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Eurofurence 20 - Con Report

Eurofurence 20 - Con Report

First off: it was a blur for me this year... running two departments isn't really all that easy to begin with, and one of them being totally new posed additional challanges. Therefore: I did not have time to attend any of the scheduled events and only some minor time to socialize.

Secondly: Step counter. Yes, I did bring my step counter again this year. Here's the rundown:

datestepskcalminuteskm
8-188627507.2766.03
8-19208751227.418114.61
8-2011876698.31198.31
8-2110744631.71037.52
8-2213810812.01419.66
8-2313558797.21479.49
8-2413563797.51379.49
8-258530501.5795.97
8-267397434.9725.17
8-273873227.7392.71


You might notice that there's days before and after EF too - yes, I did include my packing, drive to and from EF as well as the little stay at the Ringberg afterwards. But I think the main days are pretty much recognizable :)

So, what did I do at EF?

The first event I was mainly responsible for was the Fursuit Gameshow. This "little" thing takes up a major part of my time for the last few years. Not only because we seriously are lacking two or three pairs of helping hands. It was *almost* on time again, only off by about 20 minutes due to a few minor technical difficulties during setup. No additional delay during the show though! Which is quite a feat for a show that has to get by with on-the-spot recruited "players" and without(!) any stage rehearsal time. The preliminaries worked out rather well too. For some reason, the results weren't printed in the Daily-EF though... so much for talking about it months in advance.

The second event I got myself into was the Photo-Team - after the old team had pretty much dissolved, we - that is NewEinstein and myself - agreed on forming the new team together, co-planning and executing that one. We found many volunteers to take on the jobs as photographers and assistants... still, one or two assistants more couldn't hurt for next year, especially as "jump ins", just in case.
The major part of the photo team's duties is the Fursuit Photoshoot, which we operated from 12:00 to 20:00 all three days of EF. During that time, the team managed to snap 5500 pictures in the set that we built. Now I have to post-process them. Even more work. But well wanted practice.
Also part of the job were the official group pictures. These proved to be more problematic on several levels (including the all-present drama) - mostly I held on to them besides being told that it would be impossible to have either of them this year. Well, it wasn't impossible... but it was close. The timetable was cramped and the only sensible options for the group pictures in regards to TIME were aweful in regarding SPACE and vice versa. Thus we had to compromise, and it shows. Let's hope we somehow better squeeze them into the space-time of EF next year.

Sunday


Packing the car. I ended up being the only one of the Gameshow team who went by car again - despite promises to the contrary. Still miffed about that... my car was packed to the roof again.

Monday


Finished the packing: camera equipment and personal stuff, including mini-me. Then, off towards Berlin with a stop in Krems for picking up the chocolate for the gameshow winners. Yes, that stuff is premium quality. Arrived at the Estrel around 21:00... way much later than I'd hoped for. Unpacked the car, moved some stuff to my room, most of the stuff to the storage room. Took the car to the Neuköln-Arcaden parking (for which I'm still waiting for the bill...) and walked back. Shower, bed.

Tuesday


Breakfest. Sorting out the Gameshow stuff for the preliminaries. Then setting up the Fursuit Photoshoot set. Lucky us, the room was available from Tuesday, not from Wednesday as I feared and planned for. Made setup much more relaxed. Later that day I took Mini-Me for a walk through the lobby to meet people. He's been cooped up in his travel bag for too long.

Wednesday


Finished setting up the Fursuit Photoshoot set. Tried out the software I wrote. Works perfectly. As does the registration-slip printer. The opening ceremony had some delay, which is why I had to bolt out early to open the Fursuit Gameshow registration desk. Again, brought out Mini-Me for a walk.

Thursday


The day of the Fursuit Gameshow Preliminaries... crunch day! But first: EF-Staff Group Pictures from 10:00 to 11:45...
Manned the Gameshow sign-up spot from 12:00 and promptly forgot some stuff upstairs. Overall it went well though. Can't remember much details, it was such a blur.
After the preliminaries closed, we (Kazzador and myself) started to do the ranking in the storage room. He did the score tabulation, I counted the charity money our players collected. 766 Euro and some cents (can't find the paperwork right now). Not as much as the last years, but still awesome!
Downside: during the preliminaries, the phototeam let me know that the set software stopped working and couldn't be started again... *facepalm* After delivering the total result to the Daily EF and posting a printed version in the fursuit-lounge entrance, I applied a temporary fix to the software at the set... the real problem slightly eluding me. Why did it work before?
After completing the Gameshow stuff, I set up my laptop and checked in the software code... duh. Of course - when you add up even a slightest delay by exponentially adding it over and over again, eventually, with enough registrations, the starting time of a delayed slot will move past 31-12-9999 and cause an overflow. *sigh* why didn't that show during testing? I fixed it, and spent the rest of the night at the set, incorporating the text-file notes of the team into the database by hand as well as creating the planned daily backup. Being all alone in the Dealers' Den/Art Show area for that reason, I had a nice walk through the Art Show during the time I was waiting for the backup to complete... I wouldn't have seen it at all otherwise.
And then, when I finally was ready to go to bed... it hit me... I accidentally typed "14:00" for the stage briefing when I made the poster for the fursuit lounge... when it was actually 13:00! Being already in bed, I texted all members of my team of which I had the cell number to please fix that poster ASAP. Clearly NOT my day.
Another thing that didn't quite work out as expected was the Fursuit Group Photo... I tried to tie the time to the Fursuit Friendly Dance to have most suiters ready... but that dance was delayed a fair bit and so the group pic ended up at 10-something in the night... also with the lobby being MUCH darker than I expected. The nice place for me that Dhary managed to negociate with the hotel didn't help. I had to crank the ISO to 12800 and it shows: grain all over the pic. Also, since nobody reads conbooks, most people didn't even notice that there was an official photo taking place. Many thought that the photo-op during the parade was "the group picture". Low light and low attendence: Only about 240 suits. *sigh* And on top of that, my megaphone broke... the siren worked, but the microphone wouldn't allow me to speak. So nobody of those attending knew where to look.

Friday


Staff group shots 10:00-11:45 again... at least I got to see the GoH's up close for these.
Up at the storage room, meeting the full Gameshow team for the first time together. Carrying stuff towards the briefing room... and another bad news over the radio: ConOps informs me that two of the teams slated to compete on stage decided to drop out. Ahem... So much for commitment. We somehow managed to get together enough teams to actually have a show, but it was close. How come so many people don't take us serious? Again, some small but important stuff got left behind, so the briefing started with the videos instead of a "hello". I really would like more staffers to have access to the storage. Not being allowed to hand out that access card really made it hard for me. But at least I got one - I don't want to think what would have happened if I had to find ConOps every time I needed entrance.
After the stage briefing, we brought our stuff back upstairs and briefly went over all the games again.
The news about the stage opening for our setup reached us a bit late I think - we carried our stuff downstairs ASAP and found it empty already. Lost important time there. Also lost some time when I had to run back up to fetch Aeto's cue cards which got mixed with the preliminary scorecards for some reason. Then we had some trouble getting the shooting range game to work on the stage network... not much, but these tiny bits and pieces were enough to set us back by the aforementioned 20 Minutes.
SHOWTIME! - Again, I don't remember much details... you wouldn't believe how busy one can be during such a show. From the feedback and also from the applause we got I'd say we did well. Perfect would have required at least one stage rehearsal, for which there just isn't any time in the schedule.
After carrying our stuff back into storage, we had a brief debriefing and internal feedback session, going over every one of the games. Some of which might return... some won't.
Back down to the photoshooting set again, starting and waiting for the daily backup.
Met up with most of the gameshow team members, having a drink to celebrate a successful show.
Oh, yes... somewhere in between all this I managed to organize an impromptu secondary photoshoot outside the hotel that Kovu did for us.

Saturday


Staff group shots 10:00-11:45 again... The pawpet show being the only "no show" for these.
This time, I continued on the set, doing my share of the photography duty, allowing some off-time for the others. Had scheduled short breaks in my shift, so I had time to run around the Dealers' Den and get some Tani DaReal stuff at least.
After switching duty with NewEinstein, I continued as the "missing assistant" on the set until the end, only interrupting for the convention group photo. This had been scheduled outside, with me looking down from the top floor stiarcase window which the hotel unlocked for me. Security did a great job ushering people onto the parking space! But again... low attendence: 705 persons in the picture. Some were bright enough to stand outside the parking space, taking pictures and thus not ending up on the official picture. Well... their loss. But where did the other 1300 or so people go to? So many people who don't want to appear in a picture?
Back on the set, wrapping up the Fursuit Photoshoot. Took some experimental extra pictures and started sorting out the props and equipment.

Sunday


Tried to sleep in... couldn't, so I had earlier than expected breakfest and starte to tear down the Photoshooting set by myself. Later NewEinstein joined in and we pretty much got that thing folded up nice and clean. No traces of our presence other than a door that fell out of the frame. But that was already pre-broken and the last screw holding it in place didn't do good with us accessing the power outlets within.
Got everything in storage in packed-to-go condition again.
Helped NewEinstein move our larger props (the bus-stop sign and the park bench) outside for pickup on Monday.

Monday


Breakfest. Got my car back from the Arcaden parging garage. Piled in the personal stuff from the hotel room. Tried to check out, saw a cue that was longer than EF's reg cue and decided against it. Instead, move the Gameshow stuff from storage to the car as well. Thanks to everybody who lent me a hand there!
Had lunch and checked out after 2pm. Drove to Suhl for a nice relaxing evening, where I met Karpour, Henrieke, Titash and Ekorren for "Intrafurence". We made plans for Tuesday after a nice evening at the bar.

Tuesday


Plans for the day got rained away... but at least we got a ball-pit! https://twitter.com/atkelar/status/504206742159233025
Also, the Crazy Horse opening hours didn't match our plans for lunch there: they open only at 5pm on Tuesday. So I said goodbye to the gang after a quick snack and headed to the city to do some shopping. Later that day I visited the Crazy Horse and was asked to deliver the best whishes and greetings from them!

Wednesday


Heading home...

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