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InterNext Expo: Summer 2002: Hollywood, Florida

InterNext Expo: Summer 2002: Hollywood, Florida

August 9, 2002
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" There was much for us to do once we arrived in Florida, because not only is XBiz exhibiting at InterNext once again, but we are also presenting the long-anticipated XMIX Yacht Party... "

I decided to report on this InterNext Expo with a format more akin to a 'personal journal' rather than the more typical, clinical and generic 'event coverage' that is usually found. After all, there are only so many ways that you can say "We met a lot of nice people, went to cool parties, and did a lot of new business." Newbies and others who have never attended the 'Show of Shows' may also find this format to be more indicative of the overall flavor of this often-overwhelming experience. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 8th, 2002: It's Only the Beginning
The day started dark and early; 0400 sharp, and the sun had yet to arise. I shook my 'Kitten' gently awake, then staggered towards the kitchen, searching for that most wonderful elixir of the Gods: "Mocha Java." (That's "Coffee" for any uninitiated heathens in the audience). With the frenzy of last minute preparations the evening before, we were only able to grab 3 hours of sleep before beginning our journey to InterNext; and with both Dawn and I being older than we once were (as well as being older than most of the show's other attendees), that first 'Cup O Joe' provided a welcome start to a long and hectic, but rewarding day.

Arriving at the Manchester Airport and then grabbing some dubious breakfast treats from the good folks at McDonalds, Dawn and I were ready to depart and get things started. There was much for us to do once we arrived in Florida, because not only is XBiz exhibiting at InterNext once again, but we are also presenting the long-anticipated XMIX Yacht Party (a project that Dawn has worked amazingly hard to put together). And with preliminary booth inspections, meeting the contractors and retrieving the party sponsor's banners (that we will be later hanging on the yacht just before the upcoming party cruise), along with hotel room check-in, InterNext registration, various and sundry chores, unpacking luggage, and dealing with the endless string of last-minute problems that can (and do) arise during the undertaking of such a venture, we had our work cut out for us, and were focused on our plans for the day ahead, and the excitement it would bring...

Then I heard a booming voice: it was Colin, Angie and Raya from Wastelands.com; familiar faces and some of the best people in the industry. Colin is my hero, and the one who inspired me to become a return speaker at InterNext and other industry events after hearing him speak at my first ia2000 (InterNext's predecessor), back in the last century, when the show was held at the Monté Carlo in Las Vegas.

This exciting reunion quickly led to comparisons of tickets and jokes about how this would be a 'fun' flight, until a damper was laid on our plans with the sudden realization that while we were indeed seated only a few rows apart, we would be on different planes. Yep. We're here at the same time, same place, and heading for the same destination - but they via Newark, and us via Cleveland. Sigh. Maybe not such a fun flight after all.

My predictions turned to reality as we approached our small commuter jet, with Dawn exclaiming "I'm not getting on THAT thing!" Kitties don't like to fly to begin with, and watching our friends take a larger jet and more direct route, while we took a smaller plane and less direct path, was somewhat disconcerting for her. Several glasses of wine settled Kitten's nerves, and she slept peacefully through the flight; but awoke with a pounding migraine that would make the day's chores more difficult. And what was with the lady seated in front of us with two small children; one of whom she considered a loud toy 'flute' a suitable plaything for?

The Arrival
We finally made it! Landing in Hollywood, Florida, we quickly retrieved our bags and boarded a limo for the ride to The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. While this property lacks the opulence of The Venetian, and the dizzying spectacle of Las Vegas, the courteous, helpful and professional staff, along with the total suitability of this location for our show, alleviated any misgivings or uncertainties about this new venue.

Our room is fantastic, with a sweeping, wrap-around balcony that offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and sandy beach below, the Intra-Coastal Waterway, and surrounding environs. Kitten and I can swim together in our huge bathtub - and the plush king-sized bed is one of the nicest I've ever slept upon - and is even available for sale in the small catalog of special offerings from the hotel itself, left in our room; a perfect example of targeted up-sell and hot value-added marketing and merchandizing.

While Kitten and I unpacked and dealt with the inevitable unforeseen issues that so-easily arise (such as EarthLink's initial reluctance to accept my username and password for local access from this location), thoughts of the many fun uses of this room came to mind. While we do enjoy entertaining on occasion (our room here could comfortably accommodate 50 or so people), we prefer much more intimate gatherings, and decided to have a few friends to start the show with. But first, we had banners to find, booth set-ups to inspect, and friends to greet. While Kitten and I unpacked and dealt with the inevitable unforeseen issues that so-easily arise (such as EarthLink's initial reluctance to accept my username and password for local access from this location)...

After an amazing dinner at the lobby Café, we visited with my Polish cousin Danielle (Twinkley), and her cohort Aaron ('Dr. WTF') Buran, a "Root God" par-excellance. Representing TrueCash, these old friends were a welcome way to warm up the evening (an event that I somehow 'forgot' to photograph, but given Twinkley's aversion to being "content" - this was really a good thing). We went with them over to the Adult.com/GFY "Victory" yacht party, but the 'to capacity' crowd was causing the craft to list in a way that made us uncomfortable.

Deciding that it was time for a change of venue, Dawn and I located our good friends Fred (from AdultContent.ca) and BrunoB (who has a rockin' amateur site marketed by Gammae), along with their two charming models, and headed back up to our room for a 'meeting of the minds,' and we took some photos of the fun out on our balcony:

Some of Stephen's InterNext Photos

Dawn was working it from
the moment we arrived
Some Serious Shoes
Strolling on this floor!
WildCat says Howdy
to Ticket Winner JamieJ
p9101033.jpg p9101036.jpg p9101069.jpg
Dawn and her little Canadian friends on our balcony Dawn consulting with Fred and BrunoB Looking out from our balcony towards the entrance
p9111077.jpg p9111081.jpg p9111086.jpg
Registration Chores
your first step...
Princess & WildCat hangin'
at the XBiz Booth
KoolRush and a few of
the BabeNet Babes
p9111088.jpg p9111089.jpg p9111093.jpg
WildCat gives out
*HUGS!* too!
The Show floor was busy
and full of excitement
Boys will be Boys,
and the Girls like it!
p9111096.jpg p9111101.jpg p9111111.jpg
XBiz, YNOT, and AdultChamber work it Dawn greets Stilgar
an XBiz Ticket Winner!
AVN Online's
Tom Hymes in action
p9111115.jpg p9111128.jpg p9111133.jpg
Dream Magazine Girls
stopping to visit
Princess and Twinkley:
two of our favorites
Kelana at her first show
looking for opportunity
p9111134.jpg p9111135.jpg p9201040.jpg
Crossing the walkway to
the Convention Center

A view from above
the hotel lobby

A view of the Beach
from our balcony

After too much fun, it was time for me to have my first drink of the evening, and so Dawn and I headed down to the bar for a night cap, while the girls convinced Fred and BrunoB that it was time to go hit the dance floor. The hotel lobby was swarming with an excitable mix of people, and a positive, upbeat energy that made the trip to the bar seem a far too-tiring process, and not nearly as attractive an idea as my 'Plan B' alternative: a bubble bath and a blowjob! I love my life, my beautiful wife - and the Heineken in my mini-bar! With the warm haze of neon glowing through the curtains, I drifted off to sleep in my comfy king-sized bed, painfully aware of the 'wake up' call that I would receive in 6 short hours; and this article which I would have to write when I awoke.

Dawn is now down in the booth, Marsha and Alec likely there with her. The show started half an hour ago, and I'm sitting here alone in my room writing to you. It's time for me to go down there ~


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