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LEGO KidsFest Update.

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LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  Cale on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:10 am

As many of you know LEGO is planing several KidsFest events in the North East this year. After last years inaugural event in Hartford several of us in the LEGO community were concerned about being fairly compensated for displaying at these events. LEGO really want's AFOL's and LEGO clubs to participate and while we want to be there we can't just do it for free. These events are different from the normal fan run ones such as BrickFair and Brickworld. Aside from displaying our MOCS Kidsfest does not have much to offer AFOLs and many of the Kidsfest event require traveling long distance and long hours in front of the public. There is the potential for a lot of cost involved for not much benefit. Meanwhile LEGO and Life Marketing and Events are making a good deal of profit from these Kidsfests.

In an effort to come up with a fair compensation deal for AFOL's and LEGO Clubs that can be applied to all Kidsfests and to addrees other concerns we AFOL's had from last years Hartford event Jim Foulds (LEGO Community Operations Manager) has been talking with several representatives from the LEGO fan community. Dave Gwon and Mike Ripley from NELUG, Brian Williams from NILTC, Jenn "The Brick Chick" Wagner and Chris Edwards and myself from PennLUG.

This is what we have officially been offered so far. This offer was for Boston (a 2 day event). NY and Hartford will be 3 day events.

Every 10x10ft exhibit space we fill comes with the following for Club members
(1) double occupancy hotel room for Friday/Saturday nights
(2) $50 parking and transportation per day
(2) $50 food allowance per day
(2) Gift bag (minimum value of $150)
Listing of names LUG group name in the Official Program Guide
Listing /logo on LEGOKIDSFEST.COM website for the show
Opportunity to interact with thousands of LEGO fans during the weekend

This offer is missing a few details we feel are important however. It does not cover any travel costs such as truck rental, an issue important to our club especially. And it does not include any extra compensation (such as an honorarium for the club). This would be very appreciated in light of the hours involved working the event (5 Hours Friday, 11 hours each Saturday and Sunday) and work involved in setting up our displays. And the Gift Bag contents have yet to be determined.

While you could say that any offer is better than nothing it was not enough to entice the few of us PennLUG members interested in Boston to go. NELUG and Jenn Wagner will also not be participating in Boston (this coming weekend) for the same reasons. NILTC will be doing Chicago under these terms as they are local to the event and are able to use that to their advantage to help make the numbers work in their favor. As for the upcoming events in New York (November) and Hartford (December) we are still working toward getting a more amicable deal. Jim will be meeting with the Kidsfest team in early October to continue working out a deal.

If any one has any questions, concerns, or suggestions please feel free to discus them here.

Cale Leiphart
PennLUG


Last edited by Cale on Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  D_Runyon on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:23 am

I'm surprised NELUG isn't participating in Boston. I hope that tells LEGO something.

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  LegGodt on Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:19 pm

I do understand the cost involved and why it is difficult for some, if not all, in the group to attend these events. I just have a sinking feeling that this situation will not end well and someone, either the LUGs or Lego will be losing out in the end. I just hope it's not the LUGs, meaning Lego decides to cut back on LUG programs such as the BulkLUG program.

Just my opinion and fear ...

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  Cale on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:46 pm

LegGodt wrote:I do understand the cost involved and why it is difficult for some, if not all, in the group to attend these events. I just have a sinking feeling that this situation will not end well and someone, either the LUGs or Lego will be losing out in the end. I just hope it's not the LUGs, meaning Lego decides to cut back on LUG programs such as the BulkLUG program.

Just my opinion and fear ...

I understand your concerns but I don't feel this will affect our relationship with LEGO. It's not that we are out to get rich off these events. To the contrary I would be happy if we could just get all our costs covered.

The reality is that when we do an event, especially one that involves traveling long distance, there are sometimes significant costs involved. Truck rental and fuel alone for our recent Steamtown show cost $370.00. Add hotels, food, parking and other miscellaneous costs for the event and you realize that it's not an inexpensive undertaking. And there are those of us who don't have available paid vacation from work to do shows so any time off will cost us even more.

