Anthrocon's Headless ZONES
With the convention a little more than a week away (YIPE YIPE YIPE!) I want to set some ground rules about the headless zones. That right, these are the headless ZONES. They are in room 301-302 in the Convention Center, and in the Washington room in the Westin.
Rule 1: These are not lounge areas. These are areas for suiters ONLY to cool and rehydrate. I'm sorry, but handlers are not permitted in the headless zones. If you need assistance in removing a suit, the handler may come in and help you remove the head or hands, or undo the zipper, but MUST EXIT IMMEDIATELY afterward. They can wait outside to be called in if they are needed to help you redress. This is necessary due to the sheer number of fursuiters that will be in attendance this year. With a projected number in excess of 900 suiters, the headless zones simply cannot accommodate handlers. Suiters needing to enter the headless zones always have priority over someone's handler. ALWAYS. This can be a health issue. Please be aware of this situation and do not argue with those who may be monitoring the zones if they ask a handler to leave.
Rule 2: Do not attempt to reposition or relocate the fans in the room. First, there are electrical requirements we must follow for these rooms. Do not attempt to move things. If the load changes, it could cause problems. Also, the fans are being positioned to maximize air flow within the room. DON'T SHIFT THEM. We have far too many people attending the convention for one or two individuals to turn a fan vertically to dry their costume head. We need to keep the airflow moving or the room will get warmer very quickly. Use the head drying tree. If a space is not available on the tree, please wait for one to open up.
Rule 3: This is NOT a hangout area or a social zone. I know some feel it can be...but attendance keeps growing and the space is the same. There is FAR more space out in the hallways to frolic, talk, and otherwise socialize than in the headless zones. Please don't attempt to use this space as a place to sit and talk or play. It's needed for those who are overheating or need rehydration.
Rule 4: As a matter of courtesy and general decorum...it is unacceptable to move someone else's costume head or pieces off the drying tree. Please try not to touch anyone else's costume while in the headless zones without express permission from the owner. We do ask that the tree only be used for drying HEADS, not hands or other costume components. If you must remove your bodysuit or major parts of your costume...please do not take up large amounts of space or multiple chairs to do so. Remember, other attendees also may need that space to cool off as much as you do.
Rule 5: While some costume maintenance matierals may be in the headless zones, this is not an area for serious repairs. Remember, if your costume needs repairs...you should return to your room to do so. A quick stitch to fix a single seam or a quick spot cleaning is fine. But large scale cleaning or fixing a large rip should be done elsewhere. Again, we simply need to keep the facility available for the largest number of people possible.
Rule 6: Changing the room layout. DON'T DO IT! The room has been specifically set to maximize traffic flow, airflow, and electrical needs. Also in the DLCC, we have union representatives to do this. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES try to move tables or equiment around in this space! I can't stress this enough. Changing the room layout can not only impede our ability to have the largest number of people in the space, it could create problems with the electrical load or with the facility. Anyone caught trying to reconfigure this space, will answer directly to our chairman and/or board of directors. Trust me when I say...YOU DO NOT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN!
Ok....now that I have the "no-no's" out of the way. What you should be using the headless zones for.
* Fursuiters should go to the headless zones if you feel overheated, dizzy, or need to rehydrate. You don't have to wait until it's "too late" to do this. Proactively keeping yourself cool and hydrated will let you enjoy more suiting time!
* If for any reason you feel nauseated and are about to be ill....try to head to the restroom area near the headless zones....not the headless zone itself. If you become ill in the room, it could cause the zone to be shut down for a while and that may cause other fursuiters to be at risk of overheating or getting ill as well. If you need assistance from a staffer or security member, please let someone know!
* Fursuiters should go to the headless zones if you feel that something is "wrong" with the costume. If you feel a seam pop, something is falling apart or getting damaged...you can go here to check on the costume condition without "ruining the magic". Repairs may need to be done elsewhere, but you can look and see if a problem is starting.
* Use the Headless Zones for "Proactive Pit Stops". You may not feel like you're overheating. You may think you are hydrated. But symptoms may appear quickly and they can sneak up on you. If you've been suiting for a little while, stop by these zones to grab a quick drink and remove the costume head for a few moments. We want you to enjoy your Anthrocon experience!
I'll take "Things that are only said at a Furry Convention" for $200, Alex.
Be careful to not trip over that fursuiters "blank"
**BUZZ** I'm sorry, your answers must be in the form of a question. The correct answer is:
What is 'Fursuiters should go to the headless zones if *blank*.'
That sounds more like a Match Game clue.
"Harry Husky was such a bad fursuiter, when he tried to take off his head, he *blanked*."
What is "Shoot! The Head Tree is full. Now my head will never dry out!"
Answer there, the Daily Double!
I feel like I just walked in on a game of Leopardy...
"With a projected number in excess of 900 suiters..."
Scary to think almost 1/4 of the attendees will be fursuiting.
Not that large a percentage; last year we had 854 fursuiters out of 4400. That's 19.4%. We anticipate about 20% this year.
So with attendance of perhaps 4,999, we'll have a fursuit parade of 999!
