Things have been going great this week! With all the LUG & Event support applications processed, I’ve had an incredible amount of my time freed up to focus in on some of the items that I enjoy more. This week I started out by reaching out to the LEGO User Groups in the Vancouver, British Columbia area to gauge interest in helping out with a brand new LEGO Store opening up in the area over the coming months. When a new store opens our colleagues at Brand Retail reach out to me to see if we have any AFOLs in the area that might be interested in helping build models. Obviously, without a staff in place, there is no one available to build all the models that go into a new store. It’s actually a rather fun process and one that I was personally involved with a couple years ago when the Store in Austin, Texas opened.
I’ve been wrapping up final preparations for the US LEGO fan convention Brickworld: Chicago (look for my post next week on what to expect from LEGO at this one!) and have now transitioned focus on the next events taking place over the summer in North America. I’ve shipped out support packages to both the Brick Fiesta and Brickféte organizers this week. These packages comprise of LEGO products that can be used as raffle prizes, door and goody bag items, as well as charity auction pieces. We’ve also been in communication to iron out details on event sessions, set unveilings, special guests, etc.
So where has most of my time been going? Talking with fans! Sadly, with so many items on my to-do-list over the last couple of months there have been lots and lots of emails and voicemails that have been building up. I’ve had a great time catching up and getting back to what I enjoy most: speaking with the fans. I’ve had several wonderful conversations over the last couple of weeks in response to everything from guidance on forming a new LEGO User Group (LUGs) to initiating a new LEGO fan convention! Keeping in constant contact with the fans is critically important for me to be successful in my job, as well as accurately represent the community internally. I hope the increase in my outreach and efforts have been felt in my areas.
Alright back to work, I’ve got a handful of meetings tomorrow. One is to brief me on proper procedure when entering a “construction zone.” The Enfield office is going through a massive expansion and as such my warehouse of community support inventory is right in the belly of the beast. They even gave me a hard hat… awesome.
So today I drove to Billund to check out the Ferrari day in LEGOLand.
Plenty of awesome cars, but the best was still the miniland scale diorama brought by Stephan Sander.
Perfect weather and happy families
After a very long (cancelled flights and delays) 17 hour trip to Lipno I am very happy that I made it here.
The exhibition is fantastic – the largest one Kostky ever did.
Check out the pictures – it us running until October so I you have the chance to visit it is strongly recommended!
We unveiled the 10236 Ewok Village on a Press conference at the Kosty.org LEGO Fan Event in Lipno!
Pictures need to be taken
The members of the CEE (Community Engagement & Events) team are always on the lookout for unique and interesting opportunities to support the fan community. Working closely with the North American LEGO Castle marketing team we are happy to continue our yearlong competition celebrating the anniversary and return of LEGO Castle in 2013! We have partnered with the 9 large fan conventions taking place in North America in 2013 (BrickFair: Alabama, Bricks Cascade, BrickFair: New England, Brickworld: Chicago, Brick Fiesta, Brickfête, BrickFair: Virginia, Bricks by the Bay and BrickCon) as well as with our colleagues on ReBrick to offer up an opportunity to win an entire collection of the new 2013 Castle product line.
As each convention already offers up a castle themed section for MOCs, as well as some form of “best of” category at the event, we have agreed that the winner chosen at each event will become a semi-finalist in our competition. This individual will be rewarded with an entire collection of the 2013 Castle product line once available, as well as enter into a final round amongst the winners chosen at each of the other conventions to compete for a secret grand prize. We understand that not everyone is able to attend these events; as such, we have opened up the competition online as well with our colleagues at ReBrick. The competition details have already been posted and can be seen here so anyone, anywhere, has a chance to enter!
We have found our third semi-finalist! Michael Feist, from Briarcliff Manor, New York came out and showcased his wonderful castle at BrickFair: New England. His MOC was selected as the “Best of Castle” at the event and as such he will be receiving an entire collection of the 2013 LEGO Castle product line! His MOC will now move forward and compete against the 8 other North American fan conventions as well as the online winner selected on ReBrick! Congrats Michael!
Today I was the guide for the 2 Billund production facilities for the guest of the first 2013 LEGO Inside tour – it was a great group of people including Huw from Brickset and his lovely wife.
This week has been very productive for me with catching up on a majority of tasks that have been on hold for some time. I am happy to report that I have now processed and shipped out LUG support packages to all 82 groups that submitted applications in North America (keep in mind we have 94 active LUGs in NA). What does that equate to you ask? 239 LEGO sets and 275 cases of play brick made their way out of the Enfield warehouse over the course of the last couple of months. Now they are being utilized by the LUG community to support their activities and initiatives. I’ve heard some wonderful stories on how the groups have been using these gifts and I look forward to hearing more throughout the year during my travels and discussions. Now that North America is “finished” I will set my sights on South America!
I’ve also caught up with every event support application currently submitted for North America as well! So far this year I have received 77 event support applications, 75 of which have been successfully supported (2 events had too short of notice unfortunately). Obviously, event support applications will continue to come in throughout the year- but now that I have finished off all the backlogged apps, I should be able to easily accommodate new ones much quicker as they come in. Of course, the burning question- what does all that work equal in terms of brick and sets?! 258 LEGO sets and 125 cases of play brick. Are you keeping track? That means the CEE (Community Engagement & Events) team at LEGO has now donated 497 LEGO sets and 400 cases of miscellaneous LEGO play brick to the LUG community in North America in 2013! As of today, I have not received any event support application for South America so I’m up-to-date in all my regions!
As we quickly approach the summer season that means it’s time to kick into US LEGO fan convention “high gear” for another year. I am finalizing preparations for Brickworld: Chicago, we should have a rather large LEGO presence at this event this year (stay tuned for my upcoming post). However, I am also well underway putting together support packages and coordinating support efforts with Brick Fiesta, Brickfete and Bricks by the Bay. The travel schedule defiantly heats up at this time of the year as the events all squeeze their way into the summer months. Somewhere in the middle, I will also be making a trip out to Billund, Denmark for the annual CEE team meeting. The one time of the year that every member of the CEE team is in the same place at the same time.
To wrap up the week I was happy to meet up with Josh Hanlon from the weekly LEGO community podcast Beyond the Brick at the office. It was good to catch up with him again as I’ve met him before at Brickworld: Chicago 2012. I was also a guest on his show around this time last year (before I made him change the name of his show). I’ve also met his co-host Matthew Kay at BrickFair: Virginia in 2012. I was able to provide him a tour of the LEGO Enfield campus and answered his questions as we walked. He also got to see the desk in which I speak with the entire fan community in North, Central and South America. I didn’t let him sit in the chair though- with great power comes great responsibility you know. He should have a recap of his visit up in the coming weeks so I look forward to hearing about it!
That’s all from me- back to work!