Two notable 'firsts' for BRICKLIVE & I
Indonesia was not a country I have had the privilege of visiting before, neither was it a location that had hosted a BRICKLIVE event, so you can imagine the excitement was enhanced somewhat as this week I set off to Jakarta for part one of the South East Asia tour.
I love travelling around the globe following the BRICKLIVE roadshow, and whilst it’s always exciting it has to be said when it’s a trip of firsts, like this one, emotions can be a heady cocktail of anticipation and excitement. My uppermost thought in scenarios like this is the fact I am travelling out to assist our partners on their first BRICKLIVE adventure and I want it to be as stress free as possible. Co-ordinating and managing 4000sqm of bricks in a totally unfamiliar environment can bring its challenges. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen the floor plan and assessed the space you can still be thrown a curve ball upon seeing the venue in the flesh, something which is less of a factor at the more established events.
Regardless of being a little pre-occupied with all these thoughts, I boarded the plane knowing that in 15 hours time I would be enjoying another ‘BL’ adventure. Jakarta greeted me with a unfamiliar humidity as I left the comfortable air conditioned terminal and was knocked back by a wall of heat, what was this big shiny yellow thing in the sky? Was I set to get a bonus tan during the stay? That said, I was instantly impressed by the friendly nature of all the locals and despite my severe lack of bi-lingual skills communication finding my destination was easy (primarily due to the fact the locals seemingly have a good grasp of my native tongue – phew!!!).
As already suggested this was to be no ordinary BRICKLIVE event. The location for the show was in the heart of the PIK Avenue lifestyle and shopping centre; I said it was a trip of firsts. This posed some interesting setup challenges, as hauling huge models through a busy mall was not really the done thing, so the ground floor atrium had to wait until closing (10pm) before any work could begin. It would then be a case of working through the night before the following day's revellers appeared for another day of bargain hunting. This played into my unadjusted body clock perfectly as I was yet to adjust into the new time zone so being awake at night was perfect at this stage of my travels. However, the surprising downside was it would appear that whilst Jakarta doesn’t really cool down at night the centres operators do turn off the air conditioning.
By the second night thanks to the teamwork and co-ordinating of Bectero (the Official partner) coordinating the room was coming together nicely as the zones were neatly decorated with inflatable arches, illuminated banners and colour coded carpets. By about 2am we had started to fill the brick pits, load the specialist brick trays and started to apply the finishing touches. By this point I had found myself drawn to the growing display being installed by the local Afols. The quality of work on display was incredibly high and in my opinion worth the entrance fee on its own. The use of parts and the designs incorporated to these detailed creations, was impressive and it was an honour to meet the local user groups and to discover they were among the elite.
A quick sleep had me ready for the Wednesday celebrity and press opening. Over 40 local media and influencers arrived for a sneak peak of the event (with their families), their eagerness to listen to my presentation and follow me on a show tour was only superseded by their excited children, who did well to hold off getting involved while I droned on. It was self-control beyond anything I have ever demonstrated. With the pre-show tour done, our high-profile visitors quickly got involved in the show experience, wading through brick pits and swooshing spaceships all afternoon. The joy and excitement shown by the media alone was a good indication that this was going to be a great event. All the finishing touches and hard work had paid off; don’t get me wrong, the credit for this goes firmly to our partners but it was certainly nice to be part of it and see it come together.
In summary this show has many highlights and the first days visitors certainly agreed with me as they explored the two areas. It seemed to have the perfect ingredients for a BRICKLIVE event, happy customers, well designed zones, exclusive statues, an amazing fanzone all set in a very unique, beautiful venue.
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