XBIZ EU a Resounding Success, Draws Top Industry Execs

Rhett Pardon

LONDON — The inaugural XBIZ EU international digital media conference this past weekend was a resounding success, with many top industry execs praising organizers for large turnouts to its seminars and events.

The conference, attended by the online adult industry’s top executives and professionals, was held at the stylish Radisson Bloomsbury Edwardian Hotel in central London.

XBIZ EU last week offered attendees standing-room-only crowds that listened to an array of seminars on traffic strategies, live cams and dating, payment processing and the adult mobile space, as well as lively panels on the state of the European adult market and content piracy, as well as a much talked about debate on .XXX.

The seminars featured an impressive roster of top U.S. and European company representatives who offered insight on what does and doesn't work to maximize revenue in certain sectors of the space.

"Seminars at XBIZ has been a trademark," CommerceGate CEO Bjorn Skarlen said. "As usually they were well-planned, well-attended, well-informed and with topics that the crowd want to know more about and interested attendees."

Packed speed-networking sessions, sponsored by NETbilling, brought together old and new acquaintances from both sides of the Atlantic. And the Mix & Meet Market offered attendees a chance to showcase their latest products and services.

The show offered lavish buffet lunches, sponsored by private label solution Dating Factory, where attendees fueled up for the rest of the days' activities.

After dark, the London show carried on offsite with a Porn at the Pub mixer sponsored by Epoch, Gamma Entertainment and Hustler Cash, as well as the XBIZ London Opening Bash at 33 Portland Place, a Georgian house that offered numerous rooms to hang out and network. The London Opening Bash was sponsored by CellCast and Peekaboo.

While some guests attended Sex Entertain's exclusive Elite Traffic Dinner, sponsored by CommerceGate, Private Media Group and Pink Visual, others journeyed past the Covent Garden district for the English Pub Crawl, where XBIZ EU attendees visited Hercules Pillars, later moving on to the Rising Sun and the Mason Arms. The Pub Crawl was sponsored by NETbilling.

On the final day of the conference, scores of attendees took a tour of the city by the Thames on a traditional London double-decker bus.

Many XBIZ EU attendees continued on for the Oktoberfest Gathering in Munich on Sunday, where they partied at the legendary Hofbrauhaus.

"We really enjoyed this show," NETbilling CEO Mitch Farber said. "Great city, great speed networking and great seminars. XBIZ really did a fine job in organizing the show, and the hotel was just wonderful. "The turnout was quite amazing. There were so many new faces from European businesses that we connected with for business.

Steven Gallon, CEO of Grooby Productions, echoed Farber's sentiment.

"They were all here ... all of the top adult biz execs," Gallon said. "We were very happy coming to the show. The show and the hotel was first class." 

CCMedia CEO Rick Clay, who operates out of London, said he has been interested in attending an XBIZ show for quite some time.

"Nice crowd, lots of business and it's in our own backyard," he said. "We were curious and happy to make it out."

Jerry Barnett, managing director of Strictly Broadband, too, enjoyed the London location.

"It was great to have a good B2B show in my own home town for a change," Barnett said. "The networking was useful, with a good selection of leading industry people from around Europe and North America.

"The panels I attended were interesting and of good quality. Overall, it was a good and worthwhile show to attend."

And many were surprised about the heavy turnout. Gamma Entertainment's Joel Drappeau said that XBIZ EU's first show exceeded his expectations and that there were so many heavy hitters. 

"Not only was the attendance good, but the crowd was different from the other shows," Drappeau said. "We got to meet many new faces." 

Skarlen of CommerceGate reported a "lot of business being done in London."

"The quality of the attendees were also high ... many business decision-makers," he said. "What I personally like was that many from the U.K. attended."

Said TopBucks' Kristin Winters: "I thought this show was well represented with companies from around the world. After two previous shows, London drew in a different crowd with different business opportunities. The seminars were well attended, parties were a hit and the weather was beautiful! Looking forward to next year's show!"

"It was a good blend of old and new faces," Ilan Bunimovitz, a board director at Private Media Group, said. "I'll be looking forward to next year."

Said Hustler President Michael Klein: "I really enjoyed the XBIZ EU show. The accommodations at the Radisson were terrific and more importantly it was a good show to meet up with a lot of our European partners and meet potential new ones. And we got really lucky with great weather in London for the whole show."  

"The XBIZ EU show got to  a great start, with a great location, central and nice big seminar rooms," said Harmik Gharapetian, Epoch's vice president of sales and marketing."There were a lot of new faces that we had not seen in the other European shows, and some great speakers as well.

"The seminar rooms were filled with interested attendees that were involved and eager to ask questions. The speed networking was a huge success and, overall, we at Epoch were very pleased with the show and the turnout."

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