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InterNext Expo Wrap Up: Summer 2002

Stephen Yagielowicz

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. Newbies and others who have never attended the 'Show of Shows' may find this format to be more indicative of the overall flavor of this often-overwhelming experience, especially when they notice how quickly the tone and substance of my report changes over a few days. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 10th, 2002: A Dizzying Pace
XMIX was a blast, and much of what I would hear on the exhibit floor today would center around the "Best Party of the Show!" Seeing all of the hard work that my wife Dawn had put into making XMIX so successful an event' was as satisfying to me as the response that our party sponsors (Matrix Content, Net Billing, Exclusive Media Group, Access For Life, and Adult Web Games) received from their invited guests. As Bestat (Exclusive Media Group) put it: "I was extremely pleased by the fantastic food and positive feedback that everyone gave me over this excellent networking opportunity." This was a sentiment that I heard echoed over and over again...

But my real concern today was my 'first thing in the morning' appearance on the "Porn Yearns to Be Free" Roundtable Session, featuring some of my oldest friends and favorite personalities in the adult Web business, with Aly Drummond, from Python; my good friend Oz, from True Cash and The Adult Webmaster, plus "my hero," and the man who inspired me to begin speaking at these events, Colin Rowntree from Wasteland.com. Along with 'yours truly' representing XBiz.com, this would be the panel that was talked about most; after all, this mix of personalities alone was worth attending the seminar for, the information presented by this group, priceless.

With the experienced moderation of my good friend Fred Lane to guide things along, the panel set upon its task, as the promoter's described: "This discussion will begin with the almost undeniable assumption that there is a glut of free online adult material that is here to stay, and the further assumption that all that free porn will continue to have the effect of eating away at industry profits. The question that this experienced panel will bat around is what to do about it. Will peer-to-peer networks evolve as the greatest threat to the future health of the industry? Can one fight that seemingly unstoppable evolution, or does one figure out a way to piggyback on it? Since everyone here probably has different ideas about how to individually and collectively battle the glut of free content, this should turn out to be a rather lively give and take session."

With an atmosphere more akin to a meeting of 'The McLaughlin Group' than a typical InterNext seminar session, the information we presented will no doubt positively impact the attendees bottom lines.

This proved to be an accurate description, with our "rather lively give and take session" covering not only the topics we had planned for, as well as a few more that resulted from this high level brainstorming session. With an atmosphere more akin to a meeting of "The McLaughlin Group" than a typical InterNext seminar session, the information we presented will no doubt positively impact the attendees bottom lines.

Once I finished up on my 'real work' it was back to the show floor, networking, learning, and hanging at the XBiz booth to greet those who came by to visit.

Sunday, August 11th, 2002: Where Am I?
The exhibit hall was sparsely populated when opening time came around on the show's final day (as usual). Saturday evening's parties were still continuing for the younger and more adventurous attendees, while the 'old timers' stood dazed, or worked intensely, or fell into the great gray area between these too extremes.

People slowly but surely filtered in and wandered the aisles, greeting their friends, saying their 'good byes,' and doing some last minute business — until the 3PM closing time ushered in the largest 'boob barrage' in memory. For the uninitiated, a 'boob barrage' is where all the exhibitors and their friends wildly lob spongy breasts across the room. A sight to see, to be sure: Saturday evening's parties were still continuing for the younger and more adventurous attendees, while many 'old timers' stood dazed, or worked intensely, or fell into the great gray area between these too extremes.

Personally, I was once again 'shuffling the deck' inside my head; classifying, correlating, and attempting to absorb everything that I saw, learned, and had whispered into my ear at this show. My glassy-eyed '1,000 yard stare' was the product of severe information overload, as my brain swelled with the constant stream of data and debate that had assaulted it. Several last minute meetings left my brain as swollen as my belly after a buffet, but intrigued by the many diverse possibilities and problems that were presented to me.

Over the next week or so, the cards that I deal from my newly shuffled deck will be laid out upon the table — or taped upon the wall: since one of the best ways for me to 'take it all in' is through jotting notes and ideas gleaned from the show onto simple 3x5 file cards and taping them in an enormous array on my office wall; and spending hours staring at this informational jigsaw puzzle, rearranging the cards like pieces on my personal "chess board of life."

All in all, this was one of the best InterNext Expos that I have attended. Even though we went to only one party (XMIX - of course!), Dawn and I both had a great time, enjoying the company of both old and new friends alike, along with the fine food, professionalsim and amazing hospitality of the Westin Diplomat Hotel. While I was originally against having the show in (fill in the blank: "anywhere outside of 'Vegas" ), this fine property proved itself to be ideal for our special group, and I would like to see InterNext return there again next summer ~ as long as the January show stays in Las Vegas! I hope to see you there! ~ Stephen

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