The synergy of the combined StorErotica tradeshow and the 16th annual Gentlemen’s Club Owners Expo permeated the entire show floor as many new relationships and business deals percolated across a wide variety of sectors of the adult entertainment business.
Produced by ED Publications, which publishes Teeze, Adult Store Buyer and Exotic Dancer magazines, the trade show’s unique ability to bring together adult retailers, lingerie and intimate apparel companies, adult movie studios, distributors and adult nightclubs made for a distinctly unique — and profitable — experience for attendees.
Not only was there an expanded show floor this year with more exhibitors, but the convention also boasted a handful of informative and well-attended seminars and workshops aimed at adult retailers. The workshops succeeded in effectively communicating the changing (and challenging) retail landscape and how through smart planning, identifying trends and attracting different demographics can help brick-and-mortars thrive in a depressed economy.
Other seminar topics touched on attracting and retaining quality employees, how to properly lay out your store’s floor plan, marketing plans, moving online and legal and zoning issues. Peekay owner and founder Phyllis Heppenstall’s workshop on the mainstreaming of adult entertainment was particularly instructive and entertaining.
Other panelists included Larry Garland, owner of Eldorado; Bonnie Feingold, owner of Honey’s Place;· Coyote Days, senior buyer for Good Vibrations; Theresa Flynt, vice president of business development for Hustler; Christopher Scharff, CEO of Dreamgirl International; Debra Peterson, director of marketing for Fairvilla Megastore; and Randy Shrier, vice president of Trashy Lingerie and Trashy.com.
One common thread running through the show came from numerous buyers who told XBIZ they were looking to decrease the floor space given to DVDs in order to stock more toys, lingerie, clubwear and sex-related products and accessories — where profit margins are higher.
On the StorErotica side comprised of 200 booths, retail and wholesale buyers had a plethora of new avenues to expand their stores’ inventory beyond DVDs.
The Screaming O, which recently unveiled its new RingO line of stretchy gel erection rings, was giving out free samples all day and company president Justin Ross told XBIZ that he was very proud of his company’s promotional and branding efforts. Tony Batman and Devon Michaels hosted the ubiquitous Screaming O contests where participants audibly reenact their “oh” faces.
The Screaming O will receive priceless product placement on the upcoming season of the Oxygen channel’s reality TV show, “Bad Girls Club.” The company has a Screaming O-branded vending machine inside the house where participants live, which will be visible in upcoming episodes.
Intimate apparel manufacturer Forplay displayed its latest creations, neatly displayed in new packaging, which company founder Sean Rahim told XBIZ made it easier for retailers to stock on a wall display.
The adult studio side was represented by Anabolic, Hush Hush Entertainment, Shane’s World, Girlfriends Films, Red Light District, Evolution Distribution and Vivid Entertainment.
Shane’s World contract star Casey Parker patiently signed autographs both days and told XBIZ that she was busier than ever filming for Shane’s World and feature dancing across the country.
“I’m really, really excited that ‘Surfer Girls 2’ is coming out soon,” Parker said. “That movie was so much fun to make. I also got to do a chick in the butt with a toy for the first time recently. I was so nervous before the scene, but it was with Dana DeArmond and she put me at ease.”
Goldstar Modeling owner Joel Lawrence dropped by the XBIZ booth to announce that he bought out Eli Thomas’s Alternative Modeling in Florida and is planning to open up Goldstar offices in New York, London and Prague.
Anabolic Sales Manager Dan M was busy chatting with buyers and touting the company’s new Blu-ray display. Anabolic is releasing Blu-ray and standard definition versions of its new releases on the same day.
“I’m here to represent the company to the people who buy our product,” Dan M told XBIZ. “I know a lot of them already, but it makes it all worth it if I get one big new account — and I did, so I’m happy about that.”
Girlfriends Films was represented by sales manager Moose and red-headed, freckle-faced starlet Faye Reagan who said she really liked working for Girlfriends Films because of the “realness” of its productions. Reagan signed 8x10s while Moose and company owner Dan O’Connell handed out a slick promotional packet that included trailers and box cover art from numerous video series’.
Newly minted Vivid Girls Meggan Mallone and Nikki Jayne enthusiastically greeted and signed for showgoers with sales manager David Peskin close by. Jayne said she was counting down the days until her first Vivid movie, “The Nikki Jayne Experiment,” releases. Quickly gaining a reputation as one of the more hardcore Vivid girls, Jayne performs anal and a double penetration in the movie.
Sitting close by, Mallone added, “It’s also my first boy/boy/girl!”
While she wasn’t signing at a booth, adult star and Déjà Vu contract dancer Sunny Lane told XBIZ that she enjoyed attending the show and walking around to stop at every booth and meet as many people as possible. Lane said she was eagerly anticipating the release of the Zero Tolerance and Adam & Eve co-production of “Roller Dollz.” Her feature dance tour takes her to Kalamazoo, Mich., next week.
“It was nice for me to be able to meet the buyers who buy the movies I’m in for their stores,” she said. “Plus, since I’m under contract to dance for Déjà Vu, it was nice to represent the company on the gentlemen’s club side, too. I like when the different sides come together in the name of adult entertainment.”
On the Gentlemen’s Club Owners Expo side, emcee Tony Batman got the crowd fired up as he introduced feature dancers Pason, Rachelle Laree and Gia Nova from the Continental Talent Agency to the stage to strut their stuff in full costume.
The convention culminated with the 11th annual Adult Nightclub & Exotic Dancer Awards Show inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Also spotted at the show were XBIZ President and Publisher Alec Helmy, Zero Tolerance’s Greg Alves, Diabolic’s Gregg Allan, Penthouse Pet of the Year Erica Ellyson, Hustler’s Theresa Flynt, ASACP’s Joan Irvine, Free Speech Coalition’s Diane Duke, Shane’s World’s Megan Stokes, Chelsea Charms, talent manager Robert Baker, Jessica Drake, Brad Armstrong, Michelle McLaren, Lisa Ann, Julia Ann, Jill Kelly, Nikki Fairchild, ED Publications publisher Don Waitt, Adultvest’s Francis Koenig, Sunny Lane, Trisha Uptown, Alexis Amore, Daisy Marie, Stiletto’s Gary Gottlieb, Pure Talent’s Jim and Ann-Marie Hayek, VCX’s David Sutton, Arrow’s Robert Interlandi, Ron Jeremy and Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hoff.