The Hawaii Lego Users Group (HILUG) held our first “Brick Party” at SALT At Our Kaka’ako in October 2017, and our third and latest event was an Easter Brick Party on March 18th. The most recent event included four components: a display of MOCs from club members, a Lego “fire walk” across 8 linear feet of 2x4 bricks from our Activity Brick Boxes, a spring/Easter themed building contest, and a partially LEGO model of Honolulu’s new rail transit system bought in by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART).
We tried something new for the building contest this time. Usually, we have attendees build from our club brick, submit an entry form together with their creation, and then our members choose their favorite creations to award prizes. Sometimes this means adult builders are competing against little kids, and even though we consider age, it can be hard to choose the winners. At this event, each person submitting an entry chose a plastic Easter egg from a basket. If the egg contained a gold Lego brick, they won a prize - a Lego set pulled from our annual LUG support shipment. Every egg had a candy inside so nobody went home empty handed. This worked great and we had over 100 entries, and some very happy winners!
Since our founding in 2013, HILUG, has been an almost all-ages LUG. Our youngest members have been 9 years old, and some have grown with us into their teens. We’ve also been very community oriented, partnering with local organizations like the Honolulu Zoo, Bishop Museum, Institute for Astronomy, Boys Club, and other non-profits to enhance their events, always at no cost to our partners.
As a result, we’ve met lots of families who love playing with Lego bricks, but don’t have the time or aren’t dedicated enough builders to join a LUG. They often ask how they can interact with us on a regular basis. We decided to try to have quarterly “open” meetings - free events focused on play opportunities for the public and displays of some of our MOCs.
Around the same time we thought of hosting these quarterly events, a new shopping and dining area called SALT At Our Kaka’ako (http://www.saltatkakaako.com) opened. SALT has, among its shops and restaurants, a large atrium area for public events. We contacted their management, explained what we wanted to do, and they enthusiastically partnered with us, providing marketing services, tables, parking, and media coverage.
Our partnership with SALT has been very beneficial. Their marketing team has brought in local media to all three of our events there, resulting in TV news coverage for the first two (https://www.facebook.com/hawaiilug/videos/699673606903615/ and http://www.kitv.com/story/37000223/fresh-snow-and-lego-takes-over-holiday-theme-parties-in-kakaako), and a photo spread in the largest local newspaper for the Easter event (http://www.staradvertiser.com/2018/03/19/tgif/tgif-photos/easter-parade/). We’ve also found some new members and developed a following of people who attend these events regularly. And partnering with HART, we are developing a larger all-Lego scale model of part of Honolulu’s upcoming rail transit system.
We love being out in the community and these regularly scheduled events are a great way to do it!
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