There are only so many events we can do each year when we have to pay our own way entirely. And given the choice many of us would rather spend the money to attend fan run events like Brickmagic, Brickworld and BrickFair that are geared toward AFOL's and have more to offer us or to do more local events such as Steamtown. It's not that we don't want to attend any Kidsfest event. Every one involved has stated that we would love the opportunity to participate and we only have the best of intentions in working out a deal. But the bottom line is that we can only afford to do so much and if LEGO values what we provide and want us there then we need some sort of compensation/incentive to be able to attend. Jim Foulds knows this well and is doing all he can to help. The rest of the Kidsfest team is willing to work with us too, it's just a matter of coming to agreement that will work for both AFOL's and Kidsfest.

I personally would love to do every event I could but I just can not afford to. This is still just a hobby for me (although a dearly loved one) and I only have so much I can spend on it. I just can't justify spending my entire LEGO budget on just doing shows like Kidsfest now matter how much I want to attend.

Cale

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  LEGO Dog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:18 am

Cale wrote:
LegGodt wrote:I do understand the cost involved and why it is difficult for some, if not all, in the group to attend these events. I just have a sinking feeling that this situation will not end well and someone, either the LUGs or Lego will be losing out in the end. I just hope it's not the LUGs, meaning Lego decides to cut back on LUG programs such as the BulkLUG program.

Just my opinion and fear ...

I understand your concerns but I don't feel this will affect our relationship with LEGO. It's not that we are out to get rich off these events. To the contrary I would be happy if we could just get all our costs covered.

The reality is that when we do an event, especially one that involves traveling long distance, there are sometimes significant costs involved. Truck rental and fuel alone for our recent Steamtown show cost $370.00. Add hotels, food, parking and other miscellaneous costs for the event and you realize that it's not an inexpensive undertaking. And there are those of us who don't have available paid vacation from work to do shows so any time off will cost us even more.

There are only so many events we can do each year when we have to pay our own way entirely. And given the choice many of us would rather spend the money to attend fan run events like Brickmagic, Brickworld and BrickFair that are geared toward AFOL's and have more to offer us or to do more local events such as Steamtown. It's not that we don't want to attend any Kidsfest event. Every one involved has stated that we would love the opportunity to participate and we only have the best of intentions in working out a deal. But the bottom line is that we can only afford to do so much and if LEGO values what we provide and want us there then we need some sort of compensation/incentive to be able to attend. Jim Foulds knows this well and is doing all he can to help. The rest of the Kidsfest team is willing to work with us too, it's just a matter of coming to agreement that will work for both AFOL's and Kidsfest.

I personally would love to do every event I could but I just can not afford to. This is still just a hobby for me (although a dearly loved one) and I only have so much I can spend on it. I just can't justify spending my entire LEGO budget on just doing shows like Kidsfest now matter how much I want to attend.

Cale

Well said Cale.

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  Guest on Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:32 am

I agree with you 100% Cale
I had not known it was an out of pocket event to do steamtown
I am pretty new here and it was my first show
in the future at events I will gladly pay a portion of our event that will not be a problem
I as a new member do not know anything about the lego relationship the club has built so I look at it in this way
we all love lego we all would love to get the newer products as a comp to display for lego such as the bridge nate bought out of pocket
maybe lego would give the club some of the new products such as the afol sets that every club seems to put out
as for the kids fest I am leaning more to doing the NY show if we put on a great show they will have to up the comps for us to do the Philly show
I think with all the good that the club has gained with lego in the past these could really step our value to lego in the future kids fest shows
if we can put on an event such as steamtown at kids fest it may be worth more than just an event fee
the comps and the gift bag they are offeing are not a huge value especially in ny
I think if the boston show goes not as good without the lugs showing up lego will have to come to the table with a better offer
and along with all the club has done for the delaware store
I believe we can use these as future leverage especially in the philly kidfest negotiations
Just my newbie opinion ,,Tony affraid

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  LegGodt on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:31 am

I am not disagreeing with anyone, I know it's a money factor and time factor. I get it. I just want everyone to realize that there is always another side. A side that no one seems to talk about. We need this, Lego needs us, they have to do this ... not really ... so far we have had a great relationship with Lego. I just see sides being formed and I'm getting concerned.

