Toilets and/or bowls on the floor
Good thing they sold all those dog-bowls, then… though I left mine in Texas.
There isn't one right way to run a convention. People who want lots of big stage events and parades will go to events which provide that. People who want a get-together with friends in a place with a big lobby area will go to events which provide that. And fursuiters who don't want to be in a parade don't have to be in it. [Arguably, they'd get a lot more attention not
being in the parade, at least from furs elsewhere at the con.]
Convention events change over time, too. Case in point: TMLMTBGB probably won't be at MFF 2017
- which is itself a long and convoluted saga
worthy of Vivisector. Glad I got my hug in this year!
Both Anthrocon and MFF are growing, and they're going to continue to be great conventions. But MFF may take the attendance crown eventually, if only due to one thing: location
Anthrocon is great for driving to from the East Coast or Toronto - as its state attendance suggests
- but it's decidedly sub-optimal for flying; especially for Europe, but also the West Coast. It's easier to get a cheap flight from London to Chicago in mid-December than it is to get one to Pittsburgh around the 4th of July. If you're lucky, it'll even be direct, meaning eight and a half hours rather than twelve.
It's not possible
to get a direct flight from London to Pittsburgh. Or from Germany, Or Seattle (remember Rainfurrest?). Or San Jose. SFO has one, but you don't want to pay for it. That can make a difference for the furs with jobs who have the money to fly, but who want to make the best of time off, especially if they're comparing it with the numerous options in Europe
Then there's the fact that Rosemont's three miles from the airport, while Pittsburgh is twenty and has a city in the way - albeit only the 52nd-biggest city in the U.S. - plus you have to walk past all those empty gates
. And the ones which are full are used for Southwestern's domestic flights
. FWA isn't much worse; Atlanta has direct European flights. But it's another hour away, and smaller, so you have to have some reason to go to FWA over MFF.
Now, MFF's has its own growing pains. A portion of their attendee growth comes from free parent and kid registrations that don't have quite as much of an impact on event space, but they're finally being forced to adopt the convention center in a meaningful way, and the board's already concerned about the cost (as they should be; Anthrocon's per-attendee expenses jumped $10-12
when they moved in 2016). They're having to rethink staff organization, too. Apparently there are 36,000-person anime conventions in the same center. I wish them luck with that.