MFF 2019: Wrap Up

Sadly with MFF being over until next year, it time to go over things you might have heard on social media and weren’t sure was true or not. I am going to do my best to answer them as honestly as I can.

First Registration

Even though this photo was taken on Sunday, Registration had more people wondering if that QR System was going to work or not than anything else during the entire convention. Without a doubt it did work, Registration was at least twice as fast as in previous years. The longest wait times I was told were under 4 hours and that was Thursday, shorter than compared to 7 hours of previous years. Even on Saturday when I met up with friends. Last year they waited for more than 2 hours, this year 90 mins exactly. There even was actual times nobody was in line, that actually happened several times during the convention.

Yes, that announcement was made to encourage people to upgrade their badge to shorten their wait times, and yes they did call out your fursona when picking up your badge.

But despite all of this everyone had fun, some even had time to relax.

Yes, we all heard about the threats made by whom I will call something I can’t even say, but nothing major happened. I would thank an increase in overall security not to mention the patrols by uniformed Rosemont Police Officers, as well as undercover law enforcement. It was well known to the staff that agents of several different law enforcement agencies were there, many of whom are furries themselves. I can just verify this, although I can’t get into detail due to the source.

With MFF moving more events and areas to the convention center it actually seemed less crowded than in previous years and this is despite having 11,000 attendees this past year.

Food Options

Hyatt Regency O’Hare POP Up Resturant

Food options this year could not be any better, for years everyone has been complaining about limited options for those on a tight budget. Who actually wants to spend $25 on a meal? The popup pictured above was selling taco dinners for around $10. Plus places like McDonald’s had a well-placed ad showing that they were close as well as other places. Even Rosemont stepped up with their free shuttle bus, I know a lot more furries use it to check out other places, as well as the discount many places were offering.

Then there is…

The Con Suite

I have been told not many cons in general offer such things, but I will do my best to describe it as best I can.

They offer snacks everything from carrots, chips to even fresh fruit as well as..

Soda and all for FREE and you can eat as much as you want. At certain times they even offer sandwiches.

As for the staff…

One even made a point to me that MFF treats its staff very well.

That’s about it except for 2 things. With the dog show happening at the same time accidents will happen. Yes, a few dogs crapped on the floor, there was a rumor that some furry did not, but happily, it wasn’t true.

Every year during the Closing Ceremony they auction a space on the soda machine for charity. This year was no exception, it generally goes for $1,000 what you get for that is your fursona, holding your favorite soda throughout the entire convention. So everyone there will see it.

I just decided on 1 more MFF piece what it is really like for Sponsors, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

MFF 2019: Sunday, Dec 8

Even though I did a couple of panels, a fursuit dance and hit the Artist Alley and Dealers Den a few times I want to focus on what is to me are the 2 most important events of the final day of any MFF.

The Fursuit Games

What can I say they make me laugh, silly events + fursuiters = I always have a great time…and this year they were giving out prizes to those who did the best during some audience games.

Here are the 2 I won

Yes, I know silly prizes for silly games, but I really always have a great time.

Lastly The Closing Ceremony

To me, it’s sad to see MFF 2019 come to an end. I could go into how 9 members of their staff were given awards for the outstanding work they do. Or how Rama, the Head of the 2019 convention who was given a special award by the Board of Directors for his outstanding work.

No most are just interested in numbers. So it seems despite all the rumors there were only 11,000 attendees. Including some last-minute donations, MFF raised $110, 956. Then you add that matching donation, by that anonymous donor they raised $221, 912 an all-time record for any convention for Felines and Canines.

MFF 2020 will take place Dec 3 – 6, 2020 and the theme will be: Intergalactic

I will be wrapping up my coverage tomorrow with little stories that didn’t quite fit in my reports.

MFF 2019: Saturday, Dec 7

I forgot to mention what is not only a surprise and something to look forward to was the following: Coupons. Officially they call them “Tickets” 1 is for a FREE Tee Shirt, which I will show off later and the other was for brunch.

It was in my swag bag and I will fully admit this I missed this at first. Got my Tee shirt, and Brunch OH MY!!!

Look at that an endless sea of FOOD which goes on as far as the eye can see. I could have what I wanted as many times as I wanted. Think of that.

But I instead went for a healthier option…an omelet and a few sides.

They also had a bar, where you could order mixed drinks…but those you had to pay for.

I know this feels like Instagram

I give my highest praise to the chefs at the Hyatt it was absolutely incredible.

Saturday was my day to meet up with friends and hang out as we rarely see one another. I got my commission ordered, which I hope to pick up today, and the Art Show. Which really if you love to see the work of the extremely talented artists is truly a must-see.

Later we went to for us it is a MUST see, The Charity Whose Lion Is It Anyway? featuring Draggor, Alkali, Boozy Badger (who I actually follow on Twitter), Pepper Coyote and Iggy.

But before the show, what can I say fursuiter and balloon.

The show was very very very funny.

…and yes a fursuiter from the audience was asked to be apart of the show. Great fun for all.

I forgot again to mention that some anonymous donor is matching all monies raised for Felines and Canines at MFF, dollar for dollar up to $180,000. We will see by the Closing Ceremony how close we get to that actual number.

We played video games as well as the arcade they had available.

Lastly, they wanted to see Floor Wars and I wanted to see the Furry Variety Show, so we said our goodbyes.

The Host of FVS Robert King AKA Chris Mouse

and one of the acts

The crowd was actually up over last year’s, but everyone did have a good time. One of the performers actually took home a Sponsor Badge for next year.

I did manage to see Floor Wars myself, as FVS ended surprisingly early. The dancers were great but by the time it was over. I forced myself to go home for some much-needed rest.

More tomorrow…

MFF 2019: Friday Dec 6

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.

MFF 2019 Early Reports

I want to make this very clear the following is what has been posted on social media and I frankly can not confirm any of this.

QR System seems to be working: According to the single report wait times, are half of what they were last year. But keep in mind Thursday is generally the worse time to get your badge. A staff member said last year’s wait times exceeded 7 hours.

Line Con Day 1: Reports have people were getting into line as early as 11AM. With Registration not opening to 3PM. It makes you wonder.

If true not a great moment for Staff: Supposed according to a couple of reports a member of the staff went over the loudspeaker system as said to the crowd in line. If you want to cut your times, you should think of upgrading. If this is true not a great moment for the staff.

I will try and verify as much as I can, by tomorrow’s report. Otherwise, follow me on Twitter @Dr_Timefox for the latest news.

MFF Gopher Tee Shirt

Makes you wish you were one…maybe next year