Midwest FurFest has become a HUGELY popular convention, especially for dealers and artists. The Dealer’s Den is a coveted post, and in the past getting in has always been a struggle because you had to be around the moment DD registration opened. Everyone was informed that the way assignments would be made was going to be changed, but I don’t think any of us realized it was going to be even more frustrating.
This is my “rejection email” from the guy that made the decisions. From this, I understand that it was up to ONE GUY to go through each of the applications. Keep in mind that the applications contain NO personal appeals or information other than basic identification, contact info, what your needs as far as electricity/wall space/requested neighbors/etc are, and what you’ll be selling. If it’s one guy sifting through stacks of minimal information to choose who he wants in the Den…how is that even something resembling “fair” in any way?
I’m not upset at not receiving a space. I’m upset that all of these decisions were put on one person, opening the door for extreme bias, favouritism, and pandering to artists that ONE PERSON likes. This is NOT how a Dealer’s Den, or any part of a convention, should be run.
Since I was “placed on the waitlist,” I was curious to know my spot on it so that I could plan better. If I were high on the list, I’d feel better planning as though I were going to be in the DD so that I could be prepared, and just have an abundance of merch and extra things for the future if I didn’t make it. But if I’m low on the list, it’d make sense to focus more on preorders and supplies for making art at the convention. So I replied with an email asking.
Very short, cold, two-sentence email. A single question and a short explanation of why an answer is needed. The reply came pretty quickly, but wasn’t really helpful at all.
So basicaly, there’s no waitlist yet. And he can’t decide if he wants to make it “first-come” or if he wants to also order it specifically to his whim. And he’s busy with “other conventions” and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to make a waitlist. So how ARE we going to be informed if space opens up? If someone dropped out today, who would get the space? Would he just pick someone he liked?
The entire thing is just a gigantic, unprofessional mess. I know the guy probably isn’t getting paid to do this (for all I know, he might be), but who decided this was a fair system? Why isn’t there a board deciding and voting on who gets in? Or why isn’t the entire thing put to a vote for the attendees to decide who they’d like to see in the DD? Wouldn’t that make the most sense, give them a page of sample work from each dealer so they can decide what they would be interested in buying at the convention? Honestly, ANYTHING would be better than this system.
It’s too late to change anything for this year’s convention, but I want other potential dealers and furry artists to be informed (and outraged) at the way this was handled so that maybe we can convince them to change it for future conventions. I’ll still be attending this one whether or not I end up getting space, but it’d not fair to ANYONE the way it was handled.
Please share this around if you or any of your followers attend furry conventions or conventions in general. This isn’t the “fair system” that we want.