How do you go from no experience with holding events to capturing the Guinness World Record for the largest convention for a single video game? You start small.
In 2014, one dad took the success of the Lego YouTube Channel he created with his daughter and turned it into an event – Brick Fest Live. That dad, Chad Collins, subsequently reached out to his friend Gabe Young to work on the Young Innovators Fair and later the Minecraft event Minefaire.
As part of Local Edition (Poynter’s newsletter following the digital transformation of local news) Pennsylvania-based Young was interviewed about what it’s like to start an event from scratch, how to connect with the communities you want to get through the door, and what you should not do if you’re just getting started with events.
Poynter: What advice do you have for people interested in creating community-centered events? What should you look for? If it’s not your own children, how do you get to know a community and what matters to them?
Young: We try to embed ourselves into the community once we choose a vehicle that we want to use for a particular show. So whether it’s Minecraft or Lego or some type of STEM event, the way we decide is embedding ourselves into the community with the players and the fans, and we also connect with the educators, we connect with the actual organization itself.
We have a good relationship with Lego…..it’s a matter of meeting as many people as possible, learning as much about whatever that niche is as possible and finding a way to really build this thing up so we can have a really diverse community.
We don’t like to say no to people who have ideas, but there are some warning signs. The number one thing is to start small…..it’s extremely challenging to get 10,000 people to show up on any given weekend. Especially if you’ve never done it before.
You can’t just have a show by dropping content in and putting up a couple signs and hoping people walk in. It’s not going to happen.
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