First Time AFOL Attendee Guide
Fan events like BrickCan are all about getting together with fellow LEGO enthusiasts to share ideas, brick building, and fun!
Although every LEGO fan event has unique aspects and activities, most west coast fan conventions in North America have a lot in common with a variety of games, presentations, brick badges, etc. Below are some details of what an AFOL (Adult Fan Of LEGO) can expect if they register for the full 4-day event and are attending BrickCan for the first time.
You can expect BrickCan to be a very immersive experience: events start in the morning and can occupy you late into the evening, each day. Even many local AFOLs prefer to stay at the hotel, rather than go home each night given how much there is to experience!
* Name Bricks / Brick Badges
Many conventions offer custom badge bricks included with registration. These are usually 1×8 bricks which are printed or engraved with custom text that you choose. They are often used as a name badge and could have your name, location, LUG (LEGO Users Group), a funny saying, or anything you like on them. We suggest that for your first time, you choose one to be your name.
BrickCan offers two custom printed bricks with each registration along with a printed BrickCan brick featuring the con logo and year.
Some people also enjoy customizing their brick badges and building on them. During the convention we usually have vendors on-site who are happy to create additional badges for you for a small charge. Have fun with it!
Note that the sand green “BrickCan Crew” badge, shown in the sample, is an easy way to spot BrickCan staff if you need assistance!
* What To Expect When You Arrive
When you arrive, please check-in at registration inside the theater lobby. There you will receive your swag bag, any pre-purchased items, and most importantly, your AFOL Attendee pass which gives you access to the whole convention throughout the weekend. Be sure to wear your pass for entry during public and non-public hours as well as entry to the ballroom(s) upstairs and meeting rooms in the conference center which are exclusively for registered AFOLs to use for games and activities.
Your swag bag contains many fun items, but very importantly: your schedule! Please refer to this for the timing and location of events throughout the weekend. For details on any specific event, the online version of the schedule lets you click on items for more information.
After checking in at registration, you’ll want to setup your MOC(s) (if you brought any) and meet your theme coordinator.
On Thursday afternoon we have a “BrickCan Intro” event specifically for those new to BrickCan – this is an excellent place to start your BrickCan experience! Consult the schedule for details.
* MOCs (My Own Creation)
MOC stands for My Own Creation which refers to all of the awesome fan built models that AFOLs build and bring to display. MOCs can range in size from microscale (often as small as an 8×8 plate) to as big as you can transport! You do not have to bring a MOC to register and attend BrickCan, though it will definitely add to your fun.
If you plan to bring a MOC, it is important to register it online as soon as possible. That way the staff and theme coordinators can make sure there is enough room for all the models since we cannot guarantee space for MOCs that were not pre-registered. We will also have MOC cards printed and ready. Speaking of which…
If you have MOC to display, you can find your MOC card at registration, or be directed towards where they will be found. MOC cards are little folding cards that are displayed next to your MOC with info about the model, builder, and a number that people can use to vote for it (more on that below).
Next, find the area for the theme you registered your MOC under (as noted on your MOC card). Each theme has a theme coordinator who is in charge of organizing the placement of the MOCs in that area and helping answer any questions you might have. Please check with them before just choosing a spot for your model – especially if it is difficult to move! This is also a good time to meet some of the other AFOLs displaying in your theme.
Please remember to be respectful of other peoples MOCs. If a model that is not yours needs to be moved or adjusted, please find the builder or theme coordinator to assist you – please do not touch it yourself!
BrickCan has three ceremonies throughout the weekend:
- the opening ceremony on Friday to welcome everyone, answer questions, and give out some door prizes
- the trophy ceremony on Saturday to present awards by MOC theme and give out more door prizes
- the closing ceremony on Sunday to give out additional trophies and even more door prizes.
At all ceremonies, door prizes are given away using a badge scanning system, so be sure someone scans you on the way into the theater. It is best to arrive a few minutes early to help speed up this process. You must be present to win!
At the Saturday and Sunday ceremonies, trophies are awarded for outstanding MOCs in each theme as well as a few miscellaneous categories. These are chosen by theme coordinators and/or staff members.
There are also two awards which are voted on – Best in Show and People’s Choice. Best in Show is voted on by your fellow AFOLs and People’s Choice is voted on by the public.
All of these awards are meant to be fun and perhaps inspire a little friendly competition and/or collaboration between builders. Every AFOL is a winner to us – you make BrickCan what it is!
* Public Hours
BrickCan has public hours on both Saturday and Sunday where thousands of public visitors come to check out the amazing models, shop with vendors, and enjoy the Creation Station.
We encourage builders to spend some time behind the MOC tables during public hours to help answer questions and inspire the next generation of builders. There is a good chance you’ll be asked the same question many times throughout the day, so please be polite – this is probably their first time experiencing the LEGO community and they may have never seen so many great models and awesome builders!
We also ask that you please try to keep the area behind the MOC tables reasonably clean and tidy. There will be chairs and you are welcome to store things under the tables/tablecloths so that they are out of sight.
* Games & Activities
BrickCan offers a variety of games and activities throughout the weekend which are intended to be fun, social events. We encourage both participation and observation! Most games will be held in the Whistler Ballroom upstairs, but please check your schedule for specific game and activity locations.
Most games will require signing up in advance. Some games and events will be able to accommodate a large number of participants and can be joined on site. Descriptions of each of the games and activities can be found on the schedule online as well as if they require advance sign-up.
To participate in games that require advance sign-up, BrickCan will send email updates leading up to the convention with instructions on how to sign-up online. If more people sign up for a game then there are spots for, participants will be chosen at random from those that have signed up. Lists of game participants will be available at the registration desk for your reference. While we only have so much space, we try to make sure that everyone who wants to participate in games gets to take part.
If you show up at the beginning of a game you may be able to take part if some participants don’t show up. We try to start events on time, so don’t be late otherwise you may forfeit your spot.
* Panels and Presentations
BrickCan offers presentations for AFOLs throughout the weekend. Please check the schedule online and at the show for details on which presentations will be happening and when. If you have an idea or request for a presentation, please contact us! Most of these are held in the conference center down by the river.
* When do we eat?
The short answer is – that’s up to you! Although some snacks may be provided during evening social events, we try to build in a dinner break in the schedule each day and recommend taking time for lunch or a snack between other activities you may be interested in. While the River Rock Resort offers multiple dining options including the food court within the casino, the Skytrain makes a wide variety of additional options easily accessible. (Google Maps and Yelp can help direct you towards something you like).
Remember that above all, we get together at fan conventions to have fun and make new friends! The BrickCan Crew strives to provide a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, so if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us online or a staff member at the show.