2018 was a big year for Brickworld and for TexLUG participation! Over 15 members from TexLUG-Houston, TexLUG-Austin, TexLUG-Dallas, and Texas Brick RailRoad attended the convention, with many of them displaying MOCs that were either driven, flown, or separately shipped up to Chicago. The convention took place at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center about an hour southwest of downtown Chicago, as it has in years past. In total there were 1008 registrants for the convention, a higher number than last year. The public attendance was 7700 for both days, a slight drop from last year’s figures. The entire convention hall, all 100,000 square feet of it, was filled up with displays and vendors, leaving surprisingly little space empty. Needless to say, there was quite a significant amount of capital in plastic within that space throughout the weekend.
The convention began Wednesday, with check-in opening at noon. I volunteered at the goody-bag loading station in the morning and with load-in operations, and other members volunteered in other areas, such as Sarah at the check-in station. The 1×8 brick color for this year was olive green, quite an interesting deviation from the norm! Convention activities continued throughout Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the opening ceremony occurring on Thursday night. On Thursday afternoon, I led a seminar/roundtable discussion titled “Improving your Rockwork” focused on instructing MOC builders about how to use lesser known techniques and parts to make their rockwork look more realistic, with multiple members attending. There was a crowd of around 75-100 in attendance.
Other members attended various other seminars/set drafts/competitions throughout the week, ranging from how to run a LUG to Dirty Brickster. Several members enjoyed some deep-dish pizza together Friday night while inside the PennLUG train layout, for which Ed brought an incredible drawbridge and lumber yard! The World of Lights event on Saturday night was amazing as well, with many displays flaunting intense arrays of colorful flashing LEDs.
Overall, the displays looked incredible all around, and I believe the Great Ball Contraption broke the world record again this year with an insanely long layout. I think it’s fair to say everyone enjoyed the convention! I know I plan to be back next year, and more than likely many TexLUG members will as well.
– by TexLUG-Houston member P. Myers