Vader - "I think if the boston show goes not as good without the lugs showing up lego will have to come to the table with a better offer"

True ... if it goes badly, Lego may step it up. Then again they may not and see how the other events go with the current offer to all LUGs.
But if they do as well (monetarily) as last years KidsFest, or even better, then we are no longer a viable resource.

I just look at this situation that is unfolding and know, logically, the only outcomes are: 1. We get a better deal or 2. Lego does fine without the LUGs at the Boston event and keeps the current deal for NYC and CT or cancels it now knowing they don't need LUGs at these events. They're a business and will do whatever they need to do to make more money. Can't fault them for that.

Seems to me that the year 2 deal was better than the year one deal (I can be mistaken) and we should have taken it and then used metrics from this year (if it is better) to have a better foundation for a better deal next year. Right now I feel like we are playing with fire and I'm just concerned.

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  Cale on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:26 pm

LegGodt wrote:I am not disagreeing with anyone, I know it's a money factor and time factor. I get it. I just want everyone to realize that there is always another side. A side that no one seems to talk about. We need this, Lego needs us, they have to do this ... not really ... so far we have had a great relationship with Lego. I just see sides being formed and I'm getting concerned.

I I just look at this situation that is unfolding and know, logically, the only outcomes are: 1. We get a better deal or 2. Lego does fine without the LUGs at the Boston event and keeps the current deal for NYC and CT or cancels it now knowing they don't need LUGs at these events. They're a business and will do whatever they need to do to make more money. Can't fault them for that.

I certainly see your point Dudley and I agree with you. LEGO and Life Marketing Events have every right to make money off the event. And if they feel they do not need us to make the event successful then they can choose not to work with us. And in the same vein we are a group of hobbyists. This is what we do for fun in our free time and if we feel that Kidsfest does not have enough to offer us then we don't have to attend.

However weather or not they think they need us at least for right now they do want us. We've been asked to Boston, New York, and and Hartford this year and I've even been contacted by Adam Reed Tucker (of Brickworld fame) who is helping to coordinate the Chicago event in October about participating in that one. And Jim Foulds has all but demanded our presence at Philly next year. Very Happy

If they are going to be asking us to do two, three, possibly even four events each year then we need some kind of incentive to do so. There is more to it than just showing up with a bunch of MOCs and setting them up for the weekend. There is a lot of work involved with planing and preparing for each event and then there are the cost factors already discussed.

LegGodt wrote:Seems to me that the year 2 deal was better than the year one deal (I can be mistaken) and we should have taken it and then used metrics from this year (if it is better) to have a better foundation for a better deal next year. Right now I feel like we are playing with fire and I'm just concerned.

You're are correct. The offer so far is better than what we had for the inaugural Hartford event last year. Last year was the first time this event had ever been tried and no one knew what to expect. We were all happy just to be a part of something new and different and by all accounts every one had fun doing the show.

How ever we are being asked to do not just one show but multiple shows now. The hours each day are also longer than last year. For Boston they are 9am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday, Hartford and New York add Friday 3pm to 9pm to that. Those are pretty long show days by any account. In order to do NY or Hartford many of us would need to take off three days from work and spend five days on the road away from home to participate. We need to rent a truck now, we're providing our own tables for the train portion of our display, and we don't have the bonus of the Enfield trip we had last year.

As for declining the current offer that is not quite the case. We declined to do Boston on what we we're offered but never declined the offer outright. Of the numerous PennLUG members I talked to about doing Boston only three of us could commit to the event. We decided that with the extreemly short time frame to get ready for the show (2 weeks) and that at best we only be able to fill one 10'x10' area that it was realistic for us. That both NELUG and Jenn declined as well leaving us to be the only 3 AFOL's there if we was also a deciding factor.

