Webmaster Access: Atlanta, 2004
Co-produced by the good folks from National Net and sponsored by Epoch, ePassporte, Platinum Bucks, TopBucks, Legendary Lars and Playboy Cash 2.0; this latest stop on the Webmaster Access regional event tour promised attendees the chance to "Join other top webmasters in the industry to do business, learn, and have a good time," and offered "...conferences on important current issues, plenty of opportunities to meet and do business with other Webmasters, ample nightlife and time to party." So far, the event has been delivering as promised, providing a worthwhile experience for those who made the trip.
While there are none of the exhibits or sponsor extravaganzas found at a larger show such as the January Internext-Expo in Las Vegas, the chaos of the mega-events is replaced by the tranquility of quality catered luncheon gatherings and early evening cocktail receptions. Those seeking "the party scene" have nightly scheduled festivities, while those seeking knowledge have the benefit of learning from some of the online adult industry's best and brightest minds.
One thing that I immediately noticed was the diversity of attendees at this event. Having been to a number of industry events, I tend to notice many of the same folks -- "the usual suspects" I've begun to call them -- making the rounds. While old friends like "Webmaster of the Year" Marsha Youngs and noted attorney J.D. Obenberger mingled with familiar faces like Epoch's Rand Pate and photographic fixture "JFK", many of "the usual suspects" were nowhere to be seen. These folks were replaced by Webmasters from around the state, and around the world -- some attending their first show, others long time veterans who normally are "lost in the crowd."
This was actually a good thing, as it meant an easy opportunity to avoid the 'clique' nature of some of the larger events, forcing attendees to network more widely than they might otherwise have. For my part, I was able to meet and spend some time with folks like popular XBiz contributor "Tala" as well as one of our newest writers, DuoCash' Michael Sperber. Joesho of "420calendar.com" fame and I spent some high quality time together, including an informal get-together with folks from AEBN, Adult PayMaster, and Amateur Porn Cash. National Net's Kathi Stout was always handy when I needed her, but I missed seeing new friend Cameron Cherry in her "Kitty Costume" at the Atlanta Swinger's party being hosted by one of our pals from Cancun, Sammy Smack, and friends. Heck, even one of the hotel's bartenders gave me his card and asked me a few questions -- "turnkey" adult site owner that he is...
My lovely wife Dawn had this to say, "The mix of people here is fantastic! I've been able to make fast friends with Loryn and Tofu from adult.com as well as with a number of other folks I've only 'seen' on the boards before, and I always enjoy a hug from the aptly named 'Sunny' Leone. The networking here is fun and easy!"
As the last day of the show is now unfolding, with luncheon and the highly anticipated traffic forum about to get underway, I can only look forward to the pearls of wisdom about to be discovered at this informal networking event. Stay tuned for highlights from this seminar, as well as from the legal and state of the industry seminars -- two of the best I've ever attended. ~ Stephen