LOS ANGELES — XBIZ is pleased to announce the winter edition of XBIZ Retreat, one of seven trade events to be held in tandem as part of the unprecedented XBIZ 360° events series, that brings together leading manufacturers and qualified retail buyers for an exclusive, invite-only luxury B2B event set for Jan. 22-25 at the extraordinary W Hollywood Hotel.
XBIZ Retreat will feature a packed, all-inclusive event schedule, anchored by private meetings between buyers and vendors and ample opportunity for networking over meals and special events. The select group of XBIZ Retreat participants will be indulged with high-end hospitality while they conduct business with fellow market leaders.
Its winter edition will coincide with the XBIZ 360° conference series, which takes attendees on a journey into the heart of the industry to explore its future, ignite commerce and celebrate success on center stage at the most extravagant awards show in industry history, the 2014 XBIZ Awards.
The latest edition of XBIZ Retreat will follow the upscale format that continues to draw record attendance with each subsequent edition, this time adding an all-new element of hotel exclusivity as XBIZ gears up for a complete takeover of the W Hollywood Hotel.
“XBIZ Retreat focuses on deal-making and networking and emphasizes the importance of a high-end, luxurious setting with posh mixers, dinners and meetings,” XBIZ Associate Publisher Sara Ramirez said. “We feel the W Hollywood is the ultimate setting for conducting business.”
According to Ramirez, the 2014 winter XBIZ Retreat has already confirmed a stellar list of participants that includes major buyers from leading distributors and retailers and vendors from around the globe.
"As always, we thank our returning attendees and extend a warm welcome to all of our new participants," Ramirez said, adding, “Our winter attendees can expect to be astounded by everything being planned as we take this event to a new level, giving them a taste of the choice parts of Hollywood while they hobnob with the industry’s best and brightest.”
Among the XBIZ Retreat’s newest confirmed participants is Nenna Joiner, who helms the cutting-edge adult store Feelmore and believes reconnecting with distributors and product companies will benefit her expanding business.
“Simply calling a conference a ‘retreat’ gives you a different perspective, in that it increases the expectation from rushing to empowerment,” Joiner said. “I am 100 percent looking forward to the opportunity to meet key distributors that Feelmore has previously worked with to determine what can work better for both parties,” she continued. “Building a business is just as much about creating relationships as it is about selling products, if not more.”
Industry vet Tom Nardone, president of PriveCo. (parent of Vibrators.com), said he struggled to arrange meetings and gather contacts at companies for his first decade in the business, and returns to the 2014 XBIZ Retreat with the goal of strengthening his professional relationships.
“I enjoyed meeting new people last year and seeing my fellow buyers,” he said. “I always enjoy their company.”
Confirmed buyers for the 2014 winter XBIZ Retreat represent a number of top retail chains, independent stores and distributors such as Good Vibrations, Babeland, SLS Specialty, Romantix, Hustler Hollywood, Entice Couples Boutique and Sexy Suz Couples Boutique among others.
“I find the inviting atmosphere and scheduled gatherings to be most productive and comfortable,” said David Ballow-Permuy, corporate buyer for Hustler Retail. “Without the commotion of a typical tradeshow, I am able to connect to the vendor on a deeper lever and get more accomplished at XBIZ Retreats.”
Babeland buyer Phoebe Grott adds, “I am looking forward to the intimate format of the private meetings and the opportunity to meet with emerging brands, as well as develop Babeland’s business with existing partners.”
Leading luxury pleasure products brand LELO also is a return participant of the XBIZ Retreat.
"LELO is eagerly and excitedly looking forward to the January XBIZ Retreat,” said Donna Faro, LELO director of sales and marketing. “The timing of the year is perfect after the holiday's happenings to re- motivate for the New Year. LELO has so much unfolding beginning now and spilling over to Valentine's Day so we want to make sure we have the connection with industry. This connection is what XBIZ delivers like no other media outlet. When you have the ability to draw the audience, then support with true content, everyone benefits. I am honored that we are working closely with XBIZ to bring the best Retreat ever as we share the very same vision for events such as these. Our industry's long term success and growth are dependent on worthwhile products, messaging, and partnerships!"
Fleshlight also will make its return to the XBIZ Retreat. Sonja Schluchter said she is looking forward to connecting with new buyers.
“Meeting buyers face-to-face is always ideal,” Schluchter said. “However, meeting them in an intimate, one-on-one setting, such as the XBIZ Retreat, is unparalleled. We were able to nurture our existing relationships and build upon new ones.”
Paradise Marketing’s Dennis Paradise will be participating in XBIZ Retreat for the first time, where he will showcase a bevy of new products from leading brands like Astroglide, Lifestyles and Vivid.
“I’m not sure what to expect, but I like XBIZ and I think they can bring the party,” he said.
Other vendors participating at XBIZ Retreat include Bodi Spa, Adam & Eve, Sinclair Institute, Impulse Market and Natural Wurks.
The last XBIZ Retreat was held in a resort hotel in Miami, and was the most highly attended edition since its inception. The event drew a glowing response from its participants.
“The XBIZ [Miami] Retreat show was one of the best shows ever put together that I have attended in my 32 years in the adult business,” Devil’s Film Vice President Eric Gutterman said. “My list of the best could go on and on — from the limo rides to the dinners and the show itself! All that you and the staff put into the show really showed off! As far as the business we did at the show, well that was great too!”
Williams Trading’s Beth-Ann Smith said, “As a buyer, I thought the retreat was done very well. I liked the way the schedule was set up so we were not in meetings all day. I also met many new people in the industry that I didn't know. The beach games were a lot of fun and brought out the kid in all of us. It was great the buyers won the tug-a-war."