The UK’s largest LEGO exhibition: BRICK, will not be holding an event in London this year, a communication from the organisers to registered fans and exhibitors has revealed… Or Glasgow apparently which was hoped to be a new addition to the calendar this year so it looks like plans for expansion and fermenting of the high profile event are well and truly scuppered.
Well, maybe not but first, let’s look at London. There have been two successful events so far at Excel and with the second growing in size, I (and perhaps we all) thought it would become the UK’s flagship annual event. With no communication from Excel themselves, we only have one point of view but either way, it looks like agreement could not be reached on both space and dates with the organisers only being offered around half of the square footage sought and no room for organising queues. There was also, apparently, an issue with the event dates, those desired not being made available either.
I will say right now what I’ve been saying for a while: the country is saturated if not infested with all manner of comicy, filmy convention type events, many of which have numerous problems that usually centre around two issues; square footage and managing queues so while I’m disappointed that BRICK won’t be at Excel this year, I completely respect and agree with the decision not to go ahead with the event. That must have taken some guts to finally say it but the BRICK team have said that they’ve put the quality of the event and the experience of the visitors first. Based on the reasons given, it isn’t the right thing to do, it’s obviously the right thing to do.
There seem to have been similar issues with Glasgow, which would have been a new event this year. The focus of the issue, however, seems to revolve around exhibitors and the duration of the event. I can certainly say for myself that while I think a big LEGO event in Scotland would be great, where most of your exhibitors are coming from is a relevant and reasonable consideration and I wonder if for many, it’s a long way to go for just a two-day event (that’s a guess, of course). If exhibitors were pushing for longer to make it more worthwhile, maybe that just couldn’t be done. This seems to me like a problem that can be worked on though so maybe there’s still hope for a Scottish BRICK, just not this year.
SO that leaves last year’s new entry in Birmingham as the standalone BRICK outing of 2016, but at least with the NEC being right off the M42 and having plenty of parking (albeit a tad pricey) it should be nice and easy to get to. They’ve got more space and seem to have ideas about how to use it to grow the event, so no worries right?.. Right?
Well, I recall an old saying about who you can please and how often. The event at the NEC will be a whopper at four days which, if you’re an exhibitor will mean five including setup. While some may be revelling in the prospect, I, having been really looking forward to displaying at a BRICK this year am completely and utterly stuck. All those days isn’t just annual leave that needs sorting out, I have childcare responsibilities and that can be harder to get around. The longer an event is, the more likely it will exceed someone’s window of possibility and unfortunately, this one is like packing for your summer holiday: you can try it as many different ways as you like, if you got more clothes than will go in the suitcase, it’s just not going to fit. You can try asking your partner to help you out by taking fewer pairs of shoes but that only gets them thrown at you… and then put back in the suitcase.
So a big four-dayer at the NEC: Happy smiley. I can’t go: sad smiley. But enough about me.
So the UK’s largest LEGO event is saved but remember I mentioned expansion. Well, it’s good news for AFOLs in the US and Canada because the BRICK team has found a ‘pard’ner‘ and events are planned for Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth and New York… Yes, I noticed that none of those are in Canada too but they mentioned it in the email. The first two will be over the summer (which doesn’t seem that far away now) and New York will be in November.
So were you planning on going to a BRICK event this year and does the ‘bigger better’ four day extravaganza at the NEC get you excited? Are you an American or Canadian reader and have you heard any news on the new US shows?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.