Recently in discussion, the subject's come up of convention attendance 'records'. Now, I'm probably about #3 or so in "People in the world who care about attendance at furry conventions", mostly because it is in my job description as Registration Director at Anthrocon. Every year we need to project attendance for placing orders of materials, for estimating space, for blocking out hotel rooms.. and the numbers for that fall squarely on my shoulders. So I spend a fair amount of time looking at convention numbers. I'll brag I'm pretty good at it by now: I projected 4200-4300 with an exacta of 4224 for Anthrocon last year.. and we got 4238. My mind is in this space often.
Now, the aforementioned Anthrocon does have a fair number of attendance records as well: First con to cross 2000, 3000, 4000; highest attendance of a furry convention in its 5th year (and 6th, 7th, through the present). Anthrocon does not have the record for highest attendance in the first through fourth years of a convention. That record is held by Further Confusion. Sources for this are at http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Convention , which has derived information from http://www.mustelid.com/otterhall/afcis.html and other sources.
Now, in current discussion, the following statement was said: "FC basically ate ConFurence. We don't consider that a third year, because there was an established con already."
I'm going to very strongly disagree. Let's cover three reasons why FC deserves its attendance title.
#1: It's in a totally different location.
ConFurence occurred in the following cities in California: Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Irvine, Buena Park, San Diego, Burbank. All of these cities are located in Orange County in Southern California, except for San Diego, which is even further south. Further Confusion is a Bay Area convention, and has been held in San Jose, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. The closest locations both conventions were held at are still hundreds of miles and six hours of driving apart.
#2 It's totally different management.
Further Confusion is and has been run by different fans than Confurence has been. The core directors of CF- Mark Merlino, Rod O'Reilly, and Daniel Exline- have not been involved in FC's management, nor as far as I can tell, were FC's founding management involved in CF before then. Some of FC's management structure (AA&E as a 'board' selecting a chairman each year) would appear to be a deliberate reaction to CF's management setup, though I can't prove that conjecture.
#3 Confurence kept going.
Confurence's decline in attendance started in 1999, when CF shifted to a new time slot and south to San Diego. And yes, that was the year Further Confusion premiered in CF's old time slot in January. It's generally safe to say the decline of CF can be somewhat attributed to FC's rising success; but CF still continued for five conventions after FC debuted, and there are other reasons why Confurence ended.. Unlike Califur, which started in 2004 and can somewhat be considered a successor to CF (Though I'd argue it's rather a different con as well), the two co-existed long enough to be clearly established separate entities.
In spirit, in management, in location, in legal sense.. Further Confusion was a new convention. It deserves its records of first through fourth year held highest attendance.