Code of Conduct

Midwest FurFest's guiding principle of behavior is:
"Use common sense, and be courteous of others."

Every member of Midwest FurFest (MFF) agrees to abide by the MFF Code of Conduct as a condition of attending the event and receiving a badge. Following the policies below ensures that you and the people around you have a safe and enjoyable convention experience. This code of conduct applies to members of the convention at all event premises, regardless of whether the convention has officially begun or ended. These locations include, but are not limited to, the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, and any MFF contracted hotel.

MFF events and function spaces are for the exclusive enjoyment of our members.  Badges shall be worn at all times and are required for event admission.  A badge is valid only for the person to whom it was issued and may not be shared under any circumstance.  Convention badges are the property of MFF for the duration of the convention and must be presented and/or surrendered to any MFF staff member upon request.

Personal Conduct

Though MFF is a private event, attendees are expected to conduct themselves in common areas in a manner appropriate for public spaces. Footwear is required in all convention spaces. Individuals not in costume are required to wear shirts and pants or their equivalents. Clothing and costumes must not be overly revealing, lewd, or suggestive. Collars are acceptable attire, however leashes may not be held by another person. For safety reasons, fursuits are not permitted in restaurants or bars unless explicitly allowed.

Daytime programming content is intended for all ages. During evening hours, some events may contain strong language or adult themes and will be restricted to mature audiences only; attendees under the age of 18 will not be admitted to these events without a parent or guardian.

The following is expressly prohibited at MFF:

  • Sleeping in common spaces

  • Open display of adult artwork

  • Lewd public display of affection

  • Throwing items from any elevated space at MFF, including the balconies or railings in the atrium of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare

  • Affixing any material to walls, elevators, hotel room doors or convention signage — MFF provides a message board in a public area where members may post messages or place announcements

  • Indoor or outdoor drone operation without written authorization from MFF

Attendees must comply with venue smoking policies. Smoking or use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited in any area within MFF hotel event space, common areas, non-smoking guest rooms, or the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Smokers must use designated smoking areas, and cigarette butts must be disposed of properly.  Note that all MFF hotels are 100% non-smoking except limited Hyatt Regency O’Hare guest rooms.

During peak traffic periods, elevator queuing and access may be controlled by MFF.  Priority is given to the following (in order):

  1. Non-convention attendees

  2. Those with impaired mobility

  3. Fursuiters (with one handler)

Animals, except service animals as defined in 28 CFR 36.104 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, are prohibited in hotel common areas, event and function spaces, the convention center, and connecting walkways. Registered guests in compliance with a hotel’s pet policy may take their pet directly between their guest room and outdoor relief/exercise areas. Deviations from this policy shall be made in writing at the discretion of Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc.

Merchandising

Sales or barter of merchandise or services at the convention may only be conducted in the Dealers Room or Artists Alley and in compliance with the sales rules for the respective area. Merchants must comply with local and state sales regulations.  Sales or barter in any other area, including Con Suite, are prohibited without express written permission from MFF.

Minors at Midwest FurFest

Unemancipated individuals under the age of 18 (minors), unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, must present a signed and notarized parental permission form to receive a badge. Accompanying parents or guardians of minor attendees are responsible for the behavior, activities, and location of their charges.

Harassment

Midwest FurFest is dedicated to providing a harassment-free convention experience for all, regardless of age, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, or personal beliefs. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind of convention attendees, volunteers, staff, or guests; harassment is considered a serious breach of this code of conduct.  This policy applies equally to attendees, staff, contractors, and agents of MFF. If someone requests to be left alone, respect their wishes.  Individuals experiencing harassment should contact any member of MFF staff as soon as possible.

Wearing or displaying garments, costumes, or signage that are deemed by MFF to communicate hostile messaging or sentiment is not permitted anywhere in MFF spaces. Individuals in violation of this policy will be required to remove such items.

