BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Marking its biggest turnout to date, Sexual Health Expo’s East Coast edition had an enthusiastic start yesterday with a busy show floor and packed workshop sessions.
A long, winding line of attendees that wrapped alongside of the historic Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse greeted SHE spokesperson Emily Morse as she cut the ribbon, signaling SHE NY’s official opening.
“I’m overwhelmed by the attendance,” she said. “To see the line around the corner as we were coming in shows that this event is needed. Everyone is excited to have a place where they can talk and learn about sexual wellness with no judgment.”
Drawing a mix of curious consumers, sexual wellness experts, sex toy bloggers and other members of the media, SHE exhibitors told XBIZ that they were pleasantly surprised with the amount of local retailers that stopped by their booths to do business.
“The show is a success,” said Alexandre Enumo, vice president of sales and marketing at Hot Flowers. “There have been so many stores stopping by that we’ve already sold more than at a recent trade show. I’m very happy to be here.”
“Our experience so far has been very good,” We-Vibe Marketing Manager Stephanie Keating said. “I really like the mix of people — there are consumers, retailers and sexperts — and I really like the opportunity to be able to educate them on our products. Plus, this location and the weather is perfect for this event.”
b-Vibe founder and Managing Director Alicia Sinclair said, “I was very impressed to arrive and see the line to get in. This has been a great opportunity to make media contacts and connect with the sex-positive community, and I’ve also been meeting a lot of retailers here. It’s great to see people here are all very open — everyone is willing to talk about anal.”
Doc Johnson’s booth showcased some of its most popular items, including Tryst and the OptiMALE Rechargeable Vibrating C-Ring, which were both recently featured in Cosmopolitan magazine. The company also offered attendees a chance to win prizes by spinning a wheel. The prizes ranged from swag to picking toys from “Doc’s Box” — which contained various toys. Doc Johnson’s Krystal Silva said attendees were especially drawn to Buzz Liquid Vibrator, a stimulating clitoral gel that creates a buzzing sensation. “Everyone keeps coming back for it,” she said. “We’re really excited to be a part of SHE. The response has been great from consumers and retailers alike.”
Tenga, which sponsored an press lounge that offered members of the media an exclusive area to relax and recharge, also entertained consumers with a photo booth that allowed them to be photographed while holding up a sign explaining what masturbation means to them.
Sam from Tenga told XBIZ that the company recently surveyed consumers about masturbation and found that people have a low perception of masturbation and often lie about doing it. “We want to change that attitude,” she said. “We want to change the conversation because people should enjoy it."
Vibrators.com offered plenty of novel experiences for attendees, allowing attendees to ride the “world’s largest vibrator” or decorate bullet vibes with Sharpies and race them, as well as play with its Mr. Grab Ass claw crane game. “The vibrator races have been a hit with attendees, we’ve been getting a lot of traffic with it,” Vibrators.com President Tom Nardone said.
East Coast News’ Anthony Pingicer manned a booth featuring the brands Bodywand, The Rabbit Company, Baci and Ovo. Situated right by the show’s entrance, Pingicer said the range of female-friendly brands was receiving a “phenomenal” response from attendees.
“It’s great to see all of the people walk through each aisle, very interested in learning about sexual wellness,” Pingicer said.
Cu IN BED’s CEO Reed Baumgarten said, “I’m thrilled about the level of engagement. This community is really eager to learn about sexual wellness. Everyone here is very open, it’s a great setting.”
Helix Toys’ Ronnie Coutu and Ashley Lampert operated Satisfyer’s booth, and educated attendees about the brand’s offerings. “It’s been great to meet people that are new to the market and help them understand the benefits of Satisfyer’s products. We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback.”
Cautionwear showcased its collection of all-latex condoms offered in a variety sizes ranging from snug to large. “We recently introduced our L.A. Confidential line, which we call our Enhanced Pleasure Condoms, because they are studded for additional stimulation,” Cautionwear’s Debbie said. “We’ll be introducing them into retail locations so look out for them.”
The evening ended with a packed party exclusively for members of the press that was attended by reporters from Women’s Health Magazine, New York Magazine, Maxim.com, Thrillist/Refinery29, New York Daily News, Vocativ, New York Amsterdam News, and GQ France, among several others. Satisfyer sponsored the evening press event, where guests enjoyed rosé provided by Notorious Pink.
SHE NY continues today with more product showcases and educational seminars.