Bill Ward's FAILpile

Bricks by the Bay was this weekend. Your dashing author had the opportunity to go (as he moved to San Francisco a scant 9 days ago), but did not, because of Bill Ward.

To get to the convention, a 1 hour BART ride would get one from downtown to within 7 miles of the convention. But lo, it is in Fremont, so a 35 minute bus ride would only get one so far. One would have to walk the rest of the way, 30 minutes, over highways and through industrial parks.

And then you'd be turned away at the door, because the facility was woefully under capacity for the amount of public day visitors. Imagine explaining that to your kids after waiting in line for an hour.

If there is a contest to find the worst place for a convention in the Bay Area, Bill Ward has won it. Look at this map! The only place farther away from population centers and civilization would be the damn ocean!

In 10 minutes, one can find dozens of convention centers in central San Francisco. Here are 5 of approximately the same size and capacity as that of the most recent BrickCon in Seattle.

Boy that was easy. And hey, those are all in areas served by bus, MUNI, and BART! Wow you could go to the LEGO convention, and also explore the city and its nightlife! On the other hand, Sushi Tango does sound enticing.


  1. Pretty much glad I did not go.

  2. So the LEGO convention Bill Ward organized fails because Kevin doesn't own a car or can't bum a ride off his friends?
    "anyone want to pick me up sunday morning?" anyone...? anyone...?

    Bricks by the Bay, Inc., is a tax-exempt non-profit organization and is entirely volunteer-run. Starting up a LEGO fan convention is a huge financial risk. I'm guessing the BAYLUG folks found the venue that best suited their needs yet posed the least financial risk.

    "We're sorry so many people were unable to view the Bricks by the Bay LEGO exhibits today. The large number of visitors restricted access to many who were also enthusiastic about the exhibits, but arrived too late to view them within the venue's allowable capacity, and contract timing constraints."

    If the convention was a success and they want to do it again next year, hopefully BBTB can afford a larger venue with better access to public transportation.

    Too bad they didn't hire Kevin as a consultant beforehand...

    I've been frustrated at Brickworld the past two years by the con's in-store "scratch & dent" sale (too long of a wait, people at front of line scoop all the good stuff). That doesn't mean I'm not attending this year. I hope they learn from past mistakes and have a better system in place this year. Brickworld has grown to the point I heard the Westin isn't hosting any weddings or other events that weekend so all of their convention space is available to BW.

  3. ^ Hosting an event nowhere near public transport is the sort of stupid idea only an American or Australian could come up with. In fact having a conference center nowhere near etc. etc. etc.

    It's a shit idea and Kevoh complained about it. Deal. I'm sure Kevoh's comments won't make a dick of a difference to who comes next year and his way of raising the point isn't ultra-effective but his point is valid.

  4. How dare Kevoh not own a car and not spend ridiculous amounts of money to do so.

  5. Oh by the way, Sushi Tango wasn't open yet.

  6. I hear Kevoh's complaint, and understand it completely, as I don't own a car. But as someone who has helped organise such an event several times now, I have to disagree that it was a failure. In fact Brickvention had a similar problem this year, although luckily we didn't have to turn anyone away. Some probably turned away by themselves when they saw the waiting line though.

    We had limited budget, we did the best we could. Next year our budget (and consequently our finincial risk) will be almost 10x this year. So hopefully we will do better. Still doesn't mean it'll be perfect.

    And I hope the same happens for for BBtB.