The Phoenix Forum Kicks Off With Seminars, Workshops

TEMPE, Ariz. The Phoenix Forum officially kicked off Thursday, with online adult pros and principals traveling from around the world to the annual event at the Tempe Mission Palms.

Thursday’s menu of seminars and workshops included “Technology and Monetization a Two-Way Street?” a seminar moderated by Q from TopBucks.

Central to the seminar was the question: Is content driving monetization or is technology driving content?

Daniel Hogue of DateCamCash, Roy Salter of SexGoesMobile, Sebastian Garel-Jones of AdultModa and Stephen Bugbee of X2K each discussed their takes on the question and the resulting answer was a resounding “Yes.”

“Content always has been king,” Bugbee said. “We’ve seen a lot of bleeding-edge technology in adult that drives technology.

But Bugbee said that the more successful companies use technology to their advantage, and others should do the same.

“It’s your content, it’s your revenue  why would you give it over to a third party to take the lion’s share of the take,” he said.

Kajian said that technology not only has made it easier for surfers to get exactly what they want, but it also allows for adult companies to “break content up and serve it a la carte,” leading to higher revenue.

“You purchase what you want, you get what you want,” Kajian said. “And over time [your customers] will spend more money.”

Much of the seminar focused on mobile porn, with Hogue saying the industry would catapult if apps were employed in mobile porn. “This is where it’s at,” he said.

“What has proven in recent years with iTunes and the rest are that micropayments work on tablets, devices and cellphones,” Hogue said. “It is a great way to data farm and get clientele to a micropayment level, you can then turn and sell them into higher subscription models.”

But Bugbee said that it is a “waiting game” for an app store for adult. “There is definitely other app stores in development, but using HTML5 and browser-based payments are your best initial bet until certain issues are improved,” he said.

Thursday’s events also included a “Business 101” workshop that brought together industry veterans to discuss the issues of operating and optimizing new business ventures; a workshop called “Gay Business 101,” which looked at the nuts and bolts and special issues of running gay adult sites; “Hands-on Design,” a panel workshop that took a look at the dos and don’ts of site design and ways to increase search ranking; and a seminar titled “Frenemies,” which focused on how to learn from your competition and how to leverage piracy into new conversions.

The evening is still young at The Phoenix Forum. The Welcome Reception, along with parties by Cybersocket, Video Secrets and Orbital Pay, CitySexCash and Smashbucks are lined up for this evening.