*nervous grinning, yes, no bigger than that, yes*
Any chance that the hotel headless room zone will be moved post-closing to say Cambria, Sumerset or something larger due to the dead-dog influx? (At least I assume there will be a ddd and open space in the hotel post closing. Nothing 'official' past closing on schedules though)
Last year it was a headache trying to use that awkward small funny-shaped room, especially with 100+ suiters attempting to use it all at once.
We can look into it. A lot depends on the hotel and costs. (in the past, many rooms were needed for resets for events the next day.)
I really hope that rules #1 and #3 will only be enforced during peak hours, when 100% absolutely necessary. I understand space is an issue, and realize that staff wouldn't do this unless they felt it really necessary, but if strictly enforced, this will honestly put a huge miserable dent in my con experience.
Socializing in the headless lounge is a huge part of my con experience. For those of us who keep character in suit, we can't just go outside to socialize, since we have to go back into "performance mode". We're burning up outside, and the headless lounge is a place where we can socialize in a relaxed environment. It's also a mental break, again, from having to stay in character. There are many friends that I end up only or mostly seeing in the headless lounge. If I'm not even supposed to socialize with them, then I have to question if it's worth fursuiting with this limitation.
And from the handler's perspective... ouch... Are we really telling them that they have to sit around and wait for their fursuiter like they're some kind of servant? They're already doing a huge favor by looking out for the suiter, I'd feel AWFUL asking a friend to just sit around and burn their precious con time waiting for me, in addition to being a handler.
Can this problem be aleviated by having an additional headless lounge somewhere? Please, ANY solution other than this would be better, IMO. This genuinely makes me sad to hear that we've grown so big we're limiting how people socialize.
The only point I'm going to address will be the additional headless zone. Where do you put it? There's already been a post about the one in the Westin being too small on Sundays. Either the con will have to give up one of the rooms they're currently using for panels, or they'll have to rent roomspace on another floor of the DLCC. I don't know how they price such things, but it could well be an unaffordable expense especially with the additional air conditioning and other features of a headless zone. Wherever it is, when will Anthrocon have to give it up so the Westin or DLCC can have cleaned and readied for the next group?
I don't think 'selective enforcement' will work because people will continue to socialize even after the room is full to capacity. "I was able to talk with my friends for a half-hour before: why are you hassling me for it now?"
I don't have a good answer, I admit that. I am just trying to point out that the con may just simply not have tha capacity or finances for an additional headless zone.
I'm sure it's not an easy decision to make, and I know it's not something they'd haphazardly throw out because they didn't bother to come up with something else, but... it just seems really unfortunate that this may be the best solution. I do think it could work to simply flip a sign somewhere that designates between casual and "funcitonal only" times, but maybe that's just me.
Right now, we have to treat the headless lounge like the elevators: It is a resource that is very tight, and we have to constrain it or it will not work. We may look into expansion of the space in future years, but for this year.... we will have nearly a thousand fursuiters, and the headless Zone will only handle a certain amount of them at one time. The space will be more crowded than last year, and we simply must keep folks moving to make room.
After reading everything the only thing I have to add is a reminder for folks that the repair station really is for repairs and not for building your suit. Some people seemed to think otherwise last year.
I agree with Chiaroscuro that unfortunately we just have to keep things moving. Having seen the traffic in and out, it's just not something that can be done using the room to socialize (There is the fursuit meet and greet though for those who are looking to socialize specifically with other suiters) Who knows what oppertoonity the future holds though. Sometimes I wonder if instead of getting a bigger room...that we might possibly (If money permitted) have several equal or smaller rooms where we split up the equipment. That way several locations are set up and we can split up traffic.
Not sure I can explain this that well, but here goes. Last year at AC2011, I really liked the setup of the racks with the yellow hoses for cooling off. But I have a concern. People tended to put the ends of those yellow hoses down the inside of the front or backs of their fursuits, or put the ends inside the fursuit head mouth if the suiter didn't take their head off. Because the ends of those hoses were "inside" a suit where it's all sweaty, stinky, etc. or were inside a fursuit head mouth where a person could end up breathing ON the end of the hose, Then do those hose ends ever get disinfected in any way? Just curious if this might be a health concern in any way.
We do not, but since you mentioned it, I will pick up some disinfecting wipes that can be kept in the Zone to clean off the Space Nautilus's tentacles.
We had these wipes in the lounge last year. When I went with others to do rounds to disenfect stuff we did use the wipes on those hoses and plan to do so again (unless we are given something else to use specifically on those)
Will fursuiters be counted based on their reg form "Do you plan on fursuiting at the convention Y/N" or on fursuit parade saturday numbers only? I usually skip the parade because I'm a serious wuss about getting hot, but if it's for the sake of... being roughly 999 >.>'... I suppose I can corrall me and my lame 'skip the parade' friends and march around for an hour.
If it helps us reach.. roughly.. 999.. but no more than that >.>'
Fursuiters are counted at the fursuit parade. There is no fursuit related question at registration so reg doesn't know how many suiters there will be.
how many headless zones were there i only found one and that was across the ballroom? if there more than one i think you need better signs..
IIIEC, as I'm not a suiter, there's one large zone across from the ballroom and a smaller one in the Westin.
While I could probably make something up, it was supposed to be IIRC. Chalk it up to bad eyesight and typing left-handed due to gout...
Charlie is correct, there are two headless zones. The second one is in the Westin on the second floor at the end of the hallway.