As people will know by now, the Hascon convention, which should have had it's first edition next sunday, has been cancelled.
Now, this is actually the second one this year that has been called off, after Antwerp Convention beginning of july, so has the saturation point been reached in little Belgium?
Now, there are a whole lot of theories about the why and how that these have happened, but as I`m not an organiser, it's not my place to tell about them, nor voice an opinion.
But it did get me thinking (yes, it hurts), namely if the conventions seem to be reaching saturation point, and we are talking here about attendances over the thousands, might that mean that Lego events become next in line? Has the public been getting it's fill of these sorts of events?
Well, first let me have a look at what I see might be benefits for the Lego events...
1. It's popular right now. Face it, Lego is THE toy brand at the moment on the market, and has been steadily rising since the past 4 - 5 years now. But any AFOL will agree, this grow cannot last forever, and most estimate a "bubble pop" between 5 to 10 years. Personally, I feel it will fall back a bit when the Lego Movie generation, now around 10 - 12 years old, enters their Dark Ages, generally known as puberty. But the good thing is, we are locked firm for at least half a decade still.
2. There is plenty to do. Almost every week you can attend something somewhere these days. For example, if you look at the BeLUG calendar, there are events planned through the whole of september, and that is not including the smaller local events where I have no knowledge of. Though I'm working on that, and have more, let's call them agents just because it sounds so cool, in the field filtering me data at the moment. Expect it to grow even more during 2017 :-)
3. Entrance is cheap. Events charging only a single euro of entrance for a nice midday out with the children, that's a bargain. It's also one of the attractions of such events, as you don't have to spend whole weekends just to be able to see everything.
But, for me, there are also some downsides to the current event agenda.
1. There is plenty to do. Yes, every week there is something to do, but will people keep visiting all those events all year round? Traders might start to think it all gets to much, and not everyone is willing to shop for stuff every week over and over again.
2. I've seen that before. Along the same lines, most builders "tour the circuit" and proudly show off their builds to all the people who want to marvel in them. But for the regulars, comments like "that was at xxx as well" are getting heard. Not to mention that we as builders might get tired of taking build A or display B along every time. This might result in people stopping to do the effort, display only at certain events, and others fall short of exhibitors. Not to mention the family if you are gone every weekend.
3. Entrance is cheap. Venues know that Lego is "the bomb" at the moment. And I heard stories on the grapevine of venues notching up their price because it's a Lego affair instead of a bridge tournament or such. This then causes a spiral in which entrance fees will have to be raised, causing the public to dwindle a bit, and you get in a vicious circle.
Has the Lego event saturation point been reached? In my opinion, no... but only as in "not yet". The cycle at the moment seems to be that people see how succesfull events are, and they want to try a local one. These usually take off (if you aren`t to overambitious at least) but that causes others to try it as well, and so on and so on.
This results in a calendar filled to the nooks and crannies, and then it can only get closer to saturation point. I saw it happen with english wargame shows, with local Magic tournaments... and then the question will arise: will organisers clasp the hands together and "merge", or will they fight a battle for survival?
Only time will tell...
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