LOS ANGELES — Chicago was the host town for XBIZ Summit 2011, but next year the adult entertainment industry's leading business-networking event of the summer will anchor America’s second biggest industry hub Miami.
The three-day Chicago XBIZ Summit, which concluded Sunday, offered a wide array of topical seminars and networking events, as well as a tour of the top deck of the John Hancock Building, a double-decker city bus tour and a number of special events, including the annual "Mr. Skin’s Annual Summer Soiree."
While XBIZ hasn't yet announced dates for its Miami summer show, online adult business professionals, upon hearing about the choice for the 2012 XBIZ Summit host city, are pleased with the announcement.
Mitch Farber, NETbilling's president, told XBIZ on Monday that his company was pleased to be the networking sponsor at the Chicago Summit and he thinks next summer's host city — Miami — is a great pick.
"Chicago is an amazing city and was a nice change of location," he said. "We are happy to see XBIZ moving shows around the world.
"It is a great idea on the part of XBIZ, not only to encourage regional businesses in the industry to attend, but to entice others to travel to new locations as well. I think XBIZ did a tremendous job putting together another quality event and we look forward to the upcoming EU show."
The Chicago Summit "was a great opportunity to spend time with old industry friends and network with people that we will undoubtedly call ‘old industry friends’ sooner than we might imagine," PornstarTweet CEO Pete Housley told XBIZ.
Harmik Gharapetian, Epoch's vice president of sales and marketing, told XBIZ that while the Chicago Summit had a good quality of attendees, "I think Florida will be a better location, as there are a ton of residents there and high-end clients and program owners."
And Alexandre Noirot-Cosson, who leads business development for mobile service provider Wister, told XBIZ that "the show was nice and I was able to meet with very interesting people."
"As usual, XBIZ seminars were very relevant topics and speakers," he said. "Added to the fancy venue and wonderful city, it was to great to attend it and I'm looking forward to attending the next."
Barry Hotson, vice president of business development for MerchantBilling.com, said "we were very impressed with the way XBIZ managed the show from start to finish.
"It was not the largest show we have attended, but our hospitality suite was always packed, and the show size actually worked to our advantage," he told XBIZ. "Quality face time with actual decision makers from reputable companies that are looking to grow their brands — we sat down with many potential clients and look forward to making some significant announcements in the coming weeks as a direct result of our participation.
"It's a show Merchant Billing has already added to our annual calendar, and we look forward to attending again next year at the new Miami venue."
CCBill's Sean Eggert told XBIZ that he has "no doubt that the XBIZ Summit in Miami will be a huge draw and success for both the sponsors and attendees."
"The XBIZ shows have always offered attendees a great opportunity to network and learn, Chicago was no exception to this," he said. "The city of Chicago offered an amazing backdrop to a really well run show.
"Having the show in a new city gave us the chance to meet some people that may not have made it out to the other traditional show locations."
Jay Davis of DatingGold said he was happy that the XBIZ Summit was held in Chicago.
"I found the location to be rather unique and quite accommodating," he told XBIZ. "To be honest, I don't believe I have ever attended an XBIZ event that wasn't a success.
"So, with that said, I think they'll find continued support whether in Chicago, Miami or where ever they choose to explore next. I strongly feel that states such as Ohio and New York would be terrific choices for future venues."
Lauren MacEwen of 7Veils.com, a social media marketing company, told XBIZ that interaction at one of the seminars was a highlight for her. "I really loved being on the panel. We received a lot of great feedback," she said.
Overall, "I loved the show. I had a great time and spent some real quality time with people," she said.
Kristen Kaye, XBIZ's executive director of business development, said taking the show to Miami also means expanding its lineup further.
"XBIZ Chicago was an intimate event that really enhanced networking and deal-making opportunities," she said. "XBIZ Summit Miami will take the event to another level."