MIAMI — Set against the ultra-luxurious tropical paradise of Miami, the invitation-only, exclusive XBIZ Retreat returns May 12-16 as the retail industry’s most-celebrated and anticipated summit of high-ranking adult executives ever assembled in one, all-inclusive and incomparable event.
The excitement over the premiere three-day summer gathering is at a fevered pitch, and is being heralded by both vendors and buyers alike as the pinnacle of retail market strategy, business acumen and good old-fashioned face-to-face networking. Executives, VIPS and retail luminaries are gearing up to experience another landmark gathering amid fine dining in a relaxing, posh and stimulating setting.
Packed with priceless networking opportunities, the Retreat has been painstakingly researched and created to deliver an unprecedented experience. This year’s elite group of executives is in store for what XBIZ Associate Publisher Sara Ramirez described as the most desirable, valued, and highly anticipated gathering since the Retreat began.
“It’s the hottest ticket in town. Never before has XBIZ been queried so often by retail’s best and brightest as to the details of the Retreat, clamoring for the summer event to return to Miami. We listened, and we’re delivering to this distinguished group of qualified buyers and vendors an incomparable opportunity to once again enjoy, relax and learn in this gorgeous setting,” Ramirez said.
If past experience by high-level retail buyers is any indictor, this select group of industry professionals will be talking about this next Retreat for years to come.
“The XBIZ Retreat event held at the W Hotel in Hollywood was a great learning experience and also an all-around good time," Déjà vu Emporium’s Megan said. "Meeting with newcomers to this industry and getting a sneak peek at the products to come is definitely a plus."
She added, “Sara and her staff did an amazing job with this retreat. I can only imagine the time and effort put into an event like this with non-stop meetings and action. What dedication. It's an honor to be a part of it all. Thank you very much for a great week with XBIZ.”
Eropartner's Chris Bakker also lauded the event. “It was a pleasure to attend this intimate show in Hollywood," he said. "A great way to spend quality time with vendors in a beautiful environment. The combination of the 360 event, the conferences, the Awards and the retreat made this event very effective and efficient. I would like to congratulate and thank XBIZ for putting together their best event ever.”
Other top buyers also raved about the last Retreat in Hollywood. Tom Nardone from Vibrators.com said that the format was great, and a perfect way for buyers and manufacturers to connect.
Honey’s Place Bonnie Feingold noted how much hard work was put into creating the event. “There was something for everyone which allowed the different parts of the industry to come together. The format of the XBIZ Retreat portion of the show allowed the vendors and attendees to build new relationships and strengthen the ones that we already had established; this was my favorite part of the show. This type of relationship building helps to promote better and more partnering with our current vendors and we will also be doing some business with some of these new vendors,” Feingold said.
The executive went on to say that she also enjoyed the seminars and was looking forward to mixing business with pleasure in Miami.
Expressing thanks for the opportunity to meet her peers in this unique setting for the first time, Babeland’s Phoebe said, “I was pleasantly surprised at how much value I found in the appointments and connections. I also wanted to commend the XBIZ team on putting together such a complex entertainment and meeting schedule, I can only imagine the effort and organization it took.”
But it wasn’t just the buyers who found the Retreat to be such a valuable and pleasurable way to conduct business.
Hustler Lingerie & Toy’s Zach Goode said he wrote some “big orders” at the show and was surprised at how well the XBIZ format worked, noting that he’s attended more than 100 trade shows, but never one with speed networking and one-on-one meetings. “I was able to connect with people on a much more personal level and really get to know some faces that I've seen at shows but never had the chance to talk to."
Also impressed was Roy Orjala, of Uber Excellence. He said the Retreat’s one-on-one meetings were “absolutely fantastic, productive and informative."
"Those few minutes of time with the proven industry leaders is priceless, not to mention the people are great personalities and it's fun to share a few laughs," he said. "The Retreat format just works for us and we look forward to many more in the future.”
XR Brands Randy Alvstad called the event well-planned, and added that the suites were first class. Echoing his remarks was Cariel Cohen of Nori Fields Company, who said the Retreat was “well rounded” and the perfect event for the company’s Magic Gel to reiterate its position in the Nuru Massage marketplace as the original made in the U.S.
Seasoned adult veteran Mara Epstein of Maia Toys said that once again, the XBIZ team knocked it out of the park with the Retreat. She especially liked the idea of bringing business, education, play and networking together under one roof at the “hip” W Hotel in Hollywood.
“Alec and his team have raised to bar and evolved the industry into a more modern and effective way of doing business. The format of the show allows you to really ‘hear’ your customers needs and get to know them,” Epstein said.
Other vendors also gave kudos to the enormous effort and detail that went into producing the one-of-a-kind Retreat that stretched beyond buying and selling and provided a forum for sexual health products.
“On behalf of myself and ownership of Carrashield Labs I would like to thank the entire staff of XBIZ for a fantastic show,” said Jeff Hawkins of Carrashield Labs Inc.
He added, “My participation in the Retreat portion was so rewarding. Divine 9 continues to grow and the acceptance and understanding of our product is on the rise. The meetings with retailers and distributors gave me the forum to educate on the importance and discuss our medical clinical studies towards HPV. This past retreat was the best one for Divine 9 and attending the past two retreats have helped me pave the way to our success to date.”
The buzz even reached social media. Keith Caggiano from Sobo/Rock On products said the show was a great experience and recalled how it was a terrific platform for business. “I can't remember a show when every one from conversation to social media had this much glowing praise and they are all right. You all should be very proud of a job well done. Looking forward to what the future holds," Caggiano said.
JimmyJane’s Alicia Sinclair agreed, remarking that it was a great way to spend quality one-on-one time with new and existing clients. She also said the venue was excellent and the events were by far the best. “I truly enjoyed this show,” she said.
“This was my second time attending the XBIZ Retreat and it seems I'll be coming back yearly,” said Brian Sloan from Very Intelligent E-commerce Inc. “The in-room 30-minute meetings with buyers are both a cost- and time-effective way to achieve wide distribution of our new product, the Autoblow 2. The fact that the buyers and vendors eat and drink together helps to build relationships.”
We-Vibe’s Danny Osadca also was a fan of the personal meetings.He said meeting with buyers from across the country, allows for opportunities to help grow each other’s businesses and strengthen key relationships.
January's XBIZ Retreat was the fourth edition, and Aneros’ CT Schenk commented that it was in fact the best. He said, “Any good brand takes the time to garner feedback and make improvements and XBIZ is a leading example by creating an intimate environment that sparks valuable business with leaders in the industry. I'm excited to see this format evolve in the hands of people that truly care."
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