What a long, strange trip it's been! CyberNet Expo is over, and once again, Fay Sharp has shown the wisdom of having a more intimate networking alternative to the often overwhelming experience of other Webmaster shows.
While for Dawn and I it was only a 300 mile drive through the woods, Montreal was a world away from our quiet seaside village; and full of the great opportunities (but lacking much of the 'noise') that one might expect from one of the premier adult Internet gatherings. A much more sedate experience for those who may be used to the much larger January InterNext experience, the more intimate environment offered by CyberNet Expo allows for greater 'face time' with friends old and new, and the opportunity to listen and learn that is often not available elsewhere. This factor alone makes attending worthwhile, but when coupled with the informative seminars and vendor exhibits, attending CyberNet Expo is a 'mandatory' milestone on any Webmaster's calendar.
I learned quite a few lessons on this trip, and will share them with you later, but for now, I will share some of the sights and scenes from this past CyberNet Expo, held 30MAY - 02JUN 2002 in Montreal, Canada, at the Delta Centre-Ville. We arrived early Thursday afternoon, and right away got into the swing of things, as we started to see some familiar faces. The registration process was a breeze, and in no time we were about the business and pleasure of mingling; falling immediately into the clutches of Twinkley and Steve (thanks!) for a 'meeting of the minds' that set us on course for a night of 'working the room,' extolling the infinite virtues of XBiz.com!
And what a room it was! 'The Penthouse Lounge' was a pleasant, very private environment for attendees to network in, and accessible at anytime for those 'on the spot' presentations. This became a popular off-hours gathering spot, and a free continental breakfast was served daily for those who were interested. But on this Thursday night, it was the home of the YNOT '90s Class Reunion' party which provided an opportunity for all the old timers to meet and greet. Greg (Otto) Geelan from YNOT, Oz and Twinkley from TrueCash, Colin and Angie from Wasteland, SEGuru from igallery, Tom Hymes from AVN Online, Aly from Python, and a whole host of other industry luminaries were on hand for the opening night festivities.
One of the great things about Fay's shows is that they start at a reasonable hour, so that it's actually possible to get some sleep while attending them. Sleep is of course an optional activity for many of us, and Montreal provides many diversions for those who are looking for fun and excitement! I was speaking Friday afternoon on the 'Webmaster Resources' panel, though, and so I needed my 'beauty sleep' if I was going to make any sense at all:
Friday's seminar went over well, and after it, Dawn felt comfortable enough to hold her own 'mini seminar' where she spent the better part of half an hour discussing the micro-management of exit traffic as an often overlooked revenue stream, and how Webmaster's could profit from HELMY Cash, as a dozen onlookers tried to scribble notes and pressed her with questions. These are the unique opportunities that smaller shows provide to attendees, and become precious jewels that are rare indeed. Rare also was Friday night's private tour of the adultcontent.ca studios — an impressive operation that you'll hear more about later. We spent the rest of the evening touring Montreal before enjoying a wonderful meal in the hotel's roof-top rotating glass windowed restaurant, that provided a lightning-filled view of the Montreal skyline.
Saturday's 'Amateur Clinic' provided an alternative to time spent networking or on the show floor where it seems a lot of business was being done. The lower amount of floor traffic at the smaller shows means more time and less noise for vendors to explain their wares, and a less crowded experience for attendees who can now "see everything." Saturday night brought Netpond Racing and Carol Cox' invitation-only party. It also brought something to the menu that didn't agree with Kitten, and we were forced to make an early Sunday departure, since last minute gatherings and sudden illnesses do not go well together. Despite the bad end, we had a great start, and really enjoyed CyberNet Expo! Thanks Fay!
Here's some pics, and I'll follow up with "Lessons Learned" later this week: