A Newbie's Guide To Vegas

Stephen Yagielowicz
For many adult webmasters, January means more than the start of a brand new year — it means Vegas, baby! — and another gathering of the faithful at the online adult industry's show of shows: the winter Internext Expo. For those who have attended before, you know what to expect. For those who are heading to this premier business and networking event for the first time, here are a few tips to help you survive:

Attending Internext is an investment in your business that can pay off big-time — but not if you're stuck in your hotel room, sick in bed. Internext neophytes might laugh at the thought of becoming ill during the three days that matter the most during the year, but it happens so frequently that we have a phrase for it — "The Vegas Crud" — and it hits more people than you can imagine; people you will be shaking hands with, people you will be in close contact with and people you may become intimate with.

Sucking on vitamin C drops, keeping a small bottle of waterless, anti-bacterial soap (or a supply of Handi Wipes) in your pocket for frequent cleanups, drinking lots of water, eating right and getting plenty of rest will help keep your immune system strong. Getting that flu shot ahead of time is also a great idea.

And speaking of intimate moments, consider this a public service announcement about safe sex — Vegas is loaded with gorgeous girls and guys in a sexually charged, hormone-filled environment. And if you're lucky, you'll get laid. Be safe, and you won't be sorry later.

Make Business First
While some of the younger folks in attendance focus on the extensive party action that a show like Internext offers, its main value is as a unparalleled networking opportunity where relationships built up on message boards and in chat rooms can be solidified face-to-face. Want to find a new sponsor you can trust, or get something "special" from the one you already promote? Perhaps you need some discounted content or new services? Maybe you're looking to recruit your own affiliates? Vegas is the place to do it.

Make sure that you bring along your business cards and hand them out freely. Talk to as many people as possible and build relationships. Carry a pocket-sized voice recorder or notepad to help you remember items of interest — and bring your camera for those impromptu photo opportunities.

If it's new, exciting, popular or powerful, you'll see it in Vegas. The experience can be overwhelming and a blur. Do not get bogged down and spend too much time with any one company or at any one booth — try to see everything. Grab all the literature that you can get your hands on and study it when you get home. You really don't want to miss anything.

Finally, a last word about the parties: there's a ton of them. Some are small networking events where deals can be made over a glass of wine. Others are full-blown party scenes where you can't hear yourself think — let alone do any business. Remember, you're at a party to have fun. Nobody wants to be cornered at the bar while you stuff a business card in their hand and tell them why your hosting company is the best. There's a time and a place for everything, and if you have good social skills and a sense of timing, then you'll have a profitable show.

In the final analysis, if you can attend only one adult trade show, the Vegas Internext should be it. Just make sure that you take care of yourself and your business. I'll see you there.