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What would be your ideal Lego show?

Looking at the feedback from the Birmingham show it seems that while many enjoyed it, it didn't suit everybody.

I'm interested to see what people's ideal show would look like, both from an exhibitor / retailer's point of view, and as a visitor.

How big a venue?
What facilities would it have?
What balance of retail space vs display space vs 'play' space?
How long?  2 days?  3?  4?
How much difference would it make if Lego had an 'official' presence?
What are your priorities when visiting>  Displays?  Retail opportunities?  Meeting up with like-minded friends?

Everyone complains if the tickets are too expensive, but you can't charge exhibitors as they're a main draw for a lot of people, so how do you think the show ought to be funded, and what's a reasonable price to pay?

I'll just make it clear that I'm not about to set up a show(!), but while many people are quick to vocalise what they don't like about a thing, the things they did like (or would have liked) don't get mentioned so much.

Just trying to build up a hypothetical picture of 'the perfect Lego show'.


  • rdflegordflego Member Posts: 324
    If I may be candid for a moment, I would like to see a show without those people who ask inane questions like 'is this [several hundred thousand piece] woolly mammoth a lego set?' or 'is this [3ft tall Daffy Duck statue] for sale?'

    In all honesty I would like a convention where I can Scrooge McDuck my way into a brick-pit and nobody finds it odd. I guess less queuing would be better...
  • AyliffeAyliffe Member Posts: 323
    One with free lego? ,':)
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt Member Posts: 778
    I love displays and seeing new stuff.
    Shows need more interactive things not just playpits( although they are excellent!) Look at some of the American shows: they have loads of stuff to do.

    I don't think an official LEGO presence is necessary at all
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Member Posts: 4,260
    As an exhibitor?

    Free accomodation
    Travel Expenses paid
    Lunch and evening meals paid for
    Free Lego sets as a 'thank you'
    Enough space for my full display
    Nice visitors
    Reasonable start and finish times
    Good company (fellow exhibitors)

    Most shows that I've displayed at have a combination of the above, and I've never yet been disappointed with a show that I've displayed at. I do tend to pick and choose though.
  • AanchirAanchir Member Posts: 3,014
    Well, BrickFair Virginia already has a lot of what I'd like, but as of this year I've been to three events with nicer venues (BrickFair New Jersey, BrickUniverse Raleigh, and BronyCon). Separate meeting rooms for presentations, games, and panels are very nice as opposed to just doing all that stuff on the main exhibit floor like we do in Virginia.

    I'd really love for events to celebrate more types of creativity besides just building. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing MOCs! But what about paintings and drawings of LEGO characters? A painting of Benny from The LEGO Movie sold for $2,000 in the BrickFair Virginia charity auction last year, so clearly there's an audience for that kind of thing. I even exhibit some of my own drawings at the Bionicle table at most of the conventions I go to. But as it is, not enough people are even producing LEGO art of other types.

    Something else I'd love is MUSIC. The ambient sound at BrickFair Virginia and BrickFair New Jersey is usually just crowd noise. At BrickUniverse Raleigh, which was at a venue with better acoustics, music was piped in, but it was just a random Disney album/playlist on loop for pretty much the entire event. There is plenty of actual LEGO music that you could have playing in the background. Ninjago, Legends of Chima, and the LEGO Movie have all had official soundtrack releases. Ninjago, Chima, Friends, Elves, and Bionicle have all had promotional songs released online as well.

    Ideally, I'd like to have LEGO events become a venue for fan-created music as well! BronyCon had two live music venues: one stage in one of the main hallways for musicians to play music throughout the event, and a much larger stage in its own room where concerts were held on Friday and Saturday. In between live musicians, fan-created music was also piped into the hallways via speakers. Obviously, the LEGO community is far, far behind the brony community when it comes to having a fan music scene. Other than the "Symphony of Construction" event that's been held twice on Flickr, a relay-type event in which builders create music inspired by MOCs and MOCs inspired by music, I am not aware of any organized musical presence within this community.

    How about cosplay? ALL the big pop-culture conventions have cosplay whether they're focused on video games, anime, comic books, specific genres like sci-fi or steampunk, or specific franchises like My Little Pony. Yet it is rarely seen at LEGO events. BrickFair New Jersey had a lot of people in costume, but only because it lined up with Halloween. And there was no cosplay photoshoot and no really organized costume contest — a few prizes for costumes were just handed out at closing ceremonies, almost as an afterthought.

    One weird quirk I've noticed at BrickFairs I've attended is that we don't have "panels" like most pop-culture conventions, where a group of special guests participates in a moderated discussion. Instead, most of the events are "seminars" (can you really imagine making the LEGO community sound more stuffy and business-like than that?) where one person talks at you for an hour and, if you're lucky, shows you some slides. These can be somewhat fun and informative, but I feel like they'd be more so if there were more of a back-and-forth discussion. You can look at the LEGO Ninjago panel from SDCC as one example, but not everything has to be a behind-the-scenes panel with guests sent by LEGO themselves. Even a panel of MOCists, artists, or customizers could be a lot more exciting than a "seminar" by one person from any of those groups.

    I think LEGO events could stand to take accessibility more seriously. Now, most of the LEGO events I've been to have been pretty wheelchair-friendly. That's not what I'm talking about specifically. There are a lot of LEGO fans on the autism spectrum, and many autistic children and adults experience some degree of social anxiety. It would be good to have quiet, sensory-friendly spaces for these people to retreat to if the noise and crowds on the show floor become overwhelming. Making spaces like this available is universal design — ANYBODY could make use of a space like this, whether or not they're disabled.

    There was a seminar on accessibility at BrickFair New Jersey, but the person giving the seminar, well-meaning as he was, did not appear to fully understand the challenges of being on the autism spectrum. He was more so concerned with accommodations for the hearing–, vision–, and mobility-impaired. When I brought up the social and sensory challenges these events present for autistic people, he somewhat naively suggested offering a person being overwhelmed a hug. Not only are some autistic people extremely uncomfortable with touching, but this answer seemed to be focused strictly on autistic CHILDREN, not adults.

    BronyCon was REALLY good about accommodations and protections for all kinds of people. Children, people with disabilities, transgender individuals, etc. They have clear rules against discrimination, non-consensual touching, etc. They even provide attendees with color communication cards to protect them from harassment or social anxiety. They are a community that knows and appreciates their diversity. The LEGO conventions I have been to don't seem to appreciate that diversity to the same degree, and I've heard from many people who for one reason or another are uncomfortable with the idea of attending a LEGO convention because of the challenges they face as individuals. Because my own social anxiety and sensory issues are fairly mild and I am not visibly a part of any minority, I have been privileged enough not to experience a lot of discrimination, but I feel like the LEGO conventions I've attended do not seem to put much forethought into making their spaces safe and accessible.

    A convention ideally should also have strong branding. Granted, a lot of LEGO conventions at least have a logo. But why not go beyond that? How about mascots? Illustrated signs and programs? Yearly event posters? Animated promotional videos? Not only do these sorts of things make the convention experience feel more complete, they are a merchandising opportunity. This is another thing that I feel a lot of the brony conventions excel at.

    That's all I can think of right at the moment. It's election day so I have to go out and do my civic duty now instead of just rambling on and on about LEGO events!
  • CHERUBboyCHERUBboy Member Posts: 98
    So I'm carried in on a gold chariot by mermaids, and the guy who tears my ticket hands me a solid gold C3PO. First port of call is the lifesize model LL-928 spaceship where my older brother is frozen in carbonite as punishment for stomping my Lego in 1978.

    Also, free parking.
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