Convention Security & Complaint Resolution

Convention security is primarily responsible for attendee safety. Questions regarding safety or application of the code of conduct should be directed to security staff.  Concerns or complaints about staff conduct may be brought to the attention of the Convention Chairman.

Alcohol & Controlled Substances

Alcoholic beverages are only permitted in convention space if sold by or served from a provider licensed for on-site consumption.  Public intoxication is not permitted. Those deemed intoxicated or impaired may be asked to retire to their private hotel room or may be removed from the premises.

Alcohol service at parties is permitted only if the party is closed (private). It is the responsibility of the host and registered guests of a room where alcohol is being served at a party to ensure that all persons are over the age of twenty-one (21), regardless of whether or not those individuals are consuming alcohol.

MFF has a zero tolerance policy regarding illegal substances. Any convention member found to be selling or otherwise distributing any controlled substance will have their membership immediately revoked, will be reported to local authorities, and may be expelled from the venue.

Weapons & Replicas

No functioning or realistic appearing firearm may be carried or displayed in convention space at any time.  Projectile devices or props, which may cause annoyance to others, are not allowed.

Edged weapons may be worn as a costume accessory only if they are covered by a sheath that covers all sharp edges and points. The weapon must be secured from removal by a cord or tie (often referred to as “peace bonding”) that is applied or approved by convention security. A temporary exception is made for newly purchased weapons carried directly to one's room or out of the venue.  Single bladed pocket knives, pocket knives, and Leatherman style multi-tools of reasonable length are exempt from this requirement.

Brandishing any weapon for any reason is not allowed, and will result in the confiscation of the weapon for the duration of the convention.

Any questions about this regarding the weapons policy should be directed to convention security.

Photography, Video Recording, & Media

Photography, film, and video recording by convention members for personal use is generally allowed in all common areas of MFF. No image recording is allowed in the Art Show.

Attendees are reminded to be courteous when photographing or filming individuals or costumes — ask permission first. If an individual does not wish to be photographed or filmed, respect their wishes.

Photography, film, or video recording in convention spaces for the purposes of sale, publication, mass media, or public dissemination is expressly prohibited without written authorization from Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc.

All journalists, media photographers, and other members of the press are required to display an official MFF press badge and be accompanied by a designated member of MFF staff at all times while in convention spaces. Members of the press who have not been issued a press badge may not conduct interviews or take photographs, audio, or video footage without an escort, and may be subject to removal from venue property. Media representatives who do not have press badges and or are not escorted by a designated MFF staff member should be reported to convention security staff or to convention operations immediately.

"FurFest" is a registered service mark of Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc.,. and must not be used in any fashion that disparages or dilutes that mark. Members agree to remove from circulation or publication any image or recording that in the sole opinion of Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc. misrepresents or defames its service mark.

Enforcement & Revocation Of Membership

MFF prides itself in welcoming furry fans from all walks of life, and we acknowledge that we also have a responsibility ensure the safety of our attendees.  Failure to abide by this code of conduct may result in any of the following:

  • Warning

  • Revocation of membership and confiscation of badge

  • Referral to venue security

  • Referral to public safety or law enforcement agencies

Any member who is deemed by the chairman of MFF, or their designee, to have egregiously violated this code of conduct may have their MFF membership revoked. In addition, individuals barred from the premises of any MFF facility by that facility’s management will automatically have their MFF membership revoked.  

Any individual whose membership has been revoked is automatically prohibited from registering for any subsequent conventions or events sponsored by Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc. until such time as their attendance is approved by the board of directors of Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc.

Revocation of membership may only be appealed in writing to the board of directors in advance of the convention at:

Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc.
5600 N River Rd Ste 800
Rosemont, IL 60018-5166

The board of directors reserves the final authority to grant or deny membership.

This Code of Conduct is effective as of 2017-05-14.  Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc. reserves the right to change, amend, or modify these rules at any time without prior notice.

Updated May 2017