Jenn declined Boston because she feels that the current deal is not agreeable enough to clubs who have to travel a long distance to attend. Several Kidsfest are being held in locations with out a local LUG to call on so they will be relying on out of town LUGs to participate. She did not want to set a president if there is a healthier deal to be made. I'm not sure on the specific reasons NELUG declined Boston but I believe they felt the deal was not enough of an incentive to mobilize their troops in such a short amount of time.

The Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club is doing Chicago on the current deal as they are local and felt that the numbers worked in their favor. The offer still stands for us to do New York and Hartford on the current terms. Weather we can negotiate any more for those events and by default any future Kidsfest event will not change the offer already on the table. The current offer will still stand as a fallback. All talks with us and the Kidsfest team have been very friendly and every one involved is absolutely 100% interested in working together to come up with a deal that works for every one involved.

On a final note, Iv'e already talked to several in PennLUG about doing both NY and Hartford. There is a lot of interest in these two and even if we don't get a better deal than we have right now I can see us doing these two shows. Philly would be silly for us not to do next April. Iv'e expressed that interest to Jim Foulds who is handling the AFOL coordination for the events. It is ultimately up to all those interested in these events to decide but as of right now I see no reason why we would not be able to participate in these three given the current offer.

Cale






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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  LEGO Dog on Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:20 pm

The way I see this is that if we do a kidsfest without reimbursement or major compensation, all we are doing is giving LEGO money in the form of lost time from work, hotel rentals, gas, trailers, etc with no real return except for a weekend worked. A bag of undisclosed goodies means nothing either, I mean really, if there was something of value, they would have included that info to entice us. And anyone who has done a show especially last year's kidsfest, knows it was a "working" weekend. At least if we give LEGO money in the stores, we get a set that we can build with as an end result. BrickMagic and the like are produced by folks like ourselves and not a corporate machine. Those are fun and worth the investment.

I say let time be the test and see what happens after Boston and Chicago. It may take TLG until the 2011 season, if at all, to see if they want our participation.

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  Cale on Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:23 pm

We received an email from Jim Foulds today regarding Kidsfest. Jim was able to meet with the rest of the Kidsfest team last week and they were able to work out a new package offer that will apply to all Kidsfests for the foreseeable future. He is awaiting final a review before he can release details so we should hear some thing soon.

Jim also confirmed that he will be our point of contact for all fan involvement with KidsFest. Fans will only be in contact with Life Marketing & Events (the company LEGO has contracted with to organize and run Kidsfest) while onsite at the event for set-up, operations, and tear-down. Jim will be onsite at all KidsFest to act as event liaison for the fans.

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Re: LEGO KidsFest Update.

Post  Cale on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:57 pm

Here are the details of what LEGO Kidsfest is going to offer fans for displaying their creations going forward post-Chicago.

Every 10x10 exhibit space comes with the following:

* One double occupancy hotel room to be offered for the night before
set-up, the nights of the event, and the evening of tear-down. For example, for a Saturday/Sunday show, this would include Friday evening, Saturday evening, and Sunday evening. If the fans should choose not to accept the hotel chosen, then they will be offered a per diem of $50 a night (that's $50 per 10x10 space each night) to apply to the hotel of their choice.

* $50 for parking and transportation per day. This is $50 per 10x10 space not per person. (Trailer parking will be
handled on case by case)

* $100 food allowance per day ($50 per person)

* 2 LEGO Gift cards of $100 each

In terms of the 10’x10’, it is expected that each space will have 2 banquet tables (size to be determined, usually 2’x6’ or 2’x8’) in each. It is understood that for connected displays, such as train/city/space layouts, that certain spaces will have only one section of tables in it. Jim Foulds is well aware of how large displays such as our train layout work and is allowing for some flexibility. This means that if we show up with a 20x20 ft train layout we would be filling 4 10x10 spaces and would be entitled to all the benefits for those four spaces.

Jim Foulds will be our contact going forward for all organization with regards to LEGO Kidsfest. He will also be on site at the events to help with any thing we need.

If any one has any questions I'll will be happy to forward them to Jim if I can't answer them my self.

Cale Leiphart
PennLUG


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