Go West To Cybernet Expo!

Jay Kopita
In this industry, first impressions are always important, but not nearly as important as lasting impressions. Successes and failures happen quicker in the adult space it seems as compared to mainstream, and over the years, projects, events and companies are often measured solely (and sometimes unfairly) by the lone success or failure of their most recent endeavor.

Positive public perception, substantial hype, and most importantly - the quality of the product itself, are critical factors to its survival in the future. Now in its seventh year, the Cybernet Expo Webmaster event has stood the test of time, and proven itself as a mainstay in this fickle industry of ours. If you go by my theory, and attended the event in Montreal, Spring 2003, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

This year's "Go West" theme is simple and to the point. Cybernet Expo has traditionally been an eastern seaboard show most recently held in Montreal and Miami (with the exception of New Orleans several years back and a few showings in Vegas which have been discontinued since 2002). Late last year Fay Sharp and Tradeshow Productions, Inc. partnered up with YNOTMasters to help produce and market this year's Cybernet Expo. It was determined that San Diego, June 9-12 would be the perfect venue and time of year for everyone to "head west." It's time to start getting excited for a total change of pace since many in our industry have never visited this awesome city before. Presently, we are anticipating up to 1,000 in the adult and tech space to attend the show.

To my knowledge, this is the first ever major adult Webmaster show to happen in San Diego. A conservative city by California standards, but quite liberal by American standards, San Diego is literally a hot bed of adult Internet and adult performer activity. Only two hours south of Los Angeles (when traffic is forgiving) there are literally thousands upon thousands of people in this beautiful city of nearly 1.3 million residents (metropolitan area population is over 2.5 million) in the furthest southwestern reaches of the continental U.S. that do some form of business in adult. It was certainly high time that Cybernet Expo came to town, and it is nice to see so many Southern California companies picking up several sponsorships for the show! (A complete list of sponsors can be found here.) I'm hoping that other local companies will follow suit with some of the remaining sponsorships (and we are almost sold out!) given that in years past, Montreal companies like Gamma and Wild Rose rolled out the proverbial red carpet to all attendees in grandiose style.

If you have in fact attended any of the Cybernet Expo events in recent years, you probably know that the seminars and information one can cull by attending is one of the cornerstones of what makes this show so valuable. Not just for newbies, the current line up of seminars, discussion groups, educational clinics and crossfire style panels will inform AND entertain Webmasters of all levels. No more of the "same old, same old." With 15 seminars planned and filling up quickly with qualified speakers, this year's show is truly shaping up to be one for the books. We even have a prominent attorney and major sponsor (Eric M. Bernstein) offering up a one hour legal Q&A session, which I believe is an industry first for a legal firm. In my opinion, the seminars alone are worth the three-day price of $149 before you even figure in all of the alcohol you plan to drink on Silvercash's dime during the day.

In addition to the legal Q&A seminar, the current three-day line up includes: Orientation, Marketing & Sales Workshop, Newbie Discussion, Political Crossfire, Traffic Clinic, Gay Webmaster Crossfire, Doing Business in Adult, Technical Issues, The Current State of Billing, The Hot issues of 2004, Women In Adult, Design and Promotion Clinic, Running a Profitable Paysite and an Amateur panel. Scheduling is tight, so it is highly advisable to have a game plan in advance and get your scheduling in order for meetings, seminars, dinners and parties. For that matter, it's highly advisable to have a game plan anyway.

If you have been to the Cybernet Expo website or have gotten involved in any of the several industry chat board discussions, you may note that this year we are trying several different things to give Cybernet Expo an exciting new twist and give the show added value. In addition to some party ideas in the works, topping the list are new sponsorship packages offering a unique style of promotion. Keep in mind that this show is not primarily about booths, distribution and glitz. We are limiting the booth count in the prime networking area to 15 exhibiting areas and putting the networking bar right in with all the action. The layout of the convention and pool areas of the hotel is highly conducive to great networking. There should really be no reason why you might miss someone during the three days of the show unless you are hiding out in your room the whole time.

This year we are introducing the "Corridor Cruisin'" and "Conference Prize Sponsorship" packages which offer special value for very reasonable prices. The Corridor Cruisin' sponsorship includes your hotel room for three days in a designated section of the Hyatt Islandia hotel as well as the opportunity to be an exhibitor for an evening on June 10th outside your room during a party. The layout of the "corridor" allows for over a dozen companies to set up shop for a few hours amidst a cocktail party atmosphere.

The Prize sponsorship allows you to have your company featured at the seminar of your choosing with your banner on a side wall of the room for the day and a raffle where your company supplies the prize to one lucky seminar attendee. Since we anticipate an excellent turnout at all of the TopBucks sponsored seminars, you really can't go wrong with this sponsorship, especially if you are looking to target a very specific audience. Information on both of these sponsorships and all of the others available can be found here.

In closing, this year's show is gearing up to be legendary, and if you are thinking of passing on Cybernet Expo because there are just "too many shows" out there, then you would be doing so at your own loss. I will be the first to agree that there are too many shows out there. Of course I'm biased with this particular event, but that excuse just doesn't fly with Cybernet Expo. This is by no means an over-commercialized event dictated by politics. Cybernet Expo cares first and foremost about its sponsors and attendees and wouldn't have it any other way. However, if none of that matters to you, and you are not interested in an event that has a proven "good for business" track record and are really only looking for a three-day party, then Cybernet Expo is not for you.

For all the rest, I'll see you in San Diego in June! Please visit today and GO WEST!