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BrickUniverse Madison

AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 5,230
edited June 2017 in Community and Events
I've never been to one of the big Lego expos before. I wanted to go to BrickWorld in Chicago last weekend, but had conflicting plans.
Do you think BrickUniverse in Madison July 1-2 is worth a five hour drive and probably a hotel stay to see? Would there be any point to attending both days? I'm interested chiefly in AFOL stuff since I have no kids.


  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 5,230
    I take it nobody's ever been to this, or nobody ever looks in this section of the forums.
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    I've not been. I'm probably displaying at the one in Knoxville in August but that's not going to help you decide now. 

    I really can't advise you as everyone is different. I don't think I'd go to just a convention's public days but that's because I wouldn't enjoy wandering around just looking at bricks. AFOLdom is about community for me.

    I did go to a BrickFair public day before I attended the convention but I had my daughter and we took friends and I knew people to talk to. One of them added a MOC of mine to his train layout that year.

    I guess the question is - are you the kind of person who'd go to LEGOland just to wander around miniland?

    Hope that helps a bit.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 5,230
    ^ Thanks! Now I've looked at the web site more closely, I don't see anything about non-public events, the talks/speakers don't seem interesting, and they have this weird morning OR afternoon ticket policy and are apparently closed from 1-2. The models on display would be cool, but it doesn't look worth the travel. If it was in town I'd go.
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    I think they're hoping to become more of a convention next year, at least that's what they told us about Knoxville. If that's the case for Madison I'd wholeheartedly recommend going for the convention.

    You'd better get working on something just in case :)
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    My LUG is actually going to be displaying at the Madison event this weekend. While it will be nothing like Brickworld in terms of the number of MOCs in the room, there will be plenty to see there. Rocco's work (architecture) is very impressive, as is the mini-fig scale U.S.S. Missouri that Brickmania will have there. I'm also anticipating there will be the usual wide array of vendors.

    This is a very different experience than a traditional fan convention. It's broken up in "sessions," which means you can only access the room during the time you purchased your ticket for, during which you will be able to do the hands-on activities or see some of the presenters they have travel for the event. It's not like BW where the public hours run all day. That said, you can pretty much do/see everything in the session time frame.

    This is the first time we've done a BrickUniverse event, but all comparisons I can find show it's closer to something like BrickFest Live. There's tons of fun for kids, but AFOLs might find it a little less exciting. 
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    Update - This ended up being a very well run event from the displayer side of things. The BU team was super easy to work with and genuinely seems interested in making sure visitors have a good time. We had a prime spot by the entrance and were pretty much mobbed the first two hours of each "session."

    If you have one of their stops coming to within an hour or two of your area, I would say it's worth your time to check it out. 
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 5,230
    Thanks for the report!
    What's your opinion of the "sessions" concept? It sounds to me like something that wouldn't work well with a large show, so are they planning on keeping these small enough to be absorbed in 2-3 hours?
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    @BuriedinBricks Thank you, good to hear. Our LUGPresident seems pretty impressed with them so far but it's good to know it works well in the end too. Now to work out where my husband will be that week so I know if I can get to Knoxville.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    @Astrobricks- Given the overall size of the event, the three hour concept seemed to work pretty well. Things were super busy for the first two hours and then the crowd was pretty thin by hour three. There's a lot to see, but the session time seems to be about right. They also tried to open a little early each session as well, which I think helped keep things moving.

    If the show was much larger, I think the three hour cap would be difficult. This was just the right size though.

    @Jenni - The organizer (who is all of 17!) seems to really know what he's doing. I was very impressed with how smoothly everything ran.

    Also, I retract my earlier comments about there not being much for AFOLs. I talked to so many people who were there this weekend without kids and they seemed so surprised to see a group like my LUG there. I have a feeling we're about to see a membership boost in the coming months.

    Favorite pic from the weekend (Members of the 501st were there)
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 5,230
    ^ "Aren't you a little tall for a jawa?"
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