One of my favorite ways to participate in the LEGO hobby is to attend conventions. I’ve been to a lot of them over the 20+ years that I’ve been an adult builder, and even started and ran one for a few years. It’s a great way to make friends, exhibit your creations, learn more skills, win prizes, and really level up your LEGO hobby.
When I attend LEGO conventions, I try to make a point of taking photos of all the creations (MOCs, or “My Own Creations”) on display, and posting them on Flickr with a blog post here. However I haven’t always managed that for every event, especially the online events in 2020-21. Still, I’ve put links below to all the years where I can find a post I made for that event. I’ll try to update this page as I learn of new events and post reports of future events I attend, so check back here for those.
Of course since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, in-person events have not been happening for the most part, and I urge everyone to get vaccinated, practice social distancing, wear masks, and all the other things we’ve all learned to do in order to stay safe, and while (as of summer 2021) some LEGO conventions have resumed holding in-person events already, I won’t be attending them until I feel that the pandemic is further behind us. But every grey cloud has a silver lining, and there have been some great “virtual” LEGO conventions using tools like Discord and Zoom.
Thanks to these online events, I’ve actually been able to attend more conventions than I would in a normal year, and I hope they continue to support hybrid models with some people attending online going forward (as BrickCon did in 2021 and plan to continue). Whether you can’t attend due to pandemic risks, cost, or disability, these make it possible to attend conventions that you would not otherwise have been able to in person. Be sure to keep an eye open for the online events from locations all around the world that you might not consider traveling to in person! Here are links to all the LEGO fan-run community events I know about, whether they are held in person or online:
- BrickCan: Vancouver, BC, Canada. I haven’t been to this yet, but hope to go someday. They held online events in 2020 and 2021 but I didn’t participate.
- BrickCon: Seattle, WA, first weekend in October. I attended in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, and I participated virtually in 2020 and 2021.
- Bricks by the Bay: Santa Clara, CA. I helped found and was the president of Bricks by the Bay until 2015 (see my reports on the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 conventions). I skipped a year in 2016 but have attended every event since then: 2017, 2018, and 2019 in person; online in 2020 and 2021. (Sorry I didn’t post any reports after the 2011, 2015, 2017, or 2021 events.) They are planning to resume in-person events on June 23-26, 2022.
- BrickFair: Virginia, Alabama, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. I went to the first BrickFair in 2008 in Virginia. They haven’t had online events, but have canceled all their 2020 events and returned to holding them in person as of August, 2021.
- Brick Rodeo (formerly Brick Fiesta): Various cities in Texas in July. I haven’t been there in person, but I was able to attend the online version (branded as Brick Fiesta) in 2020, but didn’t post a report about it. They returned to having in-person events as of 2021.
- Bricks Cascade: Portland, OR. I try to attend this every year, staying with friends in Portland. This was the last in-person LEGO event I attended before the pandemic. I was there in 2012, 2017, 2018, and 2020. There was no 2021 event, either in-person or online, but they are planning to hold an in-person event March 10-13, 2022.
- Bricks Killeen is a new Texan LEGO convention which started (in person) in 2021 in Killeen, TX.
- BricksLA: Los Angeles, CA. I haven’t been, but have a lot of friends who go. I attended their virtual convention in 2021 (sorry, no blog report).
- BrickSlopes: Sandy, UT. I haven’t been to this one yet.
- Brickworld: Chicago, IL, June (with additional shows in other cities). I attended in 2009, 2011, and 2014. They canceled the Chicago convention for 2020 and 2021, but held online events throughout 2020 and returned to holding in-person shows in fall of 2021.
These are all the fan-run North American LEGO conventions that I know of. Please let me know by comments or email if you know of any that I’ve omitted. Not listed are Brick Universe and BrickFestLive, which are for-profit touring LEGO shows focused on kids rather than community events like the ones listed above. Still, they have some convention-style activities and some AFOLs attend those events.
I’ve also been lucky enough to be able to attend some overseas LEGO community events and hope to go to more after it feels safe to travel internationally again:
- Brickvention: Melbourne, Australia, January. I was there in 2017.
- LEGO Fan Weekend Paredes de Coura: This small town in northern Portugal attracts LEGO fans from around the world annually in June. I was there in 2017.
- LEGO Fan Weekend Skærbæk: Held a short drive from LEGO world headquarters in Denmark, the Fan Weekend was originally run by LEGO but has since been taken over by the fan community. I attended in 2014.
There have been a number of LEGO conventions in the past that are no longer taking place, unfortunately. These include BrickFest in Washington, DC and Portland, Oregon (I was at the DC one in 2006 and the Portland one in 2009), BricksWest at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, California (I attended both of these, in 2002 and 2003, but that was before I started this website so no links, sorry), Brick Magic in North Carolina, and Brickfête in Toronto. We miss those events but hopefully other events are taking place in those areas and you can make it to those instead. Having run a LEGO event myself, I know how exhausting it can be!
If you know of any other similar events like these, or any corrections to the above, please post a comment or email me.