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5Qs for Andrew Little on the LEGO mall roadshow

As events and special projects manager for Creatacor, Andrew Little has spent the last four years producing the 17-day LEGO Americana mall roadshow of American landmarks made out of LEGO bricks. Included are fairly huge recreations of The White House, U.S. Capitol, The Statue of Liberty, and The Lincoln Memorial. It also has “brickscapes” placed throughout the mall, and a LEGO play area where people of all ages can try their hand at building. Little spoke to us about the mutually beneficial coming together of bricks-and-mortar with little plastic bricks.

How did little plastics building blocks that have been around a hundred years become such a phenomenon?
It’s all about the creative nature of being able to build anything with Lego bricks. It’s amazing to think such a small little Lego brick could make up an awesome huge structure like the U.S. capital model, which is 26 ft. long by 13 ft. tall and has every single detail of the actual U.S. Capital. It’s pretty cool.

How many people do your shows typically draw to malls?
At every single location that we go to, it always gets compared to a Black Friday traffic or the week before Christmas-type traffic. We get around 30,000 participants over the 17-day period. We also have a free giveaway event, called the “Make and Take Build.” We’ll have 5,000 miniature builds of one of the models, like the Statue of Liberty, and we giveaway around 4,500 to 5,000. It’s only a two-day event for four-hours each day and we’re able to give away that many.

Why is the event 17-days long?
It is our typical schedule because I think it allows us to build up for the different events we hold during the show and it provides visitors a chance for repeat business. We get a ton of feedback that that it is the case. Usually visitors come back to the show about three to four times.

How do retailers take advantage of the show? Are there ways for them to get involved?
We want the properties to take full advantage of the event, so we give 30 retailers a chance to participate in a program where we give them a box of Lego bricks so they can create something - whether it’s their logo, a featured product that they’re selling at the time, or even a full-scale version of their store. The retailers display the model in their store along with a “golden brick” sticker, which they will put in the front window so participants can check out what the retailer has built.

After four years of managing the Roadshow, what have you learned about experiential retail trends?
Four years ago the need for experiential was just starting out. The idea of experiential was a new concept where to compete with the e-commerce brands you had to provide this experience or something that was different than just pointing, clicking and buying something online and having it delivered. I think malls and retail properties have fully gotten onboard with experiential retail and are taking advantage of it with cool stuff like the Americana Roadshow.
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