TEMPE, Ariz. — The Phoenix Forum got off to robust start on Thursday.
It’s the 10th year in a row at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel for the springtime adult tradeshow that attracts a broad swath of executives and other stakeholders who ply their trade in the online adult space.
Thursday morning and throughout the afternoon, registration lines moved steadily, and attendees later marched on to a host of activities, including educational seminars, speed networking and an annual celebration of sorts for sponsors of the show at the Welcome Reception.
The Tempe Mission Palms Hotel’s center courtyard, as it is every year, was the social gathering spot all throughout the day and eve for those trying to connect or re-connect.
Seminars called “Business 101” and “Leading vs. Following” started off the show with noon-hour discussions in tandem on what it takes to make it in the online biz in 2014 and the risks and rewards of being revolutionary versus taking ideas to the next level.
“Business 101” was moderated by Jo Merlone (KiwiSourcing) and included panelists Jeff Dillon (GameLink), attorney Corey Silverstein, Jeff Neis (CCBill) and Todd Spaits (YanksCash); “Leading vs. Following” offered panelists Shay Efron (PussyCash/ImLive/WebcamWiz), Gary Jackson (CCBill), Bruce Friedman (AdultSiteBroker), Derik Meklir (Hustler), Dominic Ford (DominicFord.com) and Kim Nielsen (ATKingdom) in a session moderated by Oystein Wright (Mansion Productions).
The mid-day seminars looked at the gay market and membership areas.
Moderated by Rainey Stricklin (Reporo), “Gay Business 101” took a close look at nearly every business aspect of the gay online sector, and included panelists Frank Gannon (Epoch), Jeff Wilson (Flirt4Free), Teddy Foyle (AdultSiteRunner), Karl Edwards (YL Productions), Eddie Kreider (X Industry Jobs) and Peter Rosenberg (BW Entertainment).
“Shiny Object Syndrome,” the membership areas seminar, was participated by panelists Chris O’Connell (SendFaster), Jack Lawson (CherryPimps), Martin Greif (SiteTuners), Kroy (Kroycom), Cristian Gold (AdultSiteRunner) and Cathy Beardsley (SegPay). The seminar was hosted by Brian Dunlap (Corbin Fisher).
Later in the day, law was on the mind of many who attended “Lawyers, Lawyers, Lawyers, Esq.” Moderated by Jason Tucker (Battleship Stance), panelists included attorneys Joe Obenberger, Silverstein and Jeffrey Douglas, as well as the ASACP’s Tim Henning. Discussion ranged from age-verification to the DMCA to Ira Isaacs, the fetish filmmaker whose appeal was recently denied over his obscenity conviction.
Speed networking drew the largest turnout, as expected, in the seminar rooms. Seventy-two attendees got a chance to meet face to face for just a minute and a half at the XBIZ-sponsored event.
As the evening fell, mariachis were heard and drinks flowing as CCBill’s Ron Cadwell and adult star Vanilla DeVille handed out Cristal champagne trophies to the sponsors of the show at the Welcome Reception.
There’s more going on Thursday night when many Phoenix Forum guests attend the Exclusive Party at Babe’s Cabaret and the Cybersocket Kickoff Party at Rula Bula. If that’s not enough, the Late Night Poker Suites party at the host hotel will open up for those to put their poker face on and stay up past 4 a.m.
The three-day Phoenix Forum continues through Saturday.