Internext Wrap Up
Internext is over, emails are flooding back and forth between new contacts and old alike, and things are settling back down as Webmasters return to work. For those who were unable to attend, here’s a glimpse at a few of the show’s highlights:
Parties A Plenty
One of the things that you can count on at Internext is an abundance of parties. While I can’t give you first hand information on how most of them went, I did manage to attend two: The XBiz Awards and the Top Bucks Dinner.
The 2nd Annual XBiz Adult Web Awards were bigger and better than the previous year’s show; and with the change of venue to the Hard Rock, a much nicer environment than was available at ‘C2K,’ where last year’s show was held. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and nobody complained when money fell from the ceiling, providing the quick-eyed and fleet of foot with cab fare back to their hotels.
For those who might not have yet heard, this year's XBiz Awards winners are ARS for Best Affiliate Program, Video Secrets took Best Content Provider, while Epoch was named Best Billing Service. Webair and Wyldesites received Best Hosting and Best Design respectively, while the Most Innovative Product award went to StatsRemote. Claiming People's Choice for the second time was industry favorite GFY, while Larry Flynt was on hand to accept XBiz’ Industry Achievement Award. Congrats to the winners who all deserved their awards!
The other party that Dawn and I attended was the Top Bucks Dinner. This was something that we enjoyed very much last year, and was the first event on our list this time around. Held at Zefferino - a quality Italian restaurant in the Venetian, this quiet event is a great networking opportunity. This time around, Dawn and I dined with our old friend Fay Sharp from Cybernet Expo plus Beth and Craig from Taboo Revenue and one of their staff members. Top Buck’s affiliates who have the opportunity should be sure to attend this event whenever possible.
While we managed to hook up with some old and new friends for a few informal ‘suite’ parties, the rampant flu going around kept things low-key. Low key, that is, except for Marsha Youngs, a.k.a. “Princess” who was named “Webmaster Of The Year” - after which this deserving lady was a party unto herself wherever she went. Way to go, girl!
New Faces In The Crowd
One of the notable things about Internext was the number of new faces. Not necessarily reflecting an influx of newbies into the market, it appears folks who have been in the business for awhile - but who have never attended a show, decided to ‘bust their cherries’ in Las Vegas.
This was not limited to attendees, either, as an increasing number of mainstream companies decided to exhibit their wares. Companies like JVC and Lowel Lights, Toshiba and Zend among others were seen on the show floor. Representatives from Google and other name brand companies prowled the show floor trying to get a handle on our evolving market, and the attention we received was a good thing.
New Products And Innovations
Internext is always the place to discover the latest programs and innovations to hit the industry, and this past show was no exception. One of the most intriguing new offers to be presented was the AuctionPorn adult auction system from the team behind the AuctionPoints member loyalty program.
“Auction Porn (AuctionPorn.com) gives webmasters their very own "private-labeled" Adult Auction. It's designed to blow our brand-name Adult DVDs and Toys out the door at starting bids of $2.00 with NO reserve. When the webmasters traffic bids and wins, the webmaster gets paid 30% of the winning bids.” Said VP of Sales and Marketing, Adrien Bercovitz, adding “We have spent over 10 months in research and development and are proud to be launching AuctionPorn here in Las Vegas.”
Webmasters who signed up for AuctionPorn at InterNext received their very own “LoveLeash” (LoveLeash.com) from AuctionPorn’s partners at Universal Playthings. Speaking of UP, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with owner Jason Diesel who demonstrated his growing line of unique toys and novelties such as “LavaLoob” low-temperature scented candles - great for hot wax fans who do not enjoy being burned. The wax, once dripped onto your lover, is rubbed into the skin, aiding sensual massages and providing lubrication. Their UPseller (upseller.com) program allows Webmasters to quickly create customized, branded storefronts to profit from these innovative products.
My favorite part of this Internext, by far, was the last panel where two of my oldest and best friends in this business, Wasteland’s Colin Rowntree and author Fred Lane, put on a ‘shooting video on a shoe string’ seminar that had Fred playing the role of a pizza delivery boy who gets mauled by a couple of hot blondes who couldn’t pay for their pizza. Watching Lane turn red and squirm while the girls sat on his lap making out was priceless, and I hope it didn’t cause friction with his lovely girlfriend. It was all quite innocent, really!
This past Internext was a worthwhile event, if only a pale reflection of the chaos seen in previous years. Toning down as the industry matures, more work and more deals seemed to be getting done - and with less expense, making “The Show of Shows” an indispensable entry on every adult Webmaster’s calendar. See you next time! ~ Stephen