eilonwy77 wrote:I also wonder what people who attended think about it. How did it compare to past years? What did you like? Etc., etc.
[Apologies if this is a bit of a brain dump rather than a coherant narrative. ]
The first BC (actually NWBC at the time) I went to was in 2006 and each year the space gets bigger, the numbers grow and the atmosphere, the vibe stays the same, in a good way. I never really believed I could meet and talk to every one but in recent years, with so many people, I have been able to make myself actually believe that it is OK not to try. It was really nice, as in past years, to just strike up a conversation with another LEGO nerd as we both admired a MOC or a new set on display or perused the Scratch & Dent pile. I didn't feel guilty not learning the name of everyone I spoke too. For me that relaxed feeling was the best yet.
It may also have helped that on Saturday my son and I went back to the hotel room shortly after public hours, had lunch and I took a nap while he crashed on the couch. It is amazing how much more enjoyable the rest of Saturday and Sunday were this year having gotten enough sleep. Sure I missed out getting to see Jeff's LEGO room at his party but maybe he will do it again next year.
That is important to me and a good sign: I am already looking forward to next year. I have been smiling and cheerful for two mornings post-con and thinking pleasantly (but not obsessively) about what I might do next year.
Castle Display: working with Jim and Trevor and Tom and Bob to create the town was loads of fun. The CCC standard again proved itself easy to use as we were able to create a town that made sense with a complete circuit of walls from virtually no plan. I am gonna have to build up an "army" of peasants over the next year as there were plenty of soldiers to go around but precious few civilians. Thanks to everyone for wall sections and buildings and people.
I really enjoyed hanging out chatting behind the tables during the public hours on Sunday. In fact I was having such a good time Sunday I even enjoyed talking to the public for a while. Usually I am really burned out (especially having done our local train show the weekend before) but this year I felt OK. This was probably good for some - Hi Chris! - who looked a little worse for wear on Sunday.
The little flickering candle lights really made those MOCs come alive. That flickering light provided a nice movement in the display.
Operation Bricklord: I also contributed to this and it looked spectacularly busy but maybe something different in terms of layout would be nice next year. I think the way we do the castle display might add some flexibility to OpB next year. Doing the same thing two years in a row was OK but I think we have done with the town with canal.
Film Fest: I missed it completely because they ran it at an odd time. Would it really have been a problem to run it again in the evening or Sunday sometime? Maybe before the Saturday awards.
Shopping: My second favorite activity @ BC. The lack of Pick a Brick at the Con was disappointing but certainly made the store event less chaotic. Speaking of Chaos, I have to give a thumbs up to the new Scratch & Dent system. Thanks to a friend with a better position and no particular desire of his own I was able to get a Death Star but even if I had not, the system seemed reasonably fair and knowing where I was going to be in the order was really nice.
Oh, and perhaps the highlight of the con for me was Hillel's talk on Saturday evening. It was insightful, hilarious and said many things I think are on AFOLs minds in a way that was funny but serious and not angry or whining. I hope the LEGO staff who heard it take something of that back to the company and do something good with it. That talk was the kind of adult, thoughtful content that makes conventions like this work for me. I like having "childish" fun - hey, I think my Romans with the flame-thrower were amusing - but content that engages my adult brain is good too.