Customer Engagement Is Main Attraction at ‘Carnival of Lust’

Megan Swartz

This was our most successful event to date. The Carnival of Lust is a customer appreciation night that aims to keep customers entertained, laughing and leaving with a very generous bag of goodies.

Our first carnival in 2015 had seven games with lines that continued to grow for more than four hours, so we decided to go big this year and double the number of games. With 14 games and thousands of prizes to win (literally 100 items per booth), we were extremely grateful for all of our participating sponsors and so were our customers. Let’s be clear, this is not a sales-driven event! We do this event to get new faces in the store and create relationships so that our business can grow in the future. I would say 70 percent of guests at the carnival have never been in the store. They all say the same thing... “Wow! I had no idea how nice this store was!” Once they see what a comfortable environment we create, they’re eager to come back and shop for their personal needs.

The carnival was a blast. It’s always a pleasure working with Megan and her great staff at these events. –Chris Lerner, Xgen Products

To accomplish this end, we try to bring in a variety of vendors to offer our guests a little taste from each department of our store. Once we kick-start these customers who are new to adult shopping, they always come back for more.

This year, we had an amazing list of sponsors. CalExotics sponsored our “Harness a Hillary” booth, which was manned by a dear friend, and great business partner Austin Ferdinand. At this booth, one participant put on a harness and the other had four chances to land two hula-hoops on the dong. Not only was this fun to play, but it was also hilarious to watch!

Next door to that was our Xgen-sponsored booth, “Tip a Trump” with another one of our favorites, Chris Lerner, representing his booth. At this game, guests were given oversized coins to land in Trump’s tip jar between his legs to help keep him from bankruptcy (again).

We had Screaming O sponsor our cock ring toss game just across from the Pjur “Lube Knockout,” which was your traditional milk jug and bean bag game with 100ml bottles in place of the jugs.

One of my favorite games was Classic Erotics’ “Duck Off,” where everyone’s a winner! We attached a fishing pole to one of the strongest vibrators we had and guests reeled in a duck attached to a plate with the prizes written on the bottoms.

A crowd favorite was “Pin the Peck on Pete,” which we were fortunate enough to have Brian Herbstman of East Coast News and The Rabbit Company sponsor. Guests were blind-folded and spun five times in a chair before taking a shot at landing Pete’s penis on the bullseye.

We were also very fortunate to have Mona Madrigal of Pipedream Products here alongside our big bad wolf manning the “Little Pig, Little Pig, Let Me In” game. This was similar to Hot Hoops but instead of a basketball we used a blow-up pig and built a brick house on the top of a hill for the pig to land in. Make it safe one in three tries and win a prize.

Next to the lovely Mona was my pal Steve Guarino representing Doc Johnson’s “Save a Sub,”where guests had 60 seconds to break their partner free from five restraints. It seemed a little too easy so of course they had to complete this blindfolded.

We had Janet from New Sensations at the “Choke A Dick” ring toss game next to our Wicked “Fit for a King/Queen” race to dress in clothing of the opposite sex.

System Jo sponsored our “Booby Bounce” booth where guests were given a dong with a tack in the end to pop a pair of boobie balloons in order to win.

Lucy of Evolved Novelties represented the “Money Shot” game where guests were given three loads and had to land one on the face of a girl in order to win.

Sportsheets and Bijoux sent prizes which were given out at our local sponsor booths, Best Little Hair House with “Fire in the Hole” and Illuminati Tattoo’s “Bobbing for Nipples.”

We only do one main event per year so for this we pull out all the stops. Some ask, “why a carnival theme?” We want to encourage people to have fun, relax and enjoy a nice party atmosphere. What better way to break the ice than carnival games? We didn’t reinvent the wheel. We used the usual carnival style games with an adult twist.

This year’s event also included a dunk tank in the store with one of our favorite team members in the hot seat — or should I say cold seat because yes, we may have added some ice. The dunk tank was a splashing success although it did shoot waves of water onto the floor. Fortunately, only Austin and Chris suffered from that!

We did have a nice show for guests by our in-house pole instructor Tracie “Crash” Hanna to debut our newest addition to our family, “Deja Vu Presents Crash Academy.” This is our large, professional pole fitness studio built right inside the boutique with eight poles reaching 14 feet high. Our beautiful studio is now open for business and offering the first class free! Tracie is a world-renowned pole instructor and suspension artist and we are very fortunate to have her.

We ended our event with a good old-fashioned pie eating and marshmallow-stuffing contest.

With more than 10 years working with Deja Vu’s various branches, Megan Swartz — Deja Vu’s general manager and buyer — has made a name for herself as a dedicated and savvy, merchandising and operations-managing dynamo.

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