additional piece at my table as well, so my Sphinx now has a happy home and that makes me happy as well. The art show was not good for most people. The statistics we were given were 1000 some pieces were in the art show, only 300 and some sold, and most were minimum bid. I have no idea if its the economy (which I could have sworn was getting better) or the fact that its close to the holidays and people don't really buy art as gifts? Dunno. But, I was okay with my experience. Less things to take on the plane :)

I didn't get to see the fursuit parade :( Every convention I've been to they've gone through the dealer's den and I thought I had a prime spot for it, but they never came down. I think it was because the escalator broke. We all felt so forgotten! D: There were so many suits there I would have loved to have gotten my photo with that I saw Friday, but didn't see at all Saturday and Sunday. Guy with the Charlie (All Dogs Go To Heaven) fursuit, if you're reading this, please please please if you go to FC please come by my table I want a photo with you!

Also, I really loved Jill0r's black/white cat costume. He's such a bastard.

This is the first convention I've been to where it was mutually agreed that we didn't want to do the "dinner shuffle" and just wanted to order in. This was partly because there were no real places within reasonable walking distance (weather considered) and Fox has this really huge ass Van that we didn't really want to move because parking it is a bitch, so we got the menus for places that deliver to the hotel, which was all Italian. I figured since I'm here, I might as well try Chicago deep dish pizza. Fox likes one place, but the "fan favorite" was another place, so we ordered one from each and had a "tasting". I wish we could have a breeding program for pizzas because I really enjoyed the crust texture of the fan fave pizza, but I preferred the sauce/topping structure of Fox's favorite. That said, I still don't think that Chicago pizza is for me. I prefer my sauce between my dough and cheese like God intended, thank you.

Higgins was kind and stood an hour in the cold to get us a big bag of Doug's Dogs for traditional Chicago style hot dogs. While I appreciated the food and was very hungry, I also don't think I like chicago dogs either. I had always thought they were just made with celery salt, which I've had before and liked, but the topping choices for the "standard" were really weird and not my cup of tea. That said, I heard from several others that they have a few "gourmet" options. Next year I think I will look and see if they have a menu online and send Skorzy or someone for a food run and get that.

We did enjoy the Italian place we ordered from where I just got some basic tortellini and my very first cannoli, at Eldarath's suggestion (and it was a good suggestion at that!)

Then I went out to a sushi boat restaurant with my roommates, Mystee, Bastian, and Katarina, and Dingbat joined us. Kat was very kind and treated me, thanks again Kat! They had a green tea creme brulee that looked suspicious but Bastian was brave and tried it and said it was good, but they didn't have any more float by. Now that I know its possible, I'll seek it out in California (or make my own!). The salmon was particularly good at this restaurant.

As I said, this was an EXCELLENT social convention, and I felt that I got to spend adequate time with a larger group of people that I normally wouldn't have gotten to see since I only attend West Coast conventions. I also got to spend more time with Nambroth and her husband Eldarath who are both awesome people but I never got a chance to hang out with them because we're always so busy. I also got to meet Katarina for the first time, and considering we've been online friends for years and she knew me way back when I was an annoying little teenager, it was really cool to meet her in person.

I got to meet some new people as well, and hung out with Duncan and Takaza (who is amazing at mixing drinks by smell, omg) and saw Roho and Genet and Will and lots of Skorzy's friends who wanted to meet me. Hopefully he'll be able to go with me next year so he can hang out with his buddies he never gets to see.

The hotel is very nice, though expensive. The layout is a little derpy, but I think that next year with a little more working with the hotel and the layouts things can be a little less confusing as to "where stuff is". I REALLY enjoyed hanging out with everyone, I had the absolutely BEST time ever and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year, and I will because... *drumroll*

I am the Guest of Honor for MFF 2011

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D !!!!!

So, I'm really looking forward to that. Thanks all for a great con!
58 comments or Leave a comment
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seticat From: seticat Date: November 23rd, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
GOH? *Seriously* cool!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I'm so excited and honored :3
spiffystuff From: spiffystuff Date: November 23rd, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do agree separating the dealer's den from the AA and AS was a little unexpected / silly, but I think sales were just all around bad, and would have been even if things were all together :/ I didn't have stuff up in the art show this year but that's the impression I got looking at how much stuff was being bid on, etc. Not a lot of activity.

That said the only money we dropped was in the dealer's room XD
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw man you should have dropped by! Unless you did, and I didn't make the connection, in which case I feel dumb XD I have this really hard time connecting online personas with real people when I first meet them. But yeah I bought a couple of things in the DD as well, I only went to the AA briefly to find one of my roommates but didn't really look around.
dark_natasha From: dark_natasha Date: November 23rd, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy we had some time to hang out, sorry to hear about the art show sales and I believe you are right in that a lot of dealers did not do so well this con.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Was really really great seeing you as well! I never really get to chat with you outside of a dealer's room, so that was awesome.

And its okay, I feel I was very fortunate with the art show sales and am grateful because I actually sold something, others weren't so lucky x_x
corvus_animus From: corvus_animus Date: November 23rd, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so excited for you and being GOH!!! Congrats!!! 8D
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! <3
gatcat From: gatcat Date: November 23rd, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome - GoH! I'll see you there next year. This year was not my year for con-going, but in 2011 I'll go to MFF, my favorite con, come hell or high water.
roho From: roho Date: November 24th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm gonna hold you to that!
maggock From: maggock Date: November 24th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow! GoH, awesome! Sorry to hear it wasn't great financially though, that's what I've been hearing from everybody, so far. XP
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! And yeah if a dealer came to my table I asked them point blank. Even the bad dragon people did really horribly and that surprises me. They said Saturday was really really slow, which is very unusual. Friday was the "biggest" day. Totally unpredictable!
haikujaguar From: haikujaguar Date: November 24th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I was the person who recognized you in the elevator, lol. :) Sorry about that.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
You said you were "nobody" when I asked! You should have told me who you were and I wouldn't have been so confused and would have been a bit more receptive, I'm so sorry! XD Was nice seeing you, though briefly :3
arikla From: arikla Date: November 24th, 2010 12:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Sweet! Congrats on GOH next year. I guess its good you had a chance to fly to a con with the art stuff :)

Maybe next year I'll be able to convince hubby that I don't have to go every deer season ;)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes! This is exactly what I thought, it will be one less stressful element to the con, since I now know what its like to travel by plane with convention supplies, and its nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I bought myself a "very useful box" for my matted prints, and that worked out...okay. I'm going to figure out more "goodies" for next year to both make my table look pretty and also to have some better displays.

Hope you can come!

...too bad you couldn't bring me deer x_x *glutton*
kylet From: kylet Date: November 24th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)
When I first started going to MFF, that hotel also made the dealer room feel like an afterthought; it was very small and underground (zero cell reception), although it was at least on the same level as registration. Eventually the artist alley outgrew it and was known as the cooler place to be. This changed in the second hotel, where the dealer room felt more like it had a proper presence.
Thinking about it, yeah, the artist alley and dealer room locations this year should have been swapped. Someone really has to bring that up.

The lack of food locations totally sucked. I'm sure the hotel restaurant liked it :-p

Holy smokes! Congrats on the GOH :-D

Edited at 2010-11-24 01:22 am (UTC)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I talked to Takaza and I'm going to be emailing the suggestion about the secondary room next to the dealer's den to see if its even possible for next year, because I would really love to see that element fixed. I think its just the growing pains of being at a new hotel. The first year at a new hotel is always a cock-up, and I took that into account, but FC was at a new hotel and my business didn't suffer, so I really have been trying to think about how this can be improved.

They said better signage, and while I agree, I wouldn't count on that alone because people. just. don't. read. It's seriously baffling! Also an interesting study in human behavior XD

I think the escalator breaking also didn't help. If you're in suit, you can't really get down there, and there's only a service elevator that goes down there I think.
siegewolf From: siegewolf Date: November 24th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
GoH? We should drink to that! *clink*

Wow, artists trump dealers that pay for location.
That's harsh. :/
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah a lot of us were pretty mad because of the whole "we paid for our location" thing. Also, the artists alley was open from 10AM to 10PM, so they technically got more business hours. I mean, I don't wanna stick around til 10 cuz I actually wanna eat something other than a shitty muffin at my table cuz its the only thing I can pick a between customers, but it kinda put an unfair spin on things that I and the other dealers didn't really enjoy all that much ;/
arbeywolf From: arbeywolf Date: November 24th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow congrats on the GOH...that's awesome :)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
kitsumi From: kitsumi Date: November 24th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
What really bugged me about the dealer's room is that I paid for wifi and the dealer's room was not a t-mobile 'hotspot,' so I wasn't able to take ccards or use the internet for refs :/
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh man that is LAME :/ Astolpho was able to use his square-up reader (he only used it once), and get wifi downstairs on his ipad.
dragonheadthing From: dragonheadthing Date: November 24th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I was there Saturday.. But I don't remember if I said Hi to you or not... I might have, but tried not to 'fan-boy' you.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I...don't think so? I vaguely remember seeing someone with the name dragonhead but I might just be filling in false information, my brain is so weird XD
likeshine From: likeshine Date: November 24th, 2010 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)

congrats on the GoH thing man :) gyl and i kind of thought you were after you said you would be back next year.

so, yeah, i agree on the dungeon thing. this was probably my worst MFF in 5 years... all of my pricing was the same as last year though, and last year was fantastic! gyl and i both were butthurt because MFF is usually such a profitable con!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was really great seeing you and Gyl again. And yeah if it weren't for the GOH I likely wouldn't have been able to come back, as much as I would have wanted to for the social aspect XD So that was kind of a surprise and an awesomeness because I really really really enjoyed the social aspect.

I've also heard that MFF is usually profitable, mostly because of the before Christmas sales. I had christmas bows all over everything hoping people would get the hint that "oh hey, maybe my mom would like this tiger pendant" but "furry" is still very much a "me me me" thing and I get that, cuz a lot of people don't really tell their parents/family (I do, but they just think I'm a giant nerd and its only okay because I actually make money at it)
doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: November 24th, 2010 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Congrats on the GOH for next year. =};-3
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 24th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks :)
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