Bricks by the Bay™ is one of the largest LEGO® conventions in the Western U.S. and the premier annual display of LEGO brick creations in Northern California. So what exactly is a LEGO® convention, you ask? Bricks by the Bay is a four day long celebration of all things LEGO, where hobbyists, artists, fans and enthusiasts come together to learn, share and play. The convention will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, in August 2017.
Convention attendees bring their wonderful LEGO brick creations to display. We gather for brick building seminars, LEGO themed fun and games, and to hear from luminaries and ambassadors of LEGO brick building. On the last day of the convention, the public is invited to attend and see all the attendee built LEGO exhibits. Ours is one of many such conventions nationwide, such as BrickCon in Seattle, the BrickFairs held on the East Coast and BrickWorld in Chicago.
The 2017 Bricks by the Bay convention theme is California Dreamin’. Whether it is brick built models of famous California landmarks or other inspired builds that invoke the spirit and history of the Golden State, the attendees’ creations are sure to inspire. So join us this Summer which marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and share some love for our favorite bricks.
The Bricks by the Bay convention opens on Thursday, August 3, 2017. Thursday is devoted to intensive LEGO brick building workshops. Come and expand your repertoire of brick construction techniques. The Thursday workshops are optional. Attendees pay a per workshop fee and, for many workshops, receive LEGO bricks as part of the course materials.
Friday and Saturday, August 4th to 5th, there will be numerous events and activities, including presentations, roundtable discussions, games and contests throughout the day. In the evenings, convention attendees gather for programs featuring guest speakers, door prizes, awards for the best LEGO builds and other convention fun. Afterward, other games and contests run late into the night. Chill spaces are available to hang out, socialize and, of course, build! Attendees are strongly encouraged to stay at the hotel so as to be in the mix of all of the great activities and fun. Vendors of LEGO bricks and other merchandise are also available. Some vendors may open on Friday, and all vendors must be available to sell on Saturday so attendees can have first choice before public day on Sunday.
Sunday, August 6th is the Public Exhibition. Yes, your awesome LEGO creation will be on display for thousands of adoring LEGO fans. Bricks by the Bay opens to the public starting at 8:00 am (for VIP registrants) and 9:00 am for the general public. The Public Exhibition is open until 4:00 pm. Public guests tour the grand ballroom with its tens of thousands of square feet of LEGO exhibits and visit the vendors. After the Public Exhibition, there is a closing ceremony for convention attendees.
See the detailed Schedule for more information.
Convention attendees must register online. Bricks by the Bay’s online registration system allows you to register for the convention and manage your account. Through the online registration system, convention attendees can select their registration options, including:
Basic Registration. The Basic Registration package includes full access to all Bricks by the Bay convention activities and presentations except the optional Thursday workshops. Included with the Basic Registration package is a Bricks by the Bay tote bag featuring this year’s theme and artwork, and custom brick badge (which includes up to 4 custom printed bricks with your name, city, affiliation or whatever else you choose; late registrants may not receive customized brick badges). Each attendee also receives a printed program listing the schedule of events and information about events, as well as any other “goodies” donated by our sponsors. Throughout the weekend, many fabulous door prizes (LEGO sets and other gifts) are given out. All attendees may have display space in the exhibit hall to show off their LEGO models.
Optional Workshops. You may also sign up for additional optional Thursday workshops at an additional per workshop cost. Some of the workshops also have an additional materials fee. Of course, you get to keep the LEGO parts!
Deluxe Registration. The Deluxe Registration package adds a convention T-Shirt, a commemorative pin, a customized convention themed LEGO minifig, and this year’s Event Kit. The Event Kit is a custom designed LEGO set inspired by this year’s theme.
Guests staying at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara (adjacent to the Santa Clara Convention Center) save $20.00 off on their convention registration! This hotel discount may be applied to one convention registration per room booked. If you are staying at the hotel, be sure to reserve your room first and then complete your registration. You will need your hotel confirmation number to obtain your registration discount.
Hotel Guest Information
Go to the Hyatt Reservations page to start the registration process, or call Hyatt Reservations at 1-888-421-1442 and ask for the “Bricks by the Bay” group rate. Please note that reservations must go through the national reservations system (please do not call the Santa Clara hotel directly).
Hotel guests save $20.00 off their registration. Limit one discount per hotel room. You must stay at least one night in the hotel to claim the discount, but we strongly encourage you to stay in the hotel at least two nights. Not only are hotel room sales are vital to the success of the convention, but even if you live locally or could stay nearby, you would miss out on a lot of the late-night social activity by not staying in the hotel.
Bricks by the Bay has obtained a special room rate of $139.00 per night single/double occupancy (add $25 per person for triple or quad), which is a great rate for a Hyatt Regency hotel! Also, the Wi-Fi which is normally $10 per day is included free with your room, and works in guest room areas and the hotel lobby (but not the convention hall space).
If you are staying at the hotel, be sure to reserve your room first and then complete your registration, since you will need to provide your confirmation number to get your discount.
All convention attendees with a convention badge will receive a 10% discount at the snack shop in the hotel. This discount does not apply to the hotel bar or restaurant, however.
Hotel guests receive free parking. If you are not staying at the hotel, you may be required to pay for parking.
Further Participation Options
Beyond the myriad presentations, games, contests and other events held at the convention, you may wish to consider participating in other ways as well.
- LEGO MOCs. If you are bringing any LEGO builds to display, submit your MOC (“My Own Creation”) details through the registration site.
- Special Exhibitor Program. If you are bringing something really big and special, consider applying for the Special Exhibitor Program which may enable you to get some financial assistance with building and/or transporting your creation.
- Volunteers. If you want to volunteer to help behind the scenes, subscribe to our volunteers mailing list (see Mailing Lists page).
- Vendors. If you wish to be a vendor, read about how you can be a vendor at the convention.
- Sponsors. We are always looking to partner with businesses who would like to sponsor Bricks by the Bay.
Who Should Attend? Can Kids Participate?
If you are a serious LEGO hobbyist or artist, please consider registering for the full convention. There is no age limit, but those under 18 are required to have an adult also registered, and those under 16 must be accompanied by that adult at all times. While many attendees are Adult Fans of LEGO (“AFOLs”) we do not want to exclude teens or kids from participating, as long as they do so responsibly.
If your interest is in seeing the LEGO exhibits on display and buying from the vendors, you may want to just come for the public day on Sunday, however. If you are coming for the sake of your kids, it is up to you whether you want to invest in a three or four days of full LEGO immersion, or just come for a few hours and see what people have built.
Here are some other activities that you need to do some advance preparation for in order to participate: