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ANE 2023: End of the line!

ANE's mascot deer, Copley, walking along a train platform next to an MBTA passenger car as snow falls around them.

Hello attendees and friends of ANE!

The ANE 2023 train successfully reached its final destination, and our staffers have been taking a well-deserved rest! Overall, we’re so happy with the feedback we’ve received about how the con went – you all seem to like our new venue and the new things we’re trying as much as we do!

This was Anthro New England’s eighth in-person year, and we celebrated that milestone with a move to the Westin Boston Seaport Hotel. 3,548 of you joined us, and helped us raise over $20,000 for our charities, Youth on Fire and NEADs!

I want to thank our Guests of Honor Hearth, Brae, and Tonya for everything they did for us over the course of the year! It was wonderful being able to host and honor you at the first year in our new home.

Behind the scenes, the move to the hotel was not easy, but our staff shone, and I want to shout some of them out. Last-minute schedule changes and room timing adjustments meant that our A/V team had to scramble to set up and break down on a much quicker turnaround than previous years; they worked seamlessly with our Events team to make sure everything in the ballrooms went off without a hitch, and I think the majority of our events were a hit despite the work needed to make them happen – major props to Drahck, Hawk, and the A/V crew.

Our shorthanded logistics team did their absolute best learning the new routes through the hotel, and hopped in to help solve problems at-con constantly. Our slew of volunteers hopped in every time we had a call for hands to move things, with a super fast response time. Our registration team has their process down to a science, and we kept the registration lines short all weekend. Our Media team put out beautiful graphics, a con book, and amazing work on social media; our photo team delivered on-site physical photos and organized an amazing fursuit photo and parade.

Every department pulled together to overcome every hiccup and oversight in planning that happened due to the hotel move as best they could, and I’m really proud of our entire team for their ability to communicate effectively when the chips are down.

We definitely had some hiccups; we hear your feedback about improving the Night Market, and about event space on Sunday. We have plans regarding the Night Market and will be releasing details in the coming months. Regarding Sunday events: Unfortunately in 2024, we once again will not have access to the Grand Ballroom on Sunday, so Sunday events will be held in the upstairs Harbor Ballroom. We’re rethinking our events schedule with this feedback and space caveat in mind, so stay tuned for updates on that. Going forward in future years, we’ll have that space through Sunday, which will give us an opportunity to expand our featured events even further.

As we’re moving into summer, our planning is kicking into gear. ANE 2023 was our last year with NEADS World Class Service Dogs, and while we’re sad to see them go, we’re happy to have had the opportunity to work with them! We’ve selected our new charity; keep an eye out for that announcement on social media soon. As well, we’re gearing up for Dealers Den applications to open in a few weeks – they’ll be open for the entire month of July this year, so get ready!

Now that we have a year in our new home under our belts, we’re looking to make things bigger and better, to improve on our weak points, and overall, to bring the New England furry community the best possible hometown con experience we possibly can. We’re so excited to work with our 2024 Guests of Honor: Wolf, Woozie, and Declan. And we’re ready to try new things. If you have suggestions, ideas, thoughts – fire away; we’re open to feedback. Leave a comment here, or reach out to us on social media!

My final note on 2023 and ANE going forward to our attendees is this: You may have noticed that every con is struggling with staffing, and it affects the quality of the experience we’re able to bring you. We are all volunteers, from those in the volunteer position all the way up to the board. This is a labor of love. I highly encourage you to volunteer even a few hours of your time if you’re able. Join staff, hop in and lend a hand. We can’t be our best selves when we’re run ragged, and staff burnout is real – but many hands make light work, and I truly believe the many hands in this community can make this convention shine.

Seven months ’til the Nor’Eastah hits – get your bread and milk ready, it’s gonna be a fun ride!

 

ANE 2023 – 2024 Theme Transition Artwork by Slumberyote.

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Comments (1)

Kudos to ANE for hosting a FUN convention. I thought going to back-to-back cons with Further Confusion would be a “Debby Downer”… it wasn’t. FC was great, as it’s my home con. It was nice ANE ended up being so magical in its own distinct way. Rain in San Jose then Snow in Boston!! It turned out to be a wonderful experience, one I won’t forget. ANE was my first furry con on the US East Coast, and finally got to meet my friends who can’t readily come out West to see me. Overall, you guys have a great venue with Westin and I see continued success as this con continues to grow. I was grateful to attend, I hope to return in a future year. Good Luck and Bear Hugs. Joe G Bear

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