When all is said and done, I expect that the growth in the size of this year's XBIZ Summer Forum will be matched by an equally impressive growth in the quality and productivity of this "must-attend" industry event. As much as the inaugural event set a new standard, I expect it to be eclipsed by Round 2; slickness by design and out of necessity in what some observers consider to be an over-crowded market space.
The new XBIZ website is cutting-edge in its delivery of focused news and information, whether you're interested in web and tech, or novelties, studios and production, retail and more.
The flexible Business Directory, plus our Newscaster and Syndication services, SMS headlines, RSS feeds and expanded event calendar listings are all designed to keep users on top of the latest happenings, while making it easy for them to access the services they need to succeed and grow. And growth is what it's really all about.
When my lovely wife Dawn first saw the new site, she summed it all up quite succinctly: "XBIZ has grown up, baby!" She was right, of course.
While XBIZ has long been regarded as one of the preeminent adult media companies, this transformation into its latest incarnation brings it truly into "adulthood" — a mature product serving a maturing industry.
I've watched XBIZ grow over the years, from just three of us into an organization that leads the adult entertainment industry as the source of record for news and information for all venues, audiences and operators in the adult business, and through sister brand XFANZ, consumers as well. Red-carpet awards shows and industry-leading tradeshows, a couple of large-format monthly trade magazines, Hollywood conferences — the list goes on and on.
Sure I love XBIZ and it's rewarding to see its growth, but the evolution of XBIZ didn't happen in a vacuum.
It was molded by the evolution of the industry that surrounds and is woven throughout it. Just as with XBIZ, any company in the adult entertainment space needs to be at the top of its game and able to meet ever-changing needs.
For many operators, margins are thinner, terms harder, exposure greater and market share dwindling. The drive for and ability to achieve excellence and the willingness to adapt, is what will separate the successful companies from those struggling to survive. For these operators especially, XBIZ can help turn the tide, as knowledge is power. Gratuitous ad aside, the lesson is that making every effort to stay on top of your business and the factors that are influencing it is required if you expect to have any chance at all. So frequenting the leading source of industry information, as well as other credible sources, makes sense.
This "extra effort" of seeking out relevant news and continuing your education within the craft will help you see new opportunities, avoid common (and not-so common) pitfalls, and help you to develop a better sense of the overall industry and where it's going.
Above The Norm
But it's really the stepping up to excellence that I'm on about; the need to go over and above the norm in order to secure your place at the table.
Back to our example — there is any number of trade shows or places to chat with other webmasters, or websites you can read an article or some news — but there is only one XBIZ.
When you look at your own operation, how does it measure up? Does it stand over and above — or at the very least, apart — from its competitors? Does it feel like a mature offer?
Adult webmasters are often in such a big hurry to launch our latest and greatest site, or take advantage of that new promotional tool, that our foundations go neglected.
It's not that growth and expansion are bad it's just that they shouldn't come at the expense of core properties that have yet to achieve excellence.
On a personal note, one of the areas that I'm trying to focus on is putting all of my good ideas in one place and then acting on the best of them.
You see, I have a bad habit of jotting down ideas on a dozen sheets on my clipboard, using post-it notes and other bits of scrap paper, arranged — and sometimes lost — with no rhyme or reason.
I'm no better with the endless text files littering my computer. It's not like I don't have one dedicated place to put this info, it's just that it rarely makes it there.
This lack of organization is not excellence; it's time consuming, frustrating and results in a tremendously risky data security situation.
It's also an opportunity for me to step up and reverse this situation, taking the time to file information as it comes in and dealing with it accordingly. This infusion of excellence into my process elevates everything and serves as an example of one step that many of my peers could take.
Steps are where we're at you need them to step up and to grow up. We as an industry have turned a corner in our development and that evolution is reflected in what you see today at XBIZ.
Let what we've done and what we will continue to do on into the future serve as an inspiration to you. Examine your operation from top to bottom, improve upon your strengths, mitigate your weaknesses, and let's all grow up and strive for excellence.