Phoenix Forum Roars to Life on Day 1

TEMPE, Ariz. – The first full day of seminars and events at the yearly Phoenix Forum webmaster conference got underway today.

A majority of the online adult professionals and execs attending the event from around the world streamed into the Tempe Mission Palms hotel today, with registration sponsored by PussyCash. Some attendees arrived yesterday, a day early for the X2K Golf Tournament and the YNOT Grand Prix@TPF, sponsored by Juicy Ads.

The Mission Palm has played host for CCBill's annual webmaster event for nine straight years.

While networking is a big part of the conference, the dual-track seminars also are an important component.

The “SocialWorld 201” seminar offered a glimpse of successful marketing techniques using such tools as Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Facebook, Instagram and even YouTube to gain revenue traction.

Moderated by adult veteran Eric Matis, the panel was composed of panelists who use or offer social media services, including Lauren MacEwen of 7 Veils Media, Moe Helmy of XBIZ, Jamie Rodriguez of Video Secrets, Stewie DeVille of Deville Digital and Mo Aguiri of Dating Factory.

Those who jumped on the social media bandwagon for early traffic and branding are seeing dividends, Helmy said.

“That's the great thing about social networks,” he said. “If you get in on it first, you are set.”

The panel agreed in unison that Twitter has become the most successful social tool.

“With Twitter, you can create a snowball of results,” Helmy said.

“Hands down, it is the best of all social networks,” MacEwen said. “It has the most impact. If you use all of them – Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc. – you will find that 80 percent of clicks will come from Twitter.”

Rodriquez noted that some Video Secrets models have turned to Facebook and YouTube, but that can be problematic because both services have a history of shutting down links because of arbitrary rules – particularly for porn-inspired content.

Another seminar, “Business 101,” discussed current basic strategies that online adult operators must ask themselves before starting up – including who to choose for billing and whether or not mobile solutions fit in with certain businesses – as well as piracy issues and how to stand up to those who poach content.

Jay Kopita of YNOT moderated the panel and included as panelists Bruce Friedman of Adult B2B Marketing, Jeff Neis of CCBill, Scott Walley of MojoHost, Chris Rodger of Sexkey/Mansites, adult industry attorney Corey Silverstein and Nigel Williams of AdXpansion.

Friedman said that one problem the current online adult market faces is the on-going love-hate affair with tube sites.

“There is a propensity for adult companies to give their content away for free,” Friedman said. “They give the store away. What's the point. First the tube sites were giving a couple minutes for free; now it's a whole movie.”

Later in the day, the “International Business 201” seminar asked panelists what would they do if the U.S. market for online porn and adult credit card processing didn't exist.

Moderated by CCBill's Paul Kluzak, the panel comprised Sascha Winkler of PAY4, Oren Klaus of PussyCash/ImLive, Ines Peterson of Webbilling, Gary Taylor of WhiteLabelDating, Christoph Hermes of GOLDKiwi Media and Andy Wullmer of SexGoesMobile.

The panel discussed expanding markets around the globe, including streaming content in India, Mexico and Brazil – all markets that may not generate the same per-user revenue of U.S.

Taylor said that his company, WhiteLabelDating, has found a new revenue stream in South Africa of all places. “We've found $3 million in new money there,” he said.

Allison Vivas of Pink Visual moderated the “Consumer Support 101” seminar, which featured panelists Wendy Nelson of NETbilling, Colin Rowntree of Wasteland, Jeff Adams of CCBill, Rapheal Berkein of 2000 Charge and Melissa Campos of Kingdom Worldwide Web Operations.

The panel discussed how to deal with customers who complain and chargeback their online porn purchases. They also gave a plethora of examples of egregious customer behavior.

Another seminar, “Gay Business 101,” offered a nuts-and-bolts approach on how to pick traffic strategies and billing solutions, among other topics. Rainey Stricklin of Reporo, Jeff Wilson of Video Secrets, Brian Dunlap of Corbin Fisher, among others, led the panel discussion.

There were 70 participants at the fast-paced XBIZ Speed Networking late Friday afternoon. On Friday, Phoenix Forum attendees will have another chance networking at the popular event. Sign-ups begin in the early afternoon, with a start time of 3:30 p.m.

The Hooters Happy Hour, sponsored by Traffic Force, gave a break in the day for some. The event, across the street from the Mission Palms, allowed those to mingle, meet and get ready for the evening ahead.

Later this evening, attendees can unwind and sip cocktails at the Phoenix Forum Welcome Reception, in the middle courtyard of the Mission Palms. The Gay Phoenix Forum Welcome Reception also will be held at the same time upstairs on the hotel's second floor veranda.

The Cybersocket Kickoff Party also is scheduled this evening at 10 p.m. At Rula Bula bar, just a stone's throw from the Mission Palms.

And for those in search of a lap dance or two, a shuttle plans on ferrying attendees at 11 p.m. to Babe's Cabaret where lap dances will be complimentary along with cocktails, all sponsored by 

There's more. Several hotel suites will be converted into party central spots till the wee hours of the night. The Phoenix Forum Poker Reloaded – sponsored by AdultCentro, CE Cash, CommerceGate and CrakRevenue – plans on dealing cards until 4 a.m., and two neighboring suites also will be partying before the sun goes up.