The National Model Engineering and Modelling Exhibition was our very first public display. The exhibition was in its 20th year this year, and this was the first time that LEGO had been displayed.
We had been planning for a few months on what to put together and display and before we knew it time had run out. It was Thursday the 9th May and set up day had arrived. We quickly noticed that we had only been given a very small space for our display and that all the models we had planned to bring would not fit. After speaking to the event organiser, who realised that the models weren’t just multi coloured houses made of 2×4 bricks, our display space was doubled.
The event organiser was amazed at what we had put together. He went on to tell us he wasn’t expecting anything like our display and said when you think of LEGO, you think of kids. He described our display as “truly brilliant”. Before we even realised it was 8pm and time to leave. We all then had the difficult task of leaving the display all by itself, and trying our best not to worry about all that LEGO going missing overnight.
On the Friday morning we got there early, a few things were tweaked; we moved tables around and set the display up better. After breakfast, we all just sat back and looked at the display. It was amazing but not yet perfect. People started to flood into the show. We were all amazed at how popular we were. It was Friday so most of the day was populated by the older crowd as the kids were in school.
We spent most of the day building extra models to pad out the display and time flew by with everyone stopping to look and asking questions. “Is it all Lego?” was a popular question but the best one was “So how do you get them so detailed? Do you carve the LEGO bricks?” The statement of the day, if not the weekend, was from one of our members who said “We could fill this whole building with our displays”. A bit ambitious, but you have to admire the positivity.
Saturday brought one major change; Children. The phrase of the day became “don’t touch, please”. It wasn’t until the second day that we realised that there were competitions for the exhibitors. The winners of the Best Stand ‘PEEMS’ came over to talk to us, and very kindly told us that had we entered, we’d have won, which was lovely to hear. Maybe next year!
On the final day, there was a bit of sadness that the weekend was coming to an end, but also a lot of pride in what we as a group had accomplished and a drive for us to do it all again ASAP but we still had a full day to go.
As with the previous days we had a few visitors that kept coming back throughout the day we also noticed a spot where people were standing a good 5 foot away at another stand and having a sneaky look (we thought they may be a bit embarrassed to come and have a proper look).
We continued to add and modify the exhibit throughout the weekend, and the entire thing had evolved from the first day. One of the city layouts had the Hogwarts Express sporting some really effective brick built smoke and Superman chasing General Zod a couple of inches above the trains.
So there you have it, our first show was a massive success. We had lots of interest, and we now know that as a group we can easily produce large scale layouts with many interesting objects for people of all ages and modelling skill.