LOS ANGELES – The XBIZ Retail Retreat rounded out the six-event XBIZ 360 series with two days of back-to-back private meetings between adult retail buyers and vendors of pleasure products and DVDs.
With nightly special events and high-end dining to unwind while networking intimately with attendees, the XBIZ Retreat brought industry execs together with a classy set-up with all-inclusive amenities.
Day one welcomed attendees with a round of XBIZ’s popular speed networking to break the ice between the international buyers and vendors in attendance. CalVista Australia CEO Michael Bassett, said that prior to the morning’s speed networking session, he only knew four out of the approximate 20 vendors at the XBIZ Retreat. “Everyone else, I met for the very first time,” he said.
Cyrex's Andy Smith added, " The Retreat introduced me to a completely new 'exhibition' format which enabled me to meet many of the top buyers in the U.S. adult market without all the hassle of setting up and organizing an exhibition stand. It provided the opportunity for me to demonstrate the new ElectraStim Flick electro stimulators in a quiet and relaxed environment to a lucrative audience with one-on-one meetings that all went like clockwork. I am optimistic that we will generate some good partnerships in the weeks to come."
Among the vendors were newcomers to the industry, such as Blue Dreams Co., MUA and Maia Toys.
“The Retreat allowed me to get in front of my target audience and gave me an opportunity to get feedback directly from the professionals which will allow Maia Toys to continue to offer only the best products in our league,” said Mara Epstein.
MUA's Lidia Bonilla said, "My attendance at the XBIZ Retreat was instrumental in optimizing the functionality of my product. I got honest feedback from industry experts that will save me time and production costs. I also made key connections that would have been difficult otherwise."
SX Science President and CEO Jeff Northup said, "The XBIZ Retreat was a first class event. As a newer company to this industry, the XBIZ Retreat offered a great way to have real uninterrupted conversations with potential customers and colleagues. XBIZ presents a simple, yet logical format of meeting with many key retailers in one location. It’s amazing how focused the meetings can become. I walked away with a better understanding of my potential customers’ unique needs and they were presented with a way to dive deeper in understanding SxScience’s products and advantages. I recommend these meetings and event to anyone who is considering them."
PriveCo President Tom Nardone also commended the event’s ability to educate.
“I really enjoyed the retreat,” Nardone said. “As a buyer, those meetings are what really help me understand the products and buy them most effectively. The retreat put me in touch with companies and products I have never seen before.
“One other thing I think the retreat is useful for is market research,” Nardone said. “A new manufacturer can learn a lot about our market and their product at a retreat like this.”
Glenn Le Boeuf, director of operations for Nalpac, said, "The XBIZ Retreat is set up in my favorite format for a show. It gives the manufacturer the access to the biggest buyers in the industry with a 30 minute private session. The networking possibilities in this kind of show are unparalleled. It’s a perfect vehicle for the newest entrants into the industry to show their product and get productive feedback. The XBIZ staff was extremely helpful through the whole event and I’m very grateful that they invited me. I’m very much looking forward to the next one."
Divine Corporation CEO Dean Fresonke and director of sales Jeff Hawkins attended the XBIZ Retreat for feedback about Divine 9 lubricant.
“This was a great event for Divine Corporation,” Hawkins said. “We loved the interaction we had with the distributors and retailers we met with. The speed networking concept was fabulous and the one on one format of your meetings gave Dean and I the platform to educate everyone as the medical benefits of Divine 9 and also to learn from them how they market. We both we really pleased!”
Eldorado founder and CEO Larry Garland said, "The XBIZ Retreat was indeed a TREAT. We were treated very well and all the staff went out f their way to make sure all needs where met. There were some new vendors looking for input on their prototypes and for them this was an invaluable research opportunity to get feedback from industry leaders prior to final production. There were also many vendors that we have worked with for a while and we were able to plan joint promotions and how we could improve our business together.
"It was a great venue in that the meetings where one on one without the normal interruptions one finds at most trade shows. In the future we would like to see more vendors there to take advantage of the great meeting times."
Good Vibes Purchasing Manager Coyote Days said, "The XBIZ Retreat’s format allows me to have the conversations that matter free of distraction or interruption. It’s beyond buying but really about working together to move our business as an industry forward."
From fine dining in Century City to an exclusive XBIZ 100 dinner party, XBIZ Retreat attendees were treated to fun and high-end luxury that also included the stellar XBIZ Awards at the Century Plaza Hotel and concluded with a bus tour through Hollywood.
"The XBIZ Retreat offered a focused, comfortable setting to connect with buyers in a very genuine way,” said Tiffany York, FixSation creator, founder and CEO. “For us personally, this was the perfect setting to launch our second generation FixSation Couples Vibe. It was icing on the cake when we learned that we also won the title of Couples Pleasure Product of the Year! Thank you XBIZ for this unique and valuable opportunity."
Fellow XBIZ Award winner ECN/IV also participated in the XBIZ Retreat.
“What a great event," ECN/IVD Brand Manager Ken H said. "The format really allowed for detailed introductions to the vendors’ products while allowing plenty of time for strengthening relationships. Thanks to XBIZ for their superb hospitality.”
Sensuous' Keith Jones added, "We found XBIZ Retreat a great way to do business. Having one to one meetings in a relaxed private setting was extremely productive and breath of fresh air. We have spent days on booths at traditional exhibitions and the contrast is quite amazing. The quality and quantity of the buyers we met at the Retreat far outweighed anything that we have ever attended before. We would like to thank ZBIZ for organizing such a great event."