StorErotica/ILS Show Sets Seminar Schedule

Tod Hunter
CLEARWATER, Fla. — The combined International Lingerie Show and StorErotica What's New Marketplace show has announced its panels and speakers for the upcoming event, which they are calling "the largest convention and tradeshow for the intimate apparel and soft adult products."

The show will be held Sept. 21-23 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The keynote address, the State of the Erotic Retail Union, will be presented by Christopher C. Scharff on Sept. 22. Scharff has been CEO of lingerie and costume company Dreamgirl International since 2006. He is a frequent guest lecturer on international sales, marketing and supply chain topics at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. He is an executive member of Fashion Group International and a member of the California Fashion Association.

The Buy Smart panel session on Sept. 21 offers retailers advice on what products sell well, when to order products and how to get the best deals when negotiating with manufacturers and distributors.

One participant on the panel is Ken Dorfman, a sales executive with novelty manufacturer Doc Johnson for 25 years and current president of D&D Marketing, a private consulting firm that offers retail business owners new methods of merchandising, product purchasing, industry relations and cross-sales promotions.

Also scheduled for the panel is Rachel Venning, cofounder of Babeland stores, which recently won a Zagat survey for Best Customer Service in New York City. Venning will share her expertise on how to "buy smart," including how to make the most out of attending industry trade shows.

The Sell Smart panel session on Sept. 22 focuses on the needs of retail stores, including how to sell all of the products you order, how to keep yourself and your staff motivated, and how to keep existing customers while landing new ones.

This panel features Theresa Flynt, executive vice president of licensing and brand development at LFP Inc., who created the Hustler Hollywood chain of stores and oversaw the company's day-to-day retail operations.

Also scheduled to speak is Phyllis Heppenstall, owner and founder of the Peekay retail chain with more than 30 Lovers, A Touch of Romance and Conrev stores. The company also is a product manufacturer and wholesaler. Heppenstall plans to address the critical and rarely discussed topic of motivation for staff members and storeowners.

The Future Smart panel session on Sept. 23 focuses on legal, financial and marketing information that store owners and buyers can use to do successful business in the future and to get the edge on their competition.

Panelists include Clyde DeWitt, an adult entertainment attorney since 1980 who is based in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He has been a part of several key industry cases, including the U.S. Supreme Court case City of Los Angeles vs. Alameda Books. Kathleen Grace, a marketing and branding specialist with 20 years of experience; also will appear on the panel. Currently, Grace is reintroducing the Sensual Mystique brand into a premier manufacturer of intimate apparel.

Rounding out the panel is Gary Krupkin, an attorney in Dallas and senior vice president for the erotic retail chain Condoms to Go and Sara's Secret. Although he confines his legal practice to 1st Amendment issues, he regularly consults with erotic retailers in the areas of business strategy and finance.

Access to all panels is included with show registration.