Your First Convention
Welcome! We’re glad you’ve decided to make Furry Weekend Atlanta your first convention. You’re in for an exciting and wonderful weekend, full of fun-filled activities and memories to last a lifetime. We all remember our first con, and soon you will too! However, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive or even afraid.
At Furry Weekend Atlanta, we are dedicated to Southern Hospitality – this con is all about you!
We’ve put this page together, full of tips from the “old pros” on our staff, to help be sure you have a good time at Furry Weekend Atlanta and remember your first con as fondly as we remember ours.
Getting Over The Worries:
One of the best reasons to go to conventions is to “get out from behind the computer” and meet the people behind the names. This is your chance to get to meet, in person, the people you’ve chatted with for years or even a few minutes. The thing to remember, when you walk in the front door of the hotel, is that all these people at the hotel with you – they share the same interest in anthropomorphics as you do.
Packing For The Con:
One of the most common questions new attendees think about is what they should pack for the convention. Of course, you should be sure you have enough clean clothes for each day plus an extra in case you get stranded, and plenty of toiletries to last you through the weekend.
If you are traveling by air, keep in mind that some items are prohibited in carry-on, some items are prohibited in checked baggage, and some items are prohibited at Furry Weekend Atlanta (including silly string, laser pointers, water guns, and all weapons).
Travelling To Atlanta:
You should consult our travel pages here, which provide detailed information about how to get to Atlanta and to the hotel.
If you’re flying to the convention or going by bus or train, keep your tickets in a safe place, and stay on schedule. Be sure to arrive early to allow yourself time to clear security and find your flight or train.
If you are driving to the convention, have your car checked out before you set off on the journey. Have the oil changed and make sure all your fluids and air are within parameters. Invest in a good road atlas to help you get around any obstructions on your route. Plan your route carefully and allow for bathroom and food breaks and rest along the way. If any service needs to be done, get it done several weeks before you leave.
All luggage looks the same at the luggage claim in the airport. Make sure yours stands out by tying a bandana or neon piece of tape to the handle. Remember not to lock your luggage as the TSA will have to cut it off to inspect it. Put your name on the outside and on the inside.
Put your name and contact information on everything you bring. Laptops and sketchbooks can appear similar when laying on the floor next to each other – quickly be able to tell what is yours and make it easier to locate when lost.
At The Con:
From the moment you step into the hotel, you will probably feel a little overloaded. Relax!
The first thing to do is go get registered. If you have pre-registered, you can pick up your badge at registration. If you didn’t pre-register, you can also get registered on site for the convention and have a badge printed on the spot. You are also strongly encouraged to attend our “First Con” panel, immediately following Opening Ceremonies – It’s informative and entertaining!
There are two golden rules to surviving and having fun at a convention:
- The “6-2-1″ Rule: Get six good hours of sleep each night, eat two good meals each day, and take one good shower each morning.
- Drink Lots of Water!
The most important thing, though, is to have fun! Go out of your way to talk to others. Attend events you hadn’t planned on attending. Patronize the artists set up in the Artists Alley or Dealers Den.
We can’t stress enough the importance of getting enough sleep, eating good meals and drinking lots of water. Failure to do these things will weaken your immune system, leaving you susceptible to illnesses.
We also recommend that you take vitamin C tablets. These will help to boost your immune system to help fight off the various germs you can come into contact with over the weekend. Furry Weekend Atlanta has attendees from all over the world and each could potentially be bringing a cough or cold unique to their area. Vitamin C will help protect you from becoming infected with these illnesses, often simply called “con crud” or “the blorch.”
While the chances of something happening to you are exceedingly remote, it is always best to play it safe, especially when in a strange place.
If you drive to the con, take all the valuables out of your car into the hotel with you. If you don’t want to bring them in with you, put them in the trunk so that they are out of sight.
Do not carry around large amounts of cash! The hotel has safe deposit boxes available at the front desk. Use the lock box in your hotel room each night when you go to bed, if there is one in your room.
If you have any problems while at the convention, find the nearest staffer! They can get you in contact with the right people to help you resolve the situation.
We’re not dumb – we know a lot of partying goes on at the convention. We just ask that our attendees play it safe when it comes to alcohol. Don’t drink excessively, don’t drink and drive, and be safe while partying. Any party with alcohol should have at least one responsible person checking the IDs of attendees to be sure that alcohol does not find its way into the “paws” of minors.
Remember, alcohol is prohibited on the convention floor. If you are found with alcohol in convention space, you will be asked to leave.
Furry Weekend Atlanta absolutely does not condone and will not tolerate the possession, use or distribution of narcotics, illegal or otherwise, while at the convention. If you are found in possession of, under the influence of, or distributing narcotics, it is no longer a Furry Weekend Atlanta matter and instead an Atlanta Police Department matter.
Fursuiter Etiquette for Non-Fursuiters:
There’s no need to feel uncomfortable around all the big costume animal characters, known as fursuiters, who will be wandering around the convention. Feel free to go up to them and say “Hi”, and you might even want to get a hug and a picture with them.
Of course, if you are a fursuiter, then please check out the Fursuiting Section of our website for complete information on all the amenities and activities that we’ll have waiting for you.
Treat The Staff Well:
Furry Weekend Atlanta is an all-volunteer effort. No staff member, from the CEO down, earns any income from the convention and in fact many spend their own money to be there working during the weekend. Be nice to them, and they will return the favor! Have a sense of humor during the weekend!
Treat the hotel and restaurant staff well. Remember to tip them! Try also to keep your room reasonably clean – the housekeeping staff will love you!
Furry Weekend Atlanta values and appreciates the feedback of our attendees. Look at the ‘contact us’ page to see where your comment might best go. There is also a year-end survey that will be e-mailed to all attendees.