VANCOUVER — The second annual Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention (AEVC) wrapped up another successful show this past weekend, setting new attendance records and exposing new audiences to the wonders of the virtual reality realm.
Held from Feb. 20-23, the 2013 AEVC was presented by Red Light Center (RLC), XBIZ and UtherConvention, and brought thousands of attendees together to enjoy a wide range of exhibitors and speakers, along with popular adult entertainment performers. Parties, prize giveaways and loads of virtual sex rounded out this breakthrough event, staged in the AEVC Convention Hall at RedLightCenter.com.
The Red Light Center network includes more than 10 million registered users.
This year’s AEVC began with two days of “industry only” action, in order to provide sponsors and exhibitors with a chance to network, meet others in the adult industry and to forge new business relationships — which according to the show’s producers, is the best time for entrepreneurs to find new ways of growing their businesses, before fans arrive.
AEVC rolled out on Wednesday with Pleasure Radio launching its daily broadcasts, live from the center stage located in The Doggy Hall. There were a number of such halls, each named for a sexual position — such as The Wheelbarrow, Anvil and Cowgirl — with the virtual foot traffic to each location bolstered by “Featured Exhibitor Hall” hours; highlighting each exhibitor’s booth.
XBIZ’ Stephen Yagielowicz delivered the AEVC Welcome Address, followed by Wright Williams, who revealed his list of “The Top 10 SEO Tips for Adult Businesses,” in an informative session targeting website owners, operators and traffic managers.
This was followed up with more adult website traffic and brand-building tips, when Utherverse’s Anna Lee took the stage in the First Mobile Cash sponsored Lecture Hall, hosting a session entitled, “Social Media and Branding: A Performer’s Perspective,” with Kelly Shibari, Sinnamon Love, Jayden Cole and Nicole Aniston, who provided a glimpse into how Twitter and other platforms can boost a performer’s exposure — as well some of the ways you can get into trouble promoting porn in the mainstream.
Next up was a session moderated by Zak Zarry, entitled, “Virtual Sex: How the Pros Do It!” which sought to reveal the intricacies of this new medium, in a discussion with virtual vet Jason “Loki” Smith, along with Christian Amico, Tony Lupidi, Brad Abrams and Max Baptist. This panel delved into some of the most intriguing aspects of the event, as it showcased the breadth of adult entertainment today.
Perhaps more familiar turf to experienced event attendees were the many networking opportunities, both informal and planned; such as CCBill’s daily networking hours, held at The Missionary Hall Cocktail Bar — where attendees took a virtual photograph with their favorite CCBill rep; or the opening night party, which was sponsored by Loki Land, giving visitors an inside look at the social and marketing possibilities of the virtual world.
Thursday saw the second day of business to business action on the virtual show floor, with Pleasure Radio broadcasting live — and featured exhibitor halls enjoying a pulsating ebb and flow of attendees. Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke delivered the keynote address, accompanied by Wasteland’s Colin Rowntree, who hosted the session.
Rowntree told XBIZ that he had a great experience at AEVC again this year.
“Interviewing Diane Duke for the keynote presentation covered all kinds of valuable and timely topics for the attendees,” Rowntree stated. “And the ‘State Of The Industry’ session on which I was a panelist was a fantastic combination of speakers that allowed us to cover the issues from various industry segment perspectives, with Alec Helmy doing a splendid job holding it all together as the moderator.”
Rowntree referred to the “State of the Industry” session which brought together Helmy, Duke and Rowntree along with Utherverse chief Brian Shuster and adult attorney Greg Piccionelli, for a look at the business of bawdiness today.
“AEVC showcases the future of digital adult entertainment, built on a vision that XBIZ strongly supports,” XBIZ founder Alec Helmy stated. “The engaging debates presented in its interactive sessions and the ease with which attendees could access the information made it a valuable event for all involved.”
