Yesterday was my 1st day at MFF this year and it started off with some confusion. You see this year I decided to be a Sponsor I knew I get some benefits but who knew it was going to start off with a lot of confusion.
First I was directed in one direction, then another I had to ask 5 people where to go when you are a Preregistered Sponsor. I was sent to 5 different places with the last one being the correct one. Thankfully there was only 1 person ahead of me. This is where I found most of the social media rumors turned out to be true. Like the one suggesting an upgrade to cut wait times and someone calling out your fursona name when you pick up your badge.
The process with the QR Code actually took less than a minute, my only real issue after that was finding where I pick up my Sponsor Swag Bag. Which thankfully I spotted on my own. But actually, the whole process of getting my badge took less than 15 minutes. When I was getting my badge they ran out of lanyards, they were supposed to get some later.
Meanwhile, in the long registration line I was told by a staff member there was somewhere between 300 and 500 waiting to get their badge at 10:40 AM. It seems by Noon there were no lines, so I guess you can say the system worked.
To my surprise, I had enough time to see the Opening Ceremony. Being a Sponsor you get a priority but still, it wasn’t good enough to get any usable photos or videos. I am sure it will be on YouTube later.
The Opening Ceremony I found was quite touching at times. They Honored those staff members who had been there for 20 years. They even Honored those who are no longer with us. Sadly I knew one of them and remembered the good times.
They also spoke about the new Accessibility Program which gives those in special need the help they needed to enjoy the convention, which includes Quiet Room, where you are encouraged to turn off your cellphone and relax.
Felines and Canines, this year’s charity we learned it was there involvement with MFF that helped them grow from operating in a basement to operating in multiple states.
Lastly, the Dog Show that was happening at the same time as MFF. It seems the Skokie Valley Kennel Club’s All-breed Dog Show was taking place at the same time as MFF. In the same buildings, different locations within them of course. Fursuiters were advised at the Opening Ceremony that they weren’t allowed do to they were not recognized by the American Kennel Club as a recognized breed. But really all jokes aside anyone could buy a ticket and see the dogs.
The only other issue I had of sorts was with the Dealer’s Area. I totally understand they had only started to set up late Thursday night. But why on earth did this one staff member kept sending people to this second entrance which was for Dealer’s Only.
After 20 minutes or so the Dealers Area finally opened.
The Largest Dealers Area in the history of MFF, 300+ dealers in 30,000 sq ft of space. It’s HUGE.
More on MFF tomorrow.