opinion

It's Showtime, Folks!

Kim Airs

Okay, so you know how I am about adult industry trade shows... in as few words as possible, I LOVE 'EM!  You get to see all the new products, meet with the manufacturers (or importers.... check my blog of July 21 to read about that clarification), see what's coming up on the horizon (because many times only the prototype products are shown before they are officially available), and best of all, schmooze to your heart's content with the movers and shakers of the industry.

I go to the shows to source new vibrators, dildos, cockrings, masturbators and miscellaneous sextoys and REALLY learn about them by kicking their proverbial tires: checking the quality, movement, sound, packaging, and price... basically learning much more than I could ever learn from a catalogue or a sales person calling me with the latest gizmos hitting the market. It's just not the same.

I know many store owners are barely hanging on ("Flat is the new UP" a well-known sex industry pal once told me) and for many of you, there will be an expense involved with flying (or driving) to beautiful, not-so-quite downtown Burbank for the upcoming XBIZ Retail Expo being held Monday and Tuesday, January 9 and 10 at the Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel but let me tell you why you should make the decision to attend. Besides actually being able to handle the products, the show allows you to expand your horizons ("I never saw anything in a shape like that!"), attend these really cool networking events like "Retail Speed Networking," "3 Minute Show Offs" where manufacturers get to give you the elevator speech as to why their product is the best, and the ever-important "Market Trend Symposium" to see if you've got what it takes to keep your store open for another year. It makes sense. And oh, there's that holiday to buy for that's the equivalent of the adult industry's "Black Friday" - Valentine's Day - which is sure to carry us forward for the next few seasons.

And there are a few other benefits to attend, the best one is that it's FREE to qualified attendees. What do I mean by qualified? Simple: if you're a store owner, manager, buyer, worker (and your boss takes really good care of you!), home party company owner or buyer, operations manager for an adult company, retail chain buyer (even in the mainstream market - think vibrators at Rite Aid), online retail buyer/operator, an adult business consultant (like yours truly), lingerie retailer (time to expand your product line and YES! there will be lingerie manufacturers there, too), then you're qualified. You can check out the website for the show which lists the exhibitors like the fantastic and innovative RodeoH harnesses (their first show!), and many others that includes distributors so you can go shopping for your best deals and perhaps find a new distributor. The best way to register is to send an email to events@xbiz.com with your name, address, email, phone number and proof of who you are (your title, company name, website, etc.) because otherwise, it's 100 smackers to get in and we wouldn't want that.

Ya think that's it? Noooo...!  Your admission to the Expo not only allows you to see the latest and greatest and attend the networking events, but you also get FREE admission to the whoppin' TENTH annual XBIZ Awards - the biggest night in the whole X-biz! It's a great party with over a thousand like-minded folks in attendance never mind enough eye candy to fuel your dreams til the 11th annual Awards. It's going to be held on Tuesday, January 10 at the fab-boo Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport: a big, well, hangar, that's been party central on the Westside (an LA term) for a whole bunch o' years. It's definitely a do-not-miss show that gives us an excuse to dress up instead of taking off our clothes.

Okay, so you think that's it, right? Nope. The XBIZ Retail Expo is taking place back-to-back to the well known ANME Founders Show that's being held at the exact same place right before the XBIZ show.  Makes a lot of sense actually: the Founder's Show hosts the Big 5 manufacturers (California Exotic Novelties, Doc Johnson, Topco, Nasstoys, and Pipedream) and a lot of other larger manufacturers while the XBIZ show hosts not only the Founders but some other smaller, innovative companies, too. There's about a 60% cross over of companies that will be doing both shows so it would behoove you to attend both shows (okay, admit it, when was the last time you saw the word "behoove" on a blog?) and if you're limited on time, many people are attending the ANME show on Sunday and the XBIZ show on Monday, essentially attending 2 different shows within 2 days. Pretty cool, huh? The only hitch is that since it's a different show, it requires a different registration which is also open to qualified buyers so you might need to take an extra minute to register for that, too. Here's the link for registering for the Founder's Show.

So do try to attend the XBIZ Retail Expo in January. It's held only once a year and you really do want to get out of that cold, winter January weather, don't you? It'll be worth every minute. Trust me. See ya there...

Okay, here's some more JOTB (jokes of the blog) for ya...

What's the ultimate display of trust?
Two cannibals doing 69.

What's the definition of WASP post-coital depression?
Not being to reach the New Yorker from the bed.

What's the difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer?
The taste.

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