“PR and Branding Strategies for the Adult Market,” moderated by XBIZ’ Dan Miller, combined the wisdom of PR specialists Brian Gross, Quentin Boyer, Jules Jordan and Lauren McEwen, into an entertaining and informative session; while attendees visited the CCBill Networking Hour to explore new deals before the Industry After Party, sponsored by Seka, “The Princess of Porn,” at her elegant Club Seka.
Friday saw a surge of consumers into the show, as AEVC was opened to the general public; providing direct marketing and fan base building opportunities. Of course, there were also opportunities for business owners and operators, including a slate of sessions that focused on the past, present and future of adult entertainment.
First up, noted attorney, intellectual property expert and technologist Greg Piccionelli offered a session entitled “Legal Update and a Look Forward,” delivering the latest views on the evolving regulatory environment along with its likely future factors.
These sessions set the stage for the day’s educational series, which continued with Piccionelli’s return to the virtual podium — this time as the moderator of “The Digital Age of Adult Entertainment: A Look at the Future,” with VideoSecrets’ Greg Clayman, Utherverse’s Brian Shuster, AWE’s Douglas Richter, Pink Visual’s Quentin Boyer and ATK’s Kim Nielsen providing an industry-leading level of experience that all attendees benefited from.
Of course, predicting the future is easier when you understand the past; and bringing it all full circle, “The World’s Oldest Profession goes Virtual: A WG Panel Discussion,” illustrated how the virtual world is providing newer and safer alternatives for sex workers — as well as new audiences and opportunities that extend far beyond the historical local-only markets for sex services. Featuring Eros and Saphyre Rose, Vamp White Dove and Elle St. Claire, in a panel moderated by Anna Lee, the discussion provided perspectives from male, female and transgendered performers serving the sexual needs of virtual fans, while providing a window into a world that perhaps best distinguishes Red Light Center from other areas of the web, or genres of adult entertainment.
Pleasure Radio’s live broadcasts, featured exhibitor halls and CCBill’s networking hour were once again daily favorites, highlighted by the Cam4 sponsored Meet & Greet sessions with Seka, as well as with perennial fan favorite Vicky Vette.
Then there was the Wasteland/Sssh.com Party at the Wasteland Virtual Dungeon, one of AEVC’s most talked about events, due to both its sexuality and technological prowess.
“On the social side of the convention, Virtual Wasteland hosted the Friday night party with well over 650 people attending in our Gothic Virtual Dungeon, and party guests also got the opportunity to check out our new state of the art ‘Penthouse Suite’ for our ‘51st Shades Of Submission’ virtual experience,” Rowntree told XBIZ. “A grand time was had by all and I am looking forward to the next AEVC to see if we can push the boundaries of bringing BDSM into the virtual reality space even further.”
It will likely be a fruitful endeavor, as Red Light Center seems a welcoming venue for the BDSM crowd, along with legions of curious onlookers exploring a brave new world. For example, a presentation by Kelsey Obsession on “Domination & Submission 101” resonated with the kinky crowd and its often alternative lifestyle.
The final day, Saturday, was more targeted to the fans of adult entertainment, kicking off with the return of Pleasure Radio — and adult star James Deen taking the stage for a Q&A session with RLC’s own Anna Lee.
Other highlights included more interactive Meet & Greet sessions with adult stars, sponsored by Cam4.com. These hour-long appearances brought veteran porn performers Sabrina Deep, Seka, and BDSM Goddess, Vivica Delicious, to their fans, in an up-close and personal environment.
The Featured Exhibitor Halls continued to spread the love, by guiding attendees to the booths of sponsors they might otherwise have missed — thereby giving every exhibitor a shot at new business and an AEVC Audience Choice Award. And it was those 2013 Adult Entertainment Virtual Awards, hosted by Patrick Maliha and Samantha Mack, which dominated the evening’s activities, extending into the night with an After Party powered by “The Porn Star DJ,” Helly Mae Hellfire.
For those who were unable to attend the virtual event, live and recorded streams were made available across a range of media — and for those who missed out entirely, word is that AEVC 2014 will be even bigger and better than this year’s